Cataloguing projects 2013-14

In general, we release new descriptions gradually so that information becomes searchable as soon as possible. To restrict catalogue searches to a particular project, type its series reference (for example, WO 35) into the search box on the Discovery home page or click on the links below. Once you have found something interesting, you can visit The National Archives in person, or order a copy of the record.

Cataloguing projects finished in the financial year ending March 2014

ADM 13 Admiralty, Passing Certificates for Engineers (ADM 13/200-205)

This project has generated 3765 items from a digitised addition finding aid for the six pieces ADM 13/200-205. Information provided covers personal names, ranks, awards of certificates, and some other personal details in support of those awards.

CO 904 Ireland: Dublin Castle Records, and WO 35 War Office: Army of Ireland: Administrative and Easter Rising Records

WO 35/206-207 War Office Army of Ireland: Irish Rebellion: Sinn Fein personalities 1922
CO 904/193-216 Dublin Castle Papers: Personalities files
CO 904/42-44 Murder trials. All files are now catalogued by name

WO 35/94-120/1 and WO 35/121-131/1 Prosecutions of civilians files. These catalogue entries now include:

  • name
  • charge
  • date
  • place and/or county
  • verdict
  • sentence and/or other outcome

WO 35/146A/2-160 Inquiry in lieu of inquest files. These files are now catalogued by name, date and place and/or county.

C 11 Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings 1714 to 1758

This major staff and volunteer project, which began in 2008, has now been completed. 115,000 improved descriptions have been added to the catalogue, giving access to a million extra names.

Initially existing descriptions were augmented (plaintiff v defendant) by adding the document type (for example, Bill and answer, answer only, schedule or depositions). Following this, additional data was added, giving full names, residences and occupations of the parties. Some of the entries also have relationships, son, daughter, aunt, nephew and so on, or, if a will or estate was in dispute, an indication of the testator.

C 14 Court of Chancery: Clerks of Records and Writs Office: Pleadings 1842-1852

C 14 contains nearly 22,000 pleadings started in the Court of Chancery between Michaelmas 1842 and 1852. The catalogue entries for C 14 have now been brought up to the standard of the very popular C 16 (which contains similar pleadings, started 1861-1875). Instead of just giving short title, the descriptions have been expanded to include the names of plaintiffs and defendants as recorded in the Cause Books in C 32.

As with C 16, searchable codes have been added to indicate female plaintiffs (SFP for one, JFP for more than one) for those researchers interested in studying Victorian women. The solicitors are named in the C 32: most are based in London, and these have not been included. It has been indicated where they were not Londoners, in order to give some idea of potential location of the parties.

WORK architectural drawings (WORK 29 x 44, excluding WORK 39)

Completed in June 2013 to enhance descriptions of Ministry of Works architectural drawings: c18,200 pieces across 15 series, some containing multiple items.

Buildings shown on the drawings are of national importance and/or wide interest, ranging in date from the 17th century to the 1930s.

Data was input over a number of years by non-specialist staff as an opportunity to learn about architectural drawings, from an original Ministry of Works card index formerly in the custody of English Heritage, to enhance existing fairly minimal descriptions. The upload to Discovery enables searching by architects’ names, contract drawing numbers, and phases of building construction and alteration. Exact dating is now given in many cases.

This project has allowed removal of a series of old, partial, and not very legible finding aids from the Map and Large Document Reading Room. It has made these drawings much more accessible both from the point of view of general interest, and also for architectural historians and those responsible for custody and conservation of the buildings.

C5 Chancery Pleadings, Bridges Division, 1613-1714

C 5 now has 60,000 detailed descriptions searchable in Discovery, thanks to Friends of The National Archives, who ran a major offsite volunteer project to input the data from four closely-printed volumes. The Friends also funded the work of an expert editor to add further details from an 18th century list which had been renumbered in the 19th century.

C 5 includes nearly 6,000 cases brought by women alone (identifiable by the codes SFP and JFP – sole female plaintiff and joint female plaintiffs), and there are also over 300 references to inns,  called the usual range of Swans, Bears, Bulls, Angels, Crowns and so on – but also the less likely Three Herrings. We added [inn] if these were just described as The Bell, to make them more easily found, but some may well be taverns or brew-houses.

SP 20 Parliamentary Sequestration Committee: Books and Papers

SP 20/10-13 General and case papers, covering the years 1643-1651, are now complete and live on Discovery, described with the manuscript folio range and the item range from a Calendar.

WO 69 Ordnance Office, Military Branch, and War Office: Royal Artillery Records of Service and Papers, 1755-1917

These records of non-commissioned officers and men include:

  • description books
  • records of service, including original attestation papers
  • registers of marriages and baptisms
  • registers of deceased soldiers
  • some records of transfer of men to the Army Reserve
  • pension registers
  • description book of the Royal Irish Artillery, 1756-1774
  • miscellaneous correspondence

The series has an overall date range from 1755 to 1917. The project, completed by the Friends of the National Archives, has provided a total of over 176,000 entries relating to individual service.

MH 47 Central Military Service Tribunal and Middlesex Appeal Tribunal: Minutes and Papers, 1915-1922

The project to digitise MH 47, the papers of the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, is now complete, with the digital images launched via Discovery on 22 January. The funding provided by the Friends of The National Archives and the Federation of Family History Societies has allowed this collection to be made available as free downloads for a 10 year period. The records comprise case papers for over 8,000 individuals seeking exemption from conscription into the army in Middlesex during the First World War.

BT 100 Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Transcripts and Transactions, Series IV, Closed Registries, 1890-1998

All 2,189 pieces now described with ships names and official numbers, when built and date of closure of ship’s registry.

The Military, Maritime and Transport Team, together with colleagues from the Family History Team and across the office, along with a number of volunteers, have completed the BT 110 cataloguing project. These records consist from 1890 to 1998 of merchant navy ship transcripts and transactions basically recording the registration and ownership of a ship. You can search just under 100,000 items (individual ships’ registries) in BT 110 in Discovery by ship’s name, official number (useful for searches of other BT record series), date of building and date of closure of the ship’s registry.

E 179 Hearth Tax (Too Poor to Pay) Surrey

The Surrey Hearth Tax exemption certificates are now available on Discovery. There are 339 items comprising 315 certificates under the reference E 179/346.

E 179 Hearth Tax (Too Poor to Pay) Dorset

The Dorset Hearth Tax exemption certificates (E 179/105/352) are now available on Discovery, representing another 488 certificates.

E 179 Hearth Tax (Too Poor to Pay) Anglesey

The hearth tax exemption certificates for Anglesey are now available on Discovery under the reference E 179/351/1.

DEFE 4 Chiefs of Staff Minutes, DEFE 5 Chief of Staff Papers, DEFE 6 Joint Planning Staff Papers

This project involved the detailed cataloguing of a total of 545 pieces for the Ministry of Defence: Chiefs of Staff (COS) Committee. The records comprised

  • DEFE 4, COS Committee, Minutes 1947-1970
  • DEFE 5, COS Committee, Memoranda 1947-1970
  • DEFE 6, COS Committee, Reports of the Joint Planning Staff and successors 1947-1968

The contents of the pieces in these sequences are now listed in detail, for example the subjects discussed at each Chief of Staff Committee meeting and the date of that meeting, or the title of each individual memorandum discussed by the COS committee and its date.

MEPO Metropolitan Police Officers

MEPO 4 Miscellaneous Books and Papers (includes Metropolitan Police Service Records, pieces 333-452)

Supplementary Finding Aids in MEPO 2 and MEPO 7 were incorporated into MEPO 4 to enhance the descriptions of some pieces and items within the service records.

The MEPO 2 supplementary finding aid related mainly to officers serving in the Metropolitan Police and has enriched descriptions in the MEPO 4 service records by adding some 39,326 items. These include items within:

MEPO 4/333-338 Alphabetical Registers of Joiners

MEPO 4/339-351 Registers of Leavers

MEPO 4/352-358 Attestation Ledgers

MEPO 4/361-477 Certificate of Service Records

MEPO 7 supplementary finding aid added some 10,956 items to MEPO 4/335 Alphabetical Register of Joiners between 1880 and 1889. Many items are now searchable by name of police officer and warrant number and record date of joining and in many cases date of leaving.