Friends volunteers cataloguing

We provide vital help to The National Archives in many projects, enabling records of all kinds and classes to be conserved, preserved, catalogued, calendarised, indexed, made accessible and studied. We do this through providing grants to support projects, as well as getting involved in volunteering.

We have part-funded conferences and seminars at The National Archives and offered financial support to staff travelling to represent The National Archives at external conferences and events.

We also organise and host events at The National Archives, and in conjunction with other bodies such as the Friends of the Imperial War Museum and London Historians.

Our magazine is published three times a year. This informs Friends of events and other news, while also providing a range of interesting articles based upon the records held at The National Archives and elsewhere.

Volunteering at The National Archives

Many Friends members are volunteers, traditionally working on cataloguing projects with The National Archives' records specialists.

In 2011, Friends volunteers completed a lengthy cataloguing project, begun as far back as 1992, to index British Army Other Ranks Discharge Documents up to 1854. These documents were held in classes WO 97 (for the Chelsea Establishment), WO 119 (for the Irish Kilmainham Establishment) and WO 121 (pension correspondence), and resulted in the addition of more than 20,000 soldiers' records to our catalogue.

In 2013 the volunteers finished another military project, to index various sections of WO 69, the records of the Royal Artillery. They are currently focussed on a naval project, to make accessible and improve our understanding of Navy Board miscellaneous correspondence for 1673 to 1832 held by The National Archives in the record series ADM 106.

See our FAQs on volunteering at The National Archives. You can also read more about the work the Friends have helped to fund.