This guide is designed to help users locate datasets from The National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) collection, in Discovery, our catalogue.  

The National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) collection preserves and provides online access to archived digital datasets and documents from UK central government departments. NDAD spans 40 years of recent history, with the earliest available dataset dating back to about 1963.

By interrogating the NDAD datasets yourself, you can analyse information and statistics gathered from a wide variety of departments and subjects. For example, health, education, housing, crime and nature, amongst others.

Further information about the background of the NDAD service can be found on our archiving datasets page.

What records can I see online?

You can download the data tables and the accompanying explanatory documentation in a zip file.

The datasets are organised into series. At series level, the catalogue gives general information about how and why the government collected the data. Datasets for downloading are at the next level down, along with a digitised collection of the accompanying documents (mostly paper), we received from the transferring government department. These could include examples of survey forms, user manuals, code books, associated policy documents, etc., and are a useful aid to understanding the data in the datasets tables. It is advisable to read the dataset documentation, always the last piece number in each series, before accessing the datasets themselves as this can provide very useful background to the data files.

You can access the data using the chart below. Click on and download the 'dataset documentation' in the right-hand column, and then access the data itself by clicking on the link in the series-level 'National Archives ref.' column, and using the 'Browse by hierarchy' option to access the datasets.

What's available?

Department Series title NDAD ref. National Archives ref. Dataset documentation
Agricultural Departments Agricultural and Horticultural Census CRDA/4 MAF 408 MAF 408/21
Bovine TB CRDA/56  MAF 430  MAF 430/4
  Coast Protection Survey of England CRDA/10 MAF 406  MAF 406/6 
  Internal Draining Board Database CRDA/9  MAF 407 MAF 407/4 
British Railways Board British Rail Electronically Archived Documents  CRDA/37  AN 186  AN 186/3
Coal Authority  Mining Reports Systems  CRDA/16  KD 2  KD 2/28 
Countryside Agencies  Local Heritage Initiative project directory  CRDA/67  CA 1  CA 1/2 
  Vital Villages [and Rural Communities Best Practice] database CRDA/68  CA 2  CA 2/2 
Rural Development Commission  Survey of Rural Services  CRDA/30  D 16  D 16/5 
Millennium Commission  Millennium Commission: Awards Scheme Database (AMIS)  CRDA/65  MM 3  MM 3/2 
  Millennium Commission: Grants Database (PROFESA)  CRDA/66  MM 4  MM 4/2 
Department for Culture, Media and Sport  National Lottery Awards Database  CRDA/39  PF 1  PF 1/3 
Department of Trade and Industry (1983-2007) Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel (EPCAP)  CRDA/42  NK 1 NK 1/3 
  Home Leisure Accident Surveillance Systems  CRDA/58  NK 3  NK 3/2 
Education Departments  Grant Maintained Schools Database  CRDA/36  ED 278  ED 278/2 
  Schools' Census (Form 7)  CRDA/13 ED 267  ED 267/86
ED 267/86A
ED 267/86B
ED 267/86C
Department of Education and Employment  Learning Partnerships  CRDA/53  NV 4 NV 4/2 
  Learning and Training at Work  CRDA/52  NV 3  NV 3/5 
  Register of Educational Establishments  CRDA/47  NV 2  NV 2/3 
English Heritage /
Works Departments
Heritage Protection datasets  CRDA/64  WORK 93  WORK 93/3 
Environment Agency  Bathing Water Directive database  CRDA/74  RD 1  RD 1/2
Department of Environment and successors  Countryside Information System  CRDA/46  AT 73  AT 73/11 
  English House Condition Survey   CRDA/51  AT 76  AT 76/13A 
AT 76/13B
  House Building Inquiry  CRDA/54  AT 86  AT 86/2 
  Housing Data: Renovation Grants and Group Repair Schemes Activity  CRDA/29 AT 68  AT 68/2 
  State of the Cities Database  CRDA/76  AT 104  AT 104/83 
Works Departments  Deeds Registry Application  CRDA/49  WORK 88  WORK 88/2 
Forestry Commission  National Inventory of Woodland and Trees  CRDA/3  F 45  F 45/9 
Health Departments
Department of Health (1988 - present) 
1994 General Household Survey: Follow-up Survey of the Health of People aged 65 and over  CRDA/28  JA 6  JA 6/2 
  Anatomy Office - Anatomy dataset  CRDA/21  JA 3  JA 3/3
  General Medical Practitioners Workload Survey  CRDA/63  JA 9  JA 9/2 
  Public Health Common Dataset  CRDA/24  JA 5  JA 5/120 
Department of Health and Social Security and related bodies  AIDS Advertising Evaluation  CRDA/35  BN 97  BN 97/2 
  Children's Difficulties on Starting Infant School  CRDA/33  BN 94 BN 94/2 
  Children in care  CRDA/38  BN 98  BN 98/16 
  Elderly and their Medicines  CRDA/34  BN 96  BN 96/2 
  Reasons for Retirement  CRDA/27  BN 93  BN 93/2 
  Survey of Abortion Patients for the Committee on the Working of the Abortion Act  CRDA/32  BN 95  BN 95/4 
United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting  Single Professional Register and Index of Training (SPRINT-UK)  CRDA/50  KN 2  KN 2/2 
HM Revenue & Customs and predecessors   Beer duty system  CRDA/19  CUST 134  CUST 134/3 
Home Office  British Crime Survey  CRDA/2  HO 400  HO 400/11 
Public Record Office  Archive Inspection Services Unit: Archival Mapping of Places of Deposit in England and Wales: Projects  CRDA/60  PRO 71  PRO 71/4 
  Conservation Database  CRDA/71  PRO 80  PRO 80/9 
  Presentations under the Public Records Act 1958, s.3(6)  CRDA/59 PRO 72  PRO 72/2 
  Records Accessions Registers  CRDA/62  PRO 79 PRO 79/2 
Lord Chancellor's Department  Judge Advocate General's Office case index system  CRDA/23  LCO 60  LCO 60/5 
The Court Service and Successors  Judicial Statistics  CRDA/8  LE 1 LE 1/8 
Metropolitan Police  Crime Statistics System (ME)  CRDA/1  MEPO 36  MEPO 36/10 
Museums and Galleries Commission  Digest of Museum Statistics (DOMUS) CRDA/12  EB 6  EB 6/4 
Nature Conservation Departments   Ancient Woodland Inventory  CRDA/43  FT 43  FT 43/2A 
FT 43/2B
  British Bats  CRDA/17  FT 40  FT 40/2 
Joint Nature Conservation Committee  International Designations - European database ('Natura 2000')  CRDA/57  KR 8  KR 8/12 
  Ramsar Wetlands Sites Data  CRDA/75  KR 9  KR 9/6 
Benefits Agency  Earnings Top-up Scheme  CRDA/48  NB 5  NB 5/2 
Statistical Departments  Company Accounts Analysis  CRDA/41  RG 81  RG 81/2 
  Consumer and Retail Prices Index  CRDA/61  RG 77  RG 77/4 
  Historic Mortality Data Files  CRDA/20  RG 69  RG 69/3 
  Primary Births  CRDA/5  RG 71 RG 71/5 
Commission for the New Towns and Successors English Sites Database  CRDA/69  FJ 7  FJ 7/2 
  House Building Inquiry  CRDA/54  AT 86  AT 86/2 
  Housing Data: Renovation Grants and Group Repair Schemes Activity  CRDA/29  AT 68  AT 68/2 
Local Government Boundary Commission for England  Humberside: study of attitudes and preferences 1989 - 1990  CRDA/72  AX 14  AX 14/2 
Department of Transport (1976 - 1998)  Survey of Heavy Goods Vehicles  CRDA/14  LM 1  LM 1/33 
Welsh Office and the Wales Office  Coastal Survey - Wales  CRDA/6  BD 80  BD 80/2 
  Survey of Contaminated Land in Wales  CRDA/15  BD 83  BD 83/2 


Other ways to find NDAD Datasets

  • You can search for a particular dataset by entering a keyword, along with  the term 'dataset' in the Discovery search box. For example, 'Crime AND dataset'. You can also refine your search by topic or by entering a date range
  • Alternatively, you may wish to browse through details of the whole collection. Please note that the list returned by Discovery is not in any particular order
  • You can also search for the full catalogue reference, for example, AT 68

How do I find and download records?

Short video guide

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Further information

From the above list, click on the dataset series you are interested in (for example, ED 267) and click on 'Browse by hierarchy'.

Alternatively, you can find the dataset via Discovery, our catalogue. (Click image to enlarge).

The left-hand side shows the general information about the dataset. The right-hand side scrolls independently to particular instances of the dataset. In this example the Schools Census was taken annually, so there is one set of data for each year.

Click on 'details'.

You will be taken to the dataset details page. There you will need to select 'image viewer'.

Select 'download full record'.

In the box that appears, select 'save' and choose what you want to name the zip file and where you wish to save it. When the file is saved on your computer, locate and open the folder.

Technical requirements

As the datasets are delivered as zip files you will need a program capable of unzipping these files. Most modern Microsoft Windows operating systems will automatically unzip files when you download them. However, Windows 95/98/2000 does not have built in zip file support. It is therefore necessary to use third party software. If you are unable to unzip the files there are numerous programs available which can do so, such as: PentaZip, PicoZip, PKZip, PowerArchiver, StuffIt and WinZip. Most programs offer a 30-day limited trial period during which you can download and try the utility for free.

To download the .csv files within a dataset, you will need to have a spreadsheet viewer installed on your computer.

What records can I find at The National Archives?

  • All the available datasets in the NDAD collection can be downloaded
  • Other government datasets can be downloaded from government websites in the UK Government Web Archive

What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

  • The UK Data Archive has government datasets as part of its collection of economic and social science data
  • Search our catalogue, and refine your results using the filters, to find datasets that aren't part of NDAD

What other resources will help me find information?

  • The UK Government Web Archive has snapshots of the original NDAD website which have information about the early days of NDAD, up to its closure in 2010
  • Please note that it is not possible to download actual datasets from the archived NDAD websites