Cataloguing projects

The overall objective of our cataloguing work is to deliver more comprehensive and searchable catalogues, improving access to public records. To make online searches work well, we need to provide adequate data and prioritise cataloguing work that tackles less adequate descriptions. For example, we consider ranges of abbreviated names or file numbers as inadequate.

Our catalogue descriptions aim to be accurate, inclusive and respectful to all users, while also conveying the historical content and context of our collections. Read about our approach to outdated and offensive language in the catalogue.

The National Archives’ Cataloguing Panel maintains oversight of our cataloguing activity.

We have also been involved with a number of innovative projects to make our historical sources more accessible, including:

Read our position paper, which outlines the evolution and current state of cataloguing practices for digital records at The National Archives.

All approved catalogue improvement work goes through detailed planning and implementation stages.

Find information on projects completed by March 2022.

Find information on projects completed by March 2021.

Find information on projects completed by March 2020.