Response sent: July 2011


1. Please can you provide a list Freedom of Information Requests, together with the responses that your organisation has received in the past 12 months.

2. Please can you provide details of requests made under the FOI Act that most people would consider a little offbeat - even whacky.




1. The National Archives received 3,194 requests in the year 2010. Details on how these were responded to, in terms of the number of requests responded to in full, part, or withheld can be found as part of the Ministry of Justice annual FOI (and quarterly) statistics on FOI implementation in central government Ministry of Justice annual FOI (and quarterly) statistics.

The nature of the work of The National Archives means that the majority of people are interested in gaining access to the archival records transferred from other government departments under the Public Records Act, 1958.  These can be searched and requested by the public, via our on line catalogue.

We also receive a small number of requests (91 in 2010) for our corporate information and the running of the archives. Since July 2010 the responses we have sent for our corporate FOI requests can be found on our transparency page.

Providing a list and the responses for over 3000 requests is a very large task. To extract the information from our tracking system would entail each individual case file being examined which is thus highly likely to exceed the cost limit (section 12 of FOI Act) of £600. Read more on the Information Commissioner's site.

2. We receive many requests that might be considered as unique since many people write into the National Archives looking for information to prove or disprove family stories, and so are seeking access to files relating to their family.

We have received a number of corporate requests which you might view as unusual. Details of these can be found on our website at

Additionally you will find some of our requests available via the public website which may be of interest regarding some of the requests made to The National Archives and other government organisations.