BT 43 design register

We run a diverse range of projects to engage volunteers, covering a broad spectrum of interests.

Read about our current opportunities, or find out more about some of our other projects which are already underway below.

You can also find out about volunteer cataloguing opportunities with the Friends of The National Archives.

Projects in progress

Jacobite risings

This project involves cataloguing the State Papers of George I (SP 35) and George II (SP 36), which are currently only accessible on site at The National Archives. Once complete, the catalogue descriptions will be available online for all to search, providing an indispensible resource for both academics and family historians. This project is a key component of our anniversary activities commemorating the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745.

Design registers

This project involves transcribing and cataloguing large volumes of BT 43 designs registered at the Board of Trade between 1839 and 1991. The designs cover a range of materials and products, including metal, wood, glass, earthenware, paper hangings (wall paper), carpets, yarn, lace, printed and woven fabrics, including shawls.

Medieval and Early Modern property deeds

The series WARD 2 comprises more than 7,000 documents, ranging in date from 12th to the 17th century, used as evidence in legal disputes in the Court of Wards and Liveries. The project aims to catalogue WARD 2 for the first time, capturing the names of the parties to the transaction, the type and location of property, the nature of the transaction, and other details such as date and language, and thus make it fully searchable in Discovery, our catalogue.

Hearth tax

Hearth tax records provide an insight into diverse areas such as wealth, poverty, population, and literacy in the early modern period. The records held at The National Archives cover two periods when the tax was administered directly by the Exchequer, rather than locally: 1662-1666 and 1669-1674. Within in each county these fragile and sometimes damaged papers were generally boxed loose and in random order.

The cataloguing project aims to sort these records by administrative area (borough or hundred), then alphabetically by parish, and chronologically within parish. The items are then numbered, conserved and packed, and the final list released on Discovery.

First World War officers' service records

WO 339 contains records and correspondence for Regular Army and Emergency Reserve officers who served in the First World War. This is a project to help improve the catalogue descriptions each of the 13,9912 officers' records, so that they show full name of the officer, the rank and regiment they last served with (currently only the surname and initial(s) is given).

Hear from volunteers and staff involved in these projects, or read more about our successfully completed projects.

Royal Charters

The Charter Rolls cataloguing project aims to provide useful, searchable online catalogue descriptions of the medieval charter rolls (C 53). These are the enrolled copies of the charters by which medieval royal government granted land and liberties and privileges such as markets and fairs, peerages and exemptions. The grants were to individuals, cities, towns and religious corporations and are vital to the study of the history of the period. The online catalogue descriptions will be based on the summaries currently only available in printed formats.