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'Your Archives' now open for contributions

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'Your Archives' now open for contributions

14 May 2007

Your Archives (http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk) is a ground-breaking new resource, which has recently been launched as part of The National Archives' online services. It is a virtual community of record users where people can share their knowledge of archival sources held by The National Archives and by other archives throughout the UK.

Your Archives is a wiki. It uses the technology pioneered by  Wikipedia online encyclopaedia.  Therefore, users familiar with this technology will recognise the design of Your Archives.

The content on Your Archives is contributed by users and is designed to offer information additional to that currently available in our Catalogue, Research Guides, DocumentsOnline and the National Register of Archives. The Catalogue has a link on each page to Your Archives encouraging users to find out more, or to contribute their knowledge about a particular record.

Users can contribute to Your Archives in numerous ways. They can edit pre-existing pages and submit articles about historical records held by The National Archives or elsewhere. Users can also expand upon a Catalogue entry publish a transcription of one of the documents available in DocumentsOnline. Alternatively, they can contribute to the research guidance available to users by expanding and updating one of the National Archives' Research Guides.

Most articles in Your Archives contain links to the Catalogue and each article can be easily searched or browsed.

New resources such as 'Your Archives' are challenging the traditional methods of authorship.  They allow for information sharing on a scale unheard of before and facilitate the 'democratisation' of history.

Your Archives is clearly distinct from The National Archives' main website.  This is because it is designed for you to develop and use as you progress your research into the nation's archives.  Please contribute and let us know what you think.

Examples of articles include this one on Adrian Jones, an artist and sculptor (1845-1938) whose work included many memorials commemorating those who lost their lives in the Great War.

'Your Caribbean Heritage' gives an inside view of Caribbean history as learned through the Colonial Office records series held at The National Archives.

This article on WO 22 provides extra information to help people research within the record series Royal Hospital Chelsea: Returns of Payment of Army and Other Pensions; the records are an important source for family and military historians.

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