The National Archives Labs

Datasets for ‘Hack on the Record’

Please note, as we are no longer continuing to develop this tool, we intend to remove it from Labs by the end of March 2014.

Over the weekend of 24 and 25 March, The National Archives held its first hack day. We opened up the archives to web developers and designers to encouraged them to gather and exchange ideas and make use of The National Archives’ data and documents.

We worked with developers who share our interest in history, government and culture, to devise and build systems using our records, as well as datasets from across the web. Non-developers were also welcome – anyone with ideas for interesting tools, visualisations or systems developers could build using our data.

On the day, we had records experts from The National Archives on hand, together with colleagues from the British Museum, British Library and Wikimedia UK to talk about their data and to pitch ideas.

Hack days at other institutions in the past have generated ideas including an online Domesday book, a detailed record of the Blitz and a range of apps and games.

Follow the conversation on twitter: #hackon12


We will be publishing a list of datasets that we will continue to add to in the weeks leading up to the event.

If you have specific requests for The National Archives’ data, email us at We’re keen to discuss participants’ requirements and can arrange some limited digitisation in advance of the event.

The National Archives’ data

The National Register of Archives

A dataset comprising details of all the collections in the NRA relating to women has been published as linked data by Kasabi.

The UK Government Web Archive API

Access to this API will be made available to attendees over the weekend.


This directory of UK and some international archives is now available as linked data with a SPARQL endpoint hosted by Kasabi.


Discovery is The National Archives’ new catalogue.

Go to the API information for Discovery. is the official home of UK legislation 1267 to present.

Go to the developer zone for the API information.


The National Archives’ photostream on Flickr contains over 5,000 images.

These can be reused via the Flickr API.


There is an additional list of datasets on Labs for use.

Non-National Archives’ data

AIM 25

Searchable archive collections in the London area.

Raw data is available.

Open Domesday

Anna Powell-Smith’s brilliant work with the Domesday Book.

A RESTful API is available.

Museum APIs

Museum APIs includes the British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme, National Gallery, Museum of London and many more.

Other useful APIs relating to museums and galleries are also available.

Leave a comment

Comment validation by @