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Podcasts

Making geographical sense of the census

Published date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:00:00 GMT

The National Archives held a one day conference at Kew on Saturday 1 October 2011. The conference brought together an audience wanting to know more about the census, from genealogists to local and social historians.

The conference looked at all aspects of the census and at what this rich source of information can tell us about our ancestors and society through the ages. Speakers included specialist staff from The National Archives, academics and professional genealogists. Ancestry, Findmypast and Genesreunited also offered hands-on workshops on census searching.

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Trade Book of James Rogers, Bristol, trading to Africa, West Indies and North America, slaves and goods c.1790, cat. ref. C 107/5

'A low artful wicked man': poverty riots and bread, the response of government to the crises of the 1790s

Published date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The 1790s was a watershed decade in British history with the continuation of population increase and industrialisation, series of poor harvests and war with France. These factors led to a 'crisis' in the matching of food production and import of the cereal crops that were the staple diet of the poor. This talk looks at the background to the situation and at records that reveal the government's attempts to address both the food shortages and the riots that broke out as real want and scarcity took hold in many districts. Paul Carter is the Principal Records Specialist Manager for the Modern Domestic Team. He has a broad range of interests in 18th and 19th century British history. Julie Halls has worked at The National Archives for almost three years. She is currently a member of the Modern Domestic Records team in the Advice and Records Knowledge Department.

Author: Julie Halls and Paul Carter Duration: 36:55

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TNA(PRO)HO338-27-WORLD-WAR-II-BLITZ(Bomb-damaged-building-London)

Exploding the mysteries of the Bomb Census

Published date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 00:12:00 GMT

Was your family or local area affected by air raids during the Second World War? This talk explains how you can research details of bombing incidents using the maps, photographs and other records originally made for the Ministry of Home Security's Bomb Census, which are now held here at The National Archives. Important sources for researching Second World War bombing are also held in archives elsewhere and the talk shows how this additional information can help you to build up a much richer picture of an incident.
Andrew Janes has worked in the Advice and Records Knowledge department at The National Archives for three years, specialising in maps and related records.

Author: The National Archives Duration: 00:28:53

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Treasury file on The Beatles, 1967, cat. ref. T 295/521

20th century Treasury records

Published date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Some researchers might feel apprehensive about the prospect of investigating 20th century Treasury records, particularly given the complex nature of Treasury Registry systems of the 18th and 19th centuries. But the good news is that the Treasury records of the 20th century are reasonably well catalogued. Mark Dunton aims to lay any fears to rest by giving a historical overview of HM Treasury (including its organisation), before moving to an outline of the main sources, supported by some interesting document examples. Mark Dunton joined The National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) in 1983 and has considerable knowledge and experience of researching public records, specialising in post-1945 Britain. Mark has also been the lead media spokesperson on the annual release of government files under the 30 year rule since 2006. RSS: Mark Dunton gives a historical overview of HM Treasury, before moving to an outline of the main sources, supported by some interesting document examples.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 31:13

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Bunhill Fields burial ground, City Road, London, burials 1741-1747, cat. ref. RG 4/3980

English burial and cemetery records online and on film

Published date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 15:00:00 GMT

This talk gives an overview of online sources for English burial and cemetery records, including which of the major London cemeteries have online records. Both free and pay-for-view websites, and all parts of the country are covered, though is not possible to include all online sources. The resources for cemetery and burial records available on microfilm at the London Family History Centre are also highlighted. Sharon Hintze is Director of the London Family History Centre in South Kensington. She is a frequent speaker and occasional writer on family history.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 46:48

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Florence Nightingale cat. ref. COPY 1/556/166

The untold story of women in the Crimean War

Published date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Florence Nightingale was not the only woman in the Crimea - a misnomer in itself as she spent most of the war at the British hospital at Scutari, 300 miles away from the Crimea. Here, Helen Rappaport sheds new light on the many unsung women who followed the British army on campaign - the last time they were allowed to do so. This was the first war in which women were officially organised as nurses, and Helen describes the work of some of the heroic nurses on Nightingale's staff, and their French and Russian counterparts. Then there are the extraordinary exploits of the maverick Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole who came back a national heroine, and officers' wives such as Fanny Duberly, French cantinières, and lady tourists who went to the Crimea to see things for themselves. Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University before turning her hand to writing. Helen has written a number of historical books and biographies, including No Place for Ladies: the Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War (2007), Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs (2008) and Conspirator: Lenin in Exile (2009). Her latest venture is the Victorian true-crime story Beautiful for Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer.

Author: Helen Rappaport Duration: 45:57

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The 1911 census

The 1911 Census: a vision of England

Published date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 15:00:00 GMT

The 1911 census was the 12th national census of the United Kingdom, and in many ways it represented a watershed in the history of census taking in this country - it was the first to use technology and was by far the most intrusive. The census captured a picture of society at the time before the Upstairs Downstairs world was about to be turned upside down. It records Britain's 'lost generation' - the 885,000 men who would lose their lives fighting in the war and it also adds a fascinating insight into one of the most important issues of the day - the campaign to give women the vote. In this talk, David Annal introduces the 1911 census and shows what it reveals about society at the time. Dave Annal first developed an interest in family history in the late 1970s when he began researching his own family. He became a professional family historian in 1990 and, from 1998 to 2009 was employed by The National Archives, working at the Family Records Centre and Kew. He has written a number of books including Easy Family History and, more recently with Peter Christian, Census: the Expert Guide. He was a regular columnist in Ancestors Magazine and gives regular talks on all aspects of family history research. Dave is now working as a freelance researcher.

Author: Dave Annal Duration: 54:05

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Fabric Design, cat. ref. BT 43/300 (207702)

Textile designs 1842-1964: exploring the Board of Trade Representations and Registers

Published date: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 00:15:00 GMT

In 1839 the Board of Trade established a scheme for proprietors of original designs to register their designs and protect them from commercial piracy. The National Archives holds the surviving representations and registers; these volumes provide information about suppliers from all over Britain, its Empire, and also mainland Europe. With the generous support of the Clothworkers Foundation, The National Archives' Collection Care Department has established a research fellowship to consider ways of enhancing public access to this unique archive. This talk focuses on the textiles, which include woven and printed cloth, trimmings and lace, as well as stevenographs, gloves, socks, sashes and even two straw bonnets. Dr Dinah Eastop works in the Collection Care Department of The National Archives, as a Clothworkers Research Fellow. She is a specialist in textile conservation and worked until recently at the Textile Conservation Centre.

Author: Dr Dinah Eastop Duration: 49:25

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Hong Kong cemetery

The Hong Kong colonial cemetery

Published date: Wed, 05 Oct 2011 18:00:00 GMT

The National Archives provides a treasure trove of material for discovering more about our colonial ancestors. This talk focuses on the former British Colony of Hong Kong - a thriving trading centre and home to merchants, the military and members of the colonial service - and specifically the tranquil spot in Happy Valley which became last resting place for many who travelled to the Far East from Europe during the 19th century. Christine takes us on a virtual walk through the cemetery, stopping to examine the stories of a few very ordinary people who are buried there.

Christine Thomas spent a 40-year career with the police in Hong Kong and London working in the fields of research and archival records management. For the past few years she has run her own research service specialising in families with ancestors who spent time in Hong Kong and China.

Author: Christine Thomas Duration: 00:40:53

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Archive visitors searching family history online

Searching for British records in the new FamilySearch website

Published date: Mon, 03 Oct 2011 12:00:00 GMT

This talk demonstrates the format and British databases available on the popular FamilySearch website. The website has recently been relaunched and many new records added, and will prove a valuable resource to family historians of all levels. Sharon Hintze is Director of the London Family History Centre in South Kensington. She is a frequent speaker and occasional writer on family history, and a fifth generation family historian.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 52:54

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Out of the way of mischief

Published date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:00:00 GMT

From the mid-19th century the Home Office and the Treasury became involved in the inspection and funding of reformatory and industrial schools. Children identified as vagrant, neglected, disorderly, in danger of corruption, or in the case of reformatory schools, already convicted of an offence, were taken out of their home environments and detained in institutions in which they would receive the sort of discipline and moral instruction it was feared they did not receive at home. This talk will explore sources at The National Archives which help the researcher study individual schools and pupils, build up a picture of the reformatory and industrial school experience, and understand how the system evolved during this period. Briony Paxman has worked at The National Archives for five years. She is part of the Modern Domestic Records Team and has a particular interest in records related to education, crime and juvenile delinquency.

Author: Briony Paxman Duration: 00:32:54

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A server at The National Archives

Science and sustainability in cultural heritage: building a resilient future for The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:00:00 GMT

This talk examines the big questions facing our cultural heritage institutions at a time of uncertainty in the economy, the world's climate and the sustainability of fossil fuels. It also represents the first chance to look at the results of a major new research project conducted with University College London's Centre for Sustainable Heritage into the efficiency, responsiveness and resilience of The National Archives' main site at Kew.

Author: Professor May Cassar Duration: 26:55

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Access between East and West Berlin 1961, cat. ref. FO 371/163600

The Berlin Wall 1961: the construction 50 years on

Published date: Fri, 09 Sep 2011 12:00:00 GMT

This talk covers the circumstances which brought about the construction of the wall, what it meant for Germany and the crisis it precipitated in the context of the Cold War. Whilst focusing on 1961, it also covers the period 1945-61 and discusses why and how the wall was built, who built it and what we think of it today. Karim Hussain is a graduate of Warwick University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has worked at The National Archives for four years. He is currently a member of the Modern Domestic Records team in the Advice and Records Knowledge Department.

Author: Karim Hussain Duration: 48:13

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GNR Stirling Single no.5 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/404

Railways and the mobilisation for war in 1914

Published date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 13:00:00 GMT

The historian A.J.P Taylor, considering the events of 1914, once argued: 'The First World War had begun - imposed on the statesmen of Europe by railway timetables. It was an unexpected climax to the railway age.' This talk will look at how the railways of Britain and Europe prepared for war in 1914 and how central the railways were to troop mobilisation. Bruno Derrick has been employed by the Public Record Office/The National Archives for 23 years. He has a particular interest in military history and military records, and in records relating to railways, canals and transport, with a particular emphasis on railway genealogy going back to the earliest days of the railways.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 00:37:50

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MI5 file release August 2011

Published date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:01:00 GMT

Professor Christopher Andrew introduces the 27th Security Service records release containing 171 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records at The National Archives to more than 4,896. As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with the remainder a combination of subject files (KV 3), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6). The records cover a range of subjects and span the inter-war, Second World War and post-war eras.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 00:13:01

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Detail from Easter Excursion Brighton & South Coast Railway 1905. Catalogue reference: COPY 1/227/f226

Time travel: a journey through the timetables of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway 1860-1901

Published date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:00:00 GMT

This talk takes a look beyond the day-to-day purpose of railway timetables, to consider how they reveal changes in the pace, regularity and frequency of mobility in the 19th century.

Dr Tony Wakeford is a historical geographer with research interests in the economic and social influence of 19th century railway development. He is a lecturer in social sciences at the Open University and is also the magazine editor for the Friends of The National Archives.

Author: Dr Tony Wakeford Duration: 00:51:11

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Extract from catalogue reference: COPY1-217(i) (201) Our Weather by Harrison & Townsend, 1904

Galaxy Zoo and old weather: exploring the potential of citizen science

Published date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 12:00:00 GMT

A team at Oxford University has launched a range of 'citizen science' projects, all aimed at delivering real research through the efforts of a large community of public volunteers. 'Old Weather' is the first non-astronomical project for the team and asks members of the public to transcribe Royal Navy ships logs from the First World War - to date more than 2 million entities have been transcribed.

The team has previously enjoyed great success with 'Galaxy Zoo'. By asking hundreds of thousands of members of the public to classify galaxies by their shape, Galaxy Zoo produced a fantastically rich dataset of more than 100 million galaxy classifications that has resulted in more than 25 peer-reviewed publications.
In this talk, Dr Arfon Smith discusses the potential of citizen science and 'crowdsourcing' for large digital collections.

Dr Smith studied Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and then went on to complete his PhD in Astrochemistry at The University of Nottingham in 2006. Realising that there was more to the world than molecules he then worked as a software developer in the Production Software Group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, before moving to his current position in Oxford Astrophysics in January 2009.

Author: Dr Arfon Smith Duration: 00:54:33

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Air raid damage to Liverpool Alexandra Dock, 26 September 1940, cat. ref. RAIL 421/71/110

Morale, morality and the Liverpool Blitz

Published date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 15:00:00 GMT

This talk uses documents from The National Archives and elsewhere to reveal the steps that the wartime government took to measure the morale of those residents who were facing some of the heaviest bombing of the Second World War. We also use case studies from Merseyside to show how many crimes (serious and minor) were prosecuted during the war; and what happened to individuals convicted of contravening blackout, looting and other wartime regulations. Dr Peter Adey is Lecturer in Cultural Geography at Keele University, and co-director of the Emerging Securities research unit there. He has published extensively on mobility, histories of security, the contours and cultures of air-travel. Dr David J. Cox is Research Fellow at the Law and Criminal Justice Centre, University of Plymouth, and an Honorary Research Fellow at Keele University. He has published widely on criminal justice history and early policing. Barry Godfrey is Professor of Criminology at Keele University. He has published a number of books on the history of crime, and is series editor for The Criminal History of Britain, Praeger Press, and for A Criminal History of the United Kingdom, a six volume set published by Routledge.

Author: Dr Peter Adey, Dr David J. Cox, Barry Godfrey Duration: 39:14

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Lists of persons paying carriage duties and silver plate tax, 1763-1766, cat. ref. T/47/4

The Land Tax 1692-1963

Published date: Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:00:00 GMT

The Land Tax was created in 1692 and was voted annually by Parliament until 1798 when it became a perpetual charge, which could be redeemed by the payment of a lump sum. After 1949 compulsory redemption was introduced in certain circumstances until the Finance Act of 1963 abolished all unredeemed land tax from 25 March 1963. This talk looks at the operation of the land tax, redemption, and the work of the Land Tax Redemption Office and its surviving records in series IR 20 to IR 25. Mention is also made of surviving land tax returns in county record offices and archives. Mark Pearsall is the Principal Records Specialist - Family History and manages the Family History team in the Advice and Records Knowledge department. He has written guides and contributed articles to a number of family and local history publications, and has also produced transcriptions and finding aids for various record series.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 46:32

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Shankill Road contingent Imperial Yeomanry in 1900, cat. ref. COPY 1/446

Nineteenth century soldiers: getting the most from online resources

Published date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 13:00:00 GMT

This talk aims to explain the intricacies of soldiers' service records online, in record series WO 97, and how using the records of the First World War is something which should be considered when researching nineteenth-century soldiers. William Spencer is The National Archives' principal military specialist, and has worked for The National Archives for the past 17 years. He is the author of a number of books including 'Army Records: A guide for family historians'.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 37:08

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Henry VII coat of arms, cat. ref. E33/1

The battle of Towton - a 550-year retrospective

Published date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 13:00:00 GMT

This talk introduces the biggest battle of the Wars of the Roses, described as 'The largest, longest, bloodiest and most murderous battle ever fought in Britain'. It was the decisive clash in a snowstorm at Towton in Yorkshire on 29 March 1461. A new English dynasty came to the throne with Edward IV's victory, but more Englishmen may have died at Towton than on the first day of the battle of the Somme. The talk outlines the events of that day, looking at some of The National Archives' sources for the battle and examines the participants' motivations. Dr. James Ross is a medieval records specialist at the National Archives. He has a particular interest in the politics of the Wars of the Roses, and the nobility and gentry during the period.

Author: Dr. James Ross Duration: 46:55

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Overseas births, marriages and deaths: records in The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:00:00 GMT

There is no single place to find all the birth, marriage and death records of the British overseas. However, The National Archives holds a substantial number of them, in a variety of record collections. This talk looks at civilian and military registers kept by the British authorities, and by churches, consulates and other bodies abroad. Please note that this talk does not include events at sea, which are the subject of a separate talk. Speaker Keith Mitchell joined The National Archives ten years ago and specialises in overseas birth, marriage and death records.

Author: Keith Mitchell Duration: 30.27

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Illuminated page from treaty of peace between England and France, 1527, cat. ref. E30/1109

1611-2011: The 400th anniversary of the King James Bible

Published date: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 14:00:00 GMT

The wealth of celebrations taking place in 2011 for the anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible testifies to the lasting resonance of this translation of the Bible, for both believers and non-believers alike. But in the years immediately after publication it was slow to gain acceptance, and it was only after the Restoration that it became genuinely popular. This talk examines the context of the translation and its origins at the Hampton Court Conference, and considers the extent of King James' involvement in its production. Pauline Croft is Professor of Early Modern History at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and a trustee of the King James Bible Trust. She has published extensively on sixteenth and seventeenth British political, parliamentary and cultural history.

Author: Pauline Croft Duration: 34:07

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Children watching film at the Bath Assembly 1949, cat. ref. WORK 25/195

The last thing we need is a sequel: Postwar cinema at The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 14:00:00 GMT

The National Archives' exploration of the British government's uneasy relationship with the film industry continues. From groundbreaking social dramas and Oscar-winning hits to obscure Swedish erotic documentaries, our documents shed light on four decades of cinematic history. We see what Winston Churchill thought of The Dambusters, examine whether Rock Around the Clock could really cause teen violence and discover why Ealing isn't just for comedy. Is the government really 'frightened' of cinema? Lights, camera, archives! (Popcorn not included). Jo Pugh is a member of the Education and Outreach team at The National Archives. His research interests at the Archives have included 1950s horror comics, pre-war fiction films and how to win a duel.

Author: Jo Pugh Duration: 01:06:39

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leather pouch and counterfeit groats cat. ref. E29/1/193

Suing and being sued - finding people in legal disputes

Published date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 12:00:00 GMT

This talk covers the period from the mid-17th century to the present day and explains the different legal courts and types of cases they heard. Illustrations of individual cases with images of the associated legal documents held at The National Archives are included. Nigel Taylor is a legal records specialist at The National Archives, giving advice on records for criminals and for civil litigation cases. He also specialises in records of wills and death duty records. He has worked at The National Archives for over 20 years.

Author: Nigel Taylor Duration: 34:40

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Early police uniforms 1918, cat. ref. MEPO 13/56

The Metropolitan Police: an introduction to records of service 1829-1958

Published date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 14:00:00 GMT

This talk provides a basic outline of the surviving records of service for Metropolitan Police officers, with examples from the records, and an overview of the origins of the service. This will be of primary interest to those with ancestors in the Metropolitan Police, and those who have not used the records before. Chris Heather has worked at The National Archives for 25 years and is a Senior Reader Adviser in the Advice and Records Knowledge department. He has a particular interest in records of the Metropolitan Police, prisoners and transportation.

Author: Chris Heather Duration: 33:58

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Detail from front of 1911 census schedule Catalogue Reference: RG 27/8

Behind the scenes: two centuries of census-taking

Published date: Fri, 03 Jun 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The census has been described as a 'snapshot in time', recording the nation as it stands at midnight on one Sunday every ten years. But the preparation for each census started years before each census date, and the collating and publishing of the results continued long after. This talk takes a look at the army of civil servants, temporary clerks, registrars, enumerators and others, and the part they played in this astonishing feat of organisation once a decade. Of course, there were incidents and accidents along the way, some of which are revealed in the talk, including the only time advertising was allowed on census material: it didn't end well!

Audrey Collins is family history records specialist with a particular interest in the history and organisation of the General Register Office, including the census. She is the author or co-author of several family history books and has contributed to a number of family history magazines. One of the highlights of Audrey's years as a freelance researcher was when she was retained as official Census historian by the Office for National Statistics for the bi-centenary census in 2001. She joined The National Archives in the following year as a Reader Adviser.

Author: Duration: 00:56:27

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An old plan of the Q1 builing at TNA

Modelling for decision-making: simulating the building environment

Published date: Fri, 27 May 2011 14:00:00 GMT

This talk summarises the outcomes of the Building Environment Simulation (BES) project and discusses next steps in the care of the collection of The National Archives in view of sustainability and energy saving targets. This imaginative 22-month collaborative research project between The National Archives and UCL's Centre for Sustainable Heritage delivered a highly complex computer model that simulates environmental conditions in the three main repositories at The National Archives. The outcomes of the research demonstrated the real potential of computer modelling for managing collections since it demonstrated that energy use could be cut significantly without damaging the collection. The project developed further state-of-the art-technologies to explore environmental scenarios, and demonstrated the power of research evidence to change conservation practice. Kostas Ntanos is Head of Conservation Research and Development at The National Archives. He trained as a conservator in Greece and received an MA in Conservation Science from the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum Conservation Course in 2005, before joining the Collection Care Department at The National Archives.

Author: Duration: 00:29:20

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Guy's Hospital London 1897, cat. ref. COPY 1/428

'Revolting to humanity': histories of mental health

Published date: Fri, 20 May 2011 00:12:00 GMT

The 19th century ushered in a new way of seeing mental health. For the first time, 'madness' was not a condition understood as an extension of the criminal or poor classes, but as a unique social group in its own right. Central government undertook the beginnings of a structured response to the way in which those suffering from mental health problems were dealt with. By examining the development of this response, it is possible to reveal snapshots of the lives touched by mental illness during this century and the beginning of the century to follow. Sarah Hutton has worked at The National Archives for four years and is a Modern Domestic Records Specialist. She is particularly interested in health in the 19th century.

Author: Sarah Hutton Duration: 00:29:52

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Curling in Scotland, 1897 cat. ref. COPY 1/428/662

Inheritance in Scotland - testaments and retours

Published date: Fri, 13 May 2011 00:12:00 GMT

Scottish testaments, loosely called 'wills', can be disappointing for genealogists because they often contain very few names, and no details of land and property. This is a consequence of the Scottish system of inheritance up to 1868. However, such details are often discovered in retours of services of heirs (usually in Latin), sasines, and in trust dispositions and settlements. In this talk, Dr Bruce Durie conducts a guided tour around these document classes, with 'live' online searches. Dr Bruce Durie is Course Director, Genealogical Studies, at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, where he founded and runs the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters programme in Genealogical Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Scottish Genealogy.

Author: Dr Bruce Durie Duration: 48:06

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The Second World War and Roche's expansion to the West: a Swiss pharmaceutical company in the UK

Published date: Fri, 06 May 2011 16:00:00 GMT

Roche was founded in 1896 as one of the very first industrial companies solely focused on the development and production of scientifically proven pharmaceuticals. After setting up a small factory in Basel, Switzerland, Fritz Hoffman-La Roche, the founder, immediately started a courageous global expansion process. The affiliate in the UK was set up in 1908. Together with Roche's operation in Nutley, New Jersey, USA, the British branch grew in importance after the First World War, and, as political tensions developed during the 1930s, became a major strategic asset for the company. This led to the opening of a stunning model factory at Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire in 1938. This lecture makes use of the extensive collection of documents and photographs on the history of Roche's activities in Britain, which is part of the Roche Historical Collection and Archive. Alexander L. Bieri studied information management and public relations before he started working in Roche Group Holdings. In 2000 he was appointed to the position of curator of the Roche Historical Collection and Archive. He has published many books and articles both on Roche-related and other themes. He also assumes responsibility for a variety of Roche in-house museums and has organised special exhibitions in Switzerland. In his capacity as a specialist for 20th century design, he is a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Switzerland.

Author: Alexander L. Bieri Duration: 01:00:35

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Photo of prisoner George Flindle, cat. ref. PCOM 2/99

From crime to punishment: criminal records of our ancestors from the 18th and 19th centuries

Published date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The second half of the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries were characterised by rapid increase in population, urbanisation and impressive industrial growth. It was also a period of rising crime rates and grave concerns about criminality. This podcast takes researchers through the various stages of the criminal justice system of the period and focuses on the various records created, from the commission of a crime, through the court processes and on to the records of punishment. Jeff James is Director of Operations and Services at The National Archives, and has previously worked as Head of Operations at The British Library, in the University sector and as a Submariner in the Royal Navy. Jeff has an MA in History from the University of Hertfordshire and has a particular interest in 18th and 19th century crime and poverty.

Author: Jeff James Duration: 43:34

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Festival of Britain South Bank Exhibition site plan. Catalogue reference: ZLIB 17/129A

The Festival of Britain

Published date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:01:00 GMT

The Festival of Britain opened on 3 May 1951. It was a summer-long, nationwide festival celebrating Britain's contribution to civilisation past, present and future, in the arts, in science and in industrial design. Events ranged from the London South Bank Exhibition with its futuristic 'Skylon' structure and 'Dome of Discovery' to village fetes and local arts festivals. The records of the Festival of Britain Office in WORK 25 document all stages of the organisation and planning of the Festival, from minutes of meetings to photographs and colourful artwork. This podcast uses these records to explore the events and key themes of the Festival.

Briony Paxman has worked at The National Archives for 5 years and is a records specialist in modern domestic records.

Author: Briony Paxman Duration: 00:15:14

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Extract from catalogue reference CO 321/294/99/2

Escape and evasion in Occupied Europe

Published date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 16:00:00 GMT

Most of the British servicemen taken prisoner by the Axis powers during the Second World War were not liberated until spring 1945. In contrast, a small number escaped from Prisoner of War camps and thousands more evaded capture, eventually making it back to the United Kingdom. This talk focuses on these men, the official organisations established to assist them and the civilian-run escape lines, while case studies are used to highlight the resourcefulness and courage of those concerned. Alan Bowgen has worked at The National Archives since 1996. He is a member of the Military, Maritime and Transport team and specialises in Prisoner of War records.

Author: Duration: 50:33

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files from the Security Service

MI5 file release April 2011

Published date: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Professor Christopher Andrew introduces the 26th Security Service records release, which contains 180 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records at The National Archives to more than 4,725. As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with the remainder a combination of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6). The records cover a range of subjects and span the inter-war, Second World War and post-war eras.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 16:14

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heraldry

Heralds and heraldry at The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 00:12:00 GMT

The National Archives holds possibly the greatest collection of untapped source material for heralds and heraldry in this country. This lecture examines evidence stretching back over eight and a half centuries: seals, illuminated manuscripts, medieval rolls, treaties, grants of arms, state occasions, architectural drawings, military badges and even wooden chests. The result is an astonishing and colourful display of what is often unknown heraldic material. Adrian Ailes is a Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives and in 1997 organised an exhibition on Heraldry in the Public Records. He is a Fellow of the Heraldry Society and an academician of the Academie internationale d'héraldique.

Author: The National Archives Duration: 00:34:45

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family

Family history resources at The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 17:00:00 GMT

This talk provides an introduction to the main sources for family history research available via The National Archives website. Topics covered include the online catalogue, online resources and the research signposts. Gerry Toop is a Reader Adviser in the Family History team in the Advice and Records Knowledge department. He regularly gives talks on behalf of The National Archives, both in-house and at external events.

Author: The National Archives Duration: 00:42:00

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Cutting oats near poppleford. Catalogue reference: INF 9/375/27

Sources for tracing agricultural labourers

Published date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:00:00 GMT

It's all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that agricultural labourers are boring and that you can't trace anything about them. In fact they can be very interesting, and there's lots of information to be found if you know where to look. This talk covers resources available in The National Archives, parish and county records, and manor, estate and farm sources.

Mark Pearsall is the Principal Records Specialist - Family History and works in the Records Knowledge team in the Advice and Records Knowledge Department. He has worked in several departments of The National Archives over the years and has contributed articles to a number of family and local history publications. He is the author of The Family History Companion and co-authored The National Archives Guides on Immigrants and Aliens and Family History on the Move. He has also produced transcriptions and finding aids for various record series.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 01:04:14

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High court judges, catalogue reference: HE 8/01/0253194

In the High Court of Justice

Published date: Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:00:00 GMT

'In the High Court of Justice' examines the records of the Chancery Division of the High Court (the post-1875 successor of the Chancery Court). This talk shows what is available and how to find your way around the documents. The recently transferred records of the Court Funds Office is also discussed and Dr Watts uses a worked example - a case over a disputed will - that was in the High Court for 49 years! The case names over 200 individuals over five generations - giving their relationship and dates and places of birth, marriage and death. The talk contains guidance on the use of these records for all users not just family historians. Dr Christopher T. Watts, FSG has nearly 40 years experience in English genealogical research, both on his own family and professionally. He recently retired after 11 years as a part-time Reader Adviser at The National Archives. He has published books, including My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman, My Ancestor was in the British Army and Tracing Births, Deaths and Marriages at Sea. He is a regular speaker in the UK and at conferences overseas.

Author: Dr Christopher T. Watts Duration: 00:42:35

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Colour sketch of a spaceship creating crop circles. Catalogue reference: DEFE 24/1999

UFO file release March 2011

Published date: Thu, 03 Mar 2011 09:00:00 GMT

Dr David Clarke, author of 'The UFO Files' and senior lecturer in Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, reveals the importance of the latest batch of UFO files to be released by The National Archives. The 35 files cover the years 2000-2005 and contain over 8,500 pages of UFO sightings and reports, colour photographs and drawings, RAF investigations, unusual radar detections, parliamentary briefings, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and - for the first time - documents on the government's policy on UFOs. Dr Clarke highlights some of the files' most interesting revelations, including how the UFO phenomenon was discussed at the highest level of government and Security Services worldwide including at the United Nations, and how the introduction of the FOI Act led to the MoD opening the UFO files up to the public for the first time in history.

Author: Dr David Clarke Duration: 00:08:07

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Broadmoor staff, 1885

Broadmoor Revealed: the Victorian Asylum

Published date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Broadmoor Hospital opened in 1863 and has always admitted patients who would otherwise have been in the prison system. Mark Stevens discovers some of the patients' stories, and takes a journey behind the walls of Victorian Broadmoor, England's first Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Mark Stevens is a professional archivist at the Berkshire Record Office who has been looking after the Broadmoor Hospital archive since 2004.

Author: Mark Stevens Duration: 53:21

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bedford park- cat. ref. COPY 1/39

Follow that lead: from census entry to Google maps

Published date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Having located a family in one of the census returns, how can one find out where the property in which they lived is located and what it looked like? An intriguing question, the solution to which is often hampered by the destruction of property during two world wars and the actions of property developers. The examples used will concentrate on the 1911 census, but will suggest avenues for earlier properties. Dr. Christopher T. Watts, FSG has nearly 40 years experience in English genealogical research, both on his own family and professionally. He recently retired after 11 years as a part-time Reader Adviser at The National Archives. He has published books on Merchant Seamen, British Army and Tracing Births, Deaths and Marriages at Sea. He is a regular speaker here in the UK and at conferences overseas. We apologise for the variable sound quality during the recording.

Author: Dr. Christopher T. Watts Duration: 33:17

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apprehension of Constance Emily Kent, cat. ref. MEPO 3/61

Constance Emily Kent: nightdresses, breast flannels and child murder

Published date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT

In the summer of 1860, in a well-to-do country house in sleepy Road Hill, Wiltshire, a little boy was snatched from his nursemaid's bedroom while she was sleeping, and brutally murdered. The resulting investigation threw open the private domestic life of the Kent family, raising questions about class, 'femininity' and madness, and was to capture the public imagination not only then, but for decades to come. Following the recent publication of Kate Summerscale's popular 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher', find out about the documents at The National Archives which shed light on this complicated, sensational case. Sarah Hutton has worked at The National Archives for three years and is a Modern Domestic record specialist. She has a particular interest in the history of health and mental illness.

Author: Sarah Hutton Duration: 21:59

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Condemnation of the well of loneliness (cat. ref. CUST 49/1057)

Fictional obscenities: lesbianism and censorship in the early 20th century

Published date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Please note: this podcast features mature themes and some explicit references. How was the concept of obscenity governed in the absence of specific statutes that defined what was and was not obscene? To what extent was this governance an effect of the time and place in which it emerged? Drawing on early twentieth century case studies, all of which are compiled from files in the National Archives, Dr Louise Chambers investigates these questions in relation to the banning of novels whose narratives featured same sex relations between women. This talk was part of The National Archives' Diversity Week, a series of events and activities aimed at promoting equality and diversity. Its release in February marks Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans History Month celebrating the lives and achievements of LGBT people in Britain and Northern Ireland. Dr Louise Chambers is an associate lecturer in the Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths College, London.

Author: Dr Louise Chambers Duration: 53:17

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Report on the amputation of the arm: Cat. ref. ADM101/123/2.

Journeys of discovery: Surgeons at sea - ADM 101 Research Symposium

Published date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Professor Laurence Brockliss, from the University of Oxford, discusses how ADM 101 has been used by his team over the past ten years, and considers how the newly digitised files will aid their future research. This talk was recorded as part of 'The journeys of discovery: surgeons at sea - ADM 101 Research Symposium'.

Author: Duration: 22:22

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A Red Cross worker writes a letter for a wounded soldier in hospital 1944 – Catalogue reference: INF 2/43

Damaged, disturbed and dismembered: disability and war in the 20th century

Published date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Wars in the 20th century have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Still more come back from conflict with permanent disabilities, in body and mind, in need of medical treatment, on-going care and financial support. Drawing on the wide range of materials in the National Archives, Dr Julie Anderson explores the history of people disabled in war in the 20th century. This talk was part of The National Archives' Diversity Week, a series of events and activities aimed at promoting equality and diversity in how we work and what we do. Dr Julie Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent.

Author: Dr Julie Anderson Duration: 00:44:26

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lifeboat

Titanic: the official story

Published date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 18:00:00 GMT

Using documents from The National Archives, James Cronan will take you through the history of the ship, from its construction and launch to its fateful end. James Cronan is a records specialist in diplomatic and colonial records. His interest in all things Titanic stems from the fact that his great-grandfather was a crewman on board the stricken ship. He has worked at The National Archives for 17 years, at Chancery Lane, the Family Records Centre and Kew.

Author: James Cronan Duration: 00:37:09

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Challenges facing The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 09:00:00 GMT

Podcast of an interview which took place on Monday 29 November 2010. Dr Andrew Foster from the Historical Association and also a member of The National Archives' Strategic Academic Stakeholder Forum in conversation with Oliver Morley, Acting Chief Executive about the strategic challenges faced by The National Archives in difficult economic times and how The National Archives plans to continue building relationships with the academic and research community.

Author: Oliver Morley and Dr Andrew Foster Duration: 00:36:08

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Detail from file catalogue ref: PREM 19/282/8

New files from 1980

Published date: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:05:00 GMT

An introduction to newly released files from 1980, covering subjects such as economic policy, the European Community Budget, relations with trade unions, the Iranian Embassy siege and the potential boycott of the Moscow Olympics. These files provide a fascinating insight into government 30 years ago. Presented by Mark Dunton and introduced by Tommy Norton.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 00:17:56

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effects of scurvy

Naval medical officers' journals and the history of medicine

Published date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 00:17:00 GMT

The naval medical officers' journals of ADM 101 provide a coherent view of the beliefs and practices of a body of rank and file medical practitioners during the late 18th and 19th centuries. They provide a valuable source for examining key themes in the history of medicine in the 19th century, such as encounters with tropical diseases and the changing understanding of the causes of disease. The thorough cataloguing of the series has now made it possible to trace individual patients. This talk will analyse a sample of the records to explore these themes.

Author: Daniel Gilfoyle Duration: 00:40:38

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Madame Rachel of Bond Street

Madame Rachel of Bond Street

Published date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author Helen Rappaport discusses the subject of her newest book, Beautiful For Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer. In the talk, Helen reveals Madame Rachel's startling career path - from fish fryer in Clare Market to proprietor of an exclusive 'Temple of Renovation' that promised eternal beauty but was built upon a foundation of lies, treachery and blackmail.

Author: Helen Rappaport Duration: 00:50:42

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Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet Papers 1915-1979

Published date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 13:00:00 GMT

Mark Dunton, The National Archives' contemporary records specialist, explains how anyone with an interest in modern history can get the best out of the Cabinet Papers online resource. This provides access to historical records of the key episodes in 20th century British and international history. Mark also discusses the historical development of the Cabinet, how it works, and the main record series.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 00:50:19

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INF/14/435/7 Bengali women

Hidden Women: uncovering the veil of silence during the partition of Punjab, India 1947

Published date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:00:00 GMT

Dr Pippa Virdee of De Montfort University uncovers the hidden voices of Muslim women during the partition of the Punjab, India in 1947. Using first-hand accounts, Dr Virdee reveals how women, often sheltered from private and public spaces, created their own space during this complex and traumatising time.

This talk was part of The National Archives' Diversity Week, a series of events and activities aimed at promoting equality and diversity in how we work and what we do.

Author: Dr Pippa Virdee Duration: 00:52:58

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The London Gazette front page image

The London Gazette - not just the brave and the bankrupt

Published date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Family History specialist Audrey Collins discusses how researchers can get the most out of the London Gazette, Britain's oldest continually-published newspaper. From its first edition, produced in Oxford in November 1665 while London suffered through the plague, it became well-known as the source for official notices. This treasure trove for family and local historians and can reveal details of gallantry awards, notices of bankruptcy, changes of name, and much more.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 00:46:04

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Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers' service records

Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers' service documents

Published date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Military records specialist William Spencer talks about WO 97, one of The National Archives' most popular record series. This series holds detailed and comprehensive military records of over 1.5 million soldiers who served in the British Army between 1760 and 1913. This talk reveals the enlightening information found in the records, for anyone with ancestors who served in the army during this period.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 00:07:19

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German bomber over a convoy, Catalogue Reference INF 3/1515

Forgotten tragedy: The loss of HMT Lancastria

Published date: Fri, 05 Nov 2010 15:00:00 GMT

On 17 June 1940, HMT Lancastria was sunk by a German bomber while evacuating troops from St Nazaire; over 9,000 troops were packed on board. The exact number of soldiers who died that day will never be known, though even the lowest estimates rank this as the worst British maritime disaster in history, with losses exceeding those of the Titanic and Lusitania combined. This talk attempts to explain why so many who were lost will never be accounted for.

Author: Janet Dempsey Duration: 30:36

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Detail from newspaper list of bankrupts

Credit crunch histories: records of bankrupts in The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Bankruptcy proceedings have been taking place in England and Wales for over 400 years. The records created by this process relate to about a million individual 'credit crunches'. This talk describes the bankruptcy records for England and Wales held by The National Archives, indicating the best ways of researching them, and referring to related records elsewhere

Chris Cooper has worked at The National Archives since 1986, mainly in the public services and corporate planning areas. One of his first jobs when he arrived as a trainee was to write a guide to bankruptcy records, he has remained interested in them ever since.

Author: Chris Cooper Duration: 00:30:52

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Detail from Loyal Volunteers Certificate of New York, catalogue reference FO 4/1

Freedom fighters: sources for black loyalists at The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Abi Husainy reveals the African American contribution to the American revolution, using documents and concrete examples found in The National Archives' holdings to bring to life the struggles and hardships endured by black loyalists in the pursuit of freedom and the promise of democracy.

Author: Abi Hussainy Duration: 00:23:27

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The Public Record Office (Catalogue Reference: PRO 62/2)

A history of the Public Record Office

Published date: Fri, 08 Oct 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Vanessa Carr takes us through a brief history of the Public Record Office, looking at public records from 1086 to 2003.

Author: Vanessa Carr Duration: 37:44

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Portrait of Charles Dickens 1899 - Catalogue reference: COPY/1/440/37

Charles Dickens, Warren's Blacking and the Chancery Court

Published date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 12:00:00 GMT

At the age of 12, the delicate and genteelly brought up Charles Dickens was plunged into employment in a boot-blacking factory, while his father was incarcerated in Marshalsea debtors' prison. These events traumatised the young Dickens, and greatly influenced his future work. However, as an adult this difficult period was never discussed, and only after his death did his account come out. That account has never been corroborated or challenged, but author Michael Allen has discovered that Dickens' employers at Warren's Blacking were fighting each other in the Chancery Court, revealing a great deal of new information. Michael Allen has a 38 year career in libraries and has written and lectured widely on Dickens.

Author: Michael Allen Duration: 28:20

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Save kitchen scraps to feed the hens - Catalogue reference: INF13/143 f13

Civil registration and beyond

Published date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Find out how documents held by The National Archives can reveal a fascinating picture of the domestic lives of ordinary people living through the Second World War.

Author: Sarah Hutton Duration: 28:32

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The first Afghan war

The first Afghan war

Published date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 14:00:00 GMT

In this talk, journalist and historian Jules Stewart will guide us through the 1838-1842 period of Afghan history. Just some of the events explored include the Persian siege of Herat with Russian assistance, which Britain feared would lead to an invasion of India through Afghanistan; the issuance of the infamous Simla Manifesto that justified the invasion; the military and political blunders that brought on the uprising in Kabul; the forced evacuation of the Kabul garrison and the destruction of the entire army on the retreat to Jalalabad; and the second invasion by the Army of Retribution and the inconclusive end to the war. The talk will also take a brief look at the second and third Afghan wars.

Jules Stewart has spent most of his professional life in journalism, reporting from more than 30 countries. A graduate of New York University and the University of Madrid, he began his career as an academic, lecturing at two US universities before moving to Madrid, where he spent 20 years as a journalist. After joining Reuters, Stewart re-located to London in 1987, now his permanent home. He has been working as a freelance reporter since 1994. In recent years Stewart has turned his efforts to authorship, producing four books to date on the history of the British on the North-West Frontier and in Afghanistan.

Author: Jules Stewart Duration: 00:31:11

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Sailors, storms and science

Sailors, storms and science: how Royal Navy logbooks help us understand climate change

Published date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Dr Dennis Wheeler, from the University of Sunderland, discusses the use of historical Royal Navy logbooks in studies of climate change, focusing on the archival resources rather than scientific conclusions. The Ships' logbooks were the main resource used to monitor the weather in the oceans. Officers onboard kept careful records of the daily, and sometimes hourly, climate conditions. What that means today is modern researchers are able to find out what the weather was like anywhere in the world on a particular day.

This talk was given as part of the Using Archival Sources to Inform Contemporary Debates training course, which was held at The National Archives, Kew, on the 16 and 17 February 2010

Author: Dennis Wheeler Duration: 00:24:59

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Los Alamos atomic bomb test photograph

Catch-up history and the Cold War

Published date: Fri, 03 Sep 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Professor Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary, London University, and author of The Secret State, examines the 'particles and patterns of the past' to peer into the part of the post-war British state kept under wraps for the duration of the Cold War.

This lecture was delivered to the Friends of The National Archives.

Author: Professor Peter Hennessy Duration: 37:49

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Example of M!5 file, catalogue reference: KV2/3266

MI5 file release August 2010

Published date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 00:05:00 GMT

Professor Christopher Andrew introduces the 25th Security Service records release, which contains 170 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to more than 4,500. As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with the remainder a combination of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4) and organisation files (KV 5). The records cover a range of subjects and span the inter-war, Second World War and post-war eras.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 00:15:21

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Sketch showing flying saucer sighted over cornfield at East Grinstead, Surrey; catalogue reference: DEFE 24/1996/1

UFO file release August 2010

Published date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Dr David Clarke, author of The UFO files and senior lecturer in Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, reveals the importance of the latest batch of UFO files to be released by The National Archives. The 18 files released cover UFO sightings reported to the Ministry of Defence from 1995-2003, and hold copies of original correspondence from members of the public reporting close encounters. Dr Clarke highlights some of the files' most interesting reports, explaining their significance to trends in UFO sightings and how they were dealt with by the Ministry of Defence.

Author: Dr David Clarke Duration: 00:16:41

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Cook’s Excursionist Brochure

Tourists and booking clerks - information for family historians in the Thomas Cook Archives

Published date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Paul Smith, company archivist of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, offers a general account of the holdings of the Thomas Cook Archives, with particular reference to records that might prove useful for family historians, such as staff magazines, contracts of employment and passenger lists. The talk also provides a brief history of the Thomas Cook organisation, and explains the importance of its archives for anyone, from academics to film producers, with an interest in the history of travel since the mid-19th century.

Find out how to research business records.

Find out how we advise business archives.

Author: Paul Smith Duration: 52:33

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Detail from Treaty of London 19 April 1839 Catalogue reference: FO93/14/4

Treaties in The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 15:00:00 GMT

James Cronan introduces some of the most richly decorated and important documents held at The National Archives. While there is a wealth of information available about the wording and political significance of treaties, this talk instead showcases the types of treaties; their form, signatories, storage, seals and silks.

Author: James Cronan Duration: 00:44:25

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Two women outside The Ship Inn 1936. Catalogue reference: NSC27/7

The pub and the people

Published date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Simon Fowler use contemporary accounts to look back at the pub 'experience' over the last 70 years. What was it like to be a 'drinker' in the late 1930s, and how have things changed? The divide between modernity and tradition caused some commentators to fear for the end of the British pub: how real was the threat? This podcast was recorded live as part of the Pub History Society conference on the 20th February 2010 at The National Archives, Kew.

Author: Simon Fowler Duration: 00:21:00

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Detail of top secret file folders

Disclosure, documentary release and candour in government

Published date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 17:00:00 GMT

Jonathan Sumption OBE QC considers the issue of government secrecy throughout English history in his lecture to the Friends of The National Archives. He discusses the evolution of freedom of information, from Roman times to present-day press leaks, and debates whether disclosed documents may become less meaningful if officials and ministers ensure their views are not recorded in writing.

Author: Jonathan Sumption OBE QC Duration: 00:47:51

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Detail from Empire Marketing Board poster. Catalogue reference: CO/956/144

The South African empire

Published date: Wed, 07 Jul 2010 17:00:00 GMT

Historian Dr Anne Samson explores South Africa's attempt to build an empire over the past century. The talk examines how successful South Africa was in adapting its desire in line with the changing international situation, moving from physical to expansion to economic, and later ideological, control.

Author: Dr Anne Samson Duration: 00:23:41

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Seal of Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick - Catalogue reference: E 329/422

Identity and identity theft

Published date: Fri, 02 Jul 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Steve Hindle of the University of Warwick shows how contemporary issues relating to international migration were also present in 17th century parish migration. He looks at how authorities throughout British history used different technologies to try to stop forgery and theft and control migration.

This talk was delivered as part of the Using Archival Sources to Inform Contemporary Policy Debates conference.

Author: Steve Hindle Duration: 25:36

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Catalogue reference: WORK 25/2083D

The National Archives goes to the movies

Published date: Mon, 21 Jun 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Trace the history of cinema in Britain through the collections of The National Archives. From silent classics and lost masterpieces to the controversial cult films of the 1970s, see how politicians and civil servants grappled with the new medium and how the government influenced film in Britain. What film made Marie Stopes threaten the Home Office with legal action? Which groundbreaking British cartoon was financed by the CIA and why did Sir Ranulph Fiennes attempt to blow up the set of Dr. Doolittle? Joseph Pugh is a member of the Education and Outreach team at The National Archives. He has worked for a number of museums and galleries including the National Portrait Gallery and the Petrie Collection and for BBC History. His research interests include comics in the 1950s, how to win a duel and fainting in the 19th century.

Author: Joseph Pugh Duration: 1:00:34

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White Hart Inn - Brasted-Kent, catalogue reference: INF 14-195

Women, darts and the pub in the interwar period

Published date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Dart historian Patrick Chaplin offers a surprising insight into the role of women in the social history of darts. He challenges the commonly held belief that women in the interwar period rarely participated in darts, or other pub games, because of their restricted access to the 'masculine republic' of the tap room, the public bar and the vault.

This podcast was recorded live as part of the Pub History Society conference on the 20th February 2010 at The National Archives, Kew.

Author: Patrick Chaplin Duration: 00:29:45

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Thomas Elwen & Son Malt Stout advertisement, 1898 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/142 Pt1 f315

Lost London pubs

Published date: Wed, 26 May 2010 12:00:00 GMT

'Lost London pubs' looks back at the changing nature and purpose of pubs over the past 250 years, illustrated through speaker Jack Adams' own collection of books about pubs published during this period.

This podcast was recorded live as part of the Pub History Society conference on the 20th February 2010 at The National Archives, Kew. We apologise for any resulting distortion in sound quality.

Author: Jack Adams Duration: 37:47

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Fleet marriage party - Catalogue reference: K4

Tracing marriages in 18th century England and Wales: a reassessment of law and practice

Published date: Fri, 21 May 2010 12:00:00 GMT

The Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753 marked an important development in the history of marriage by putting the requirements for a valid marriage on a statutory basis for the first time. But what was the situation before 1753, and what practical impact did the Act have on popular practice? This thorough reassessment of law and practice is of particular relevance to those tracing their ancestors. First, the universality of formal marriage increases the likelihood that a record of an ancestor's marriage will exist somewhere; secondly, parish-level studies provide us with a clearer idea of where one may need to look for a marriage; and, thirdly, success or failure in tracing a marriage can be set within the context of the marriage law and practice of the time.

Author: Rebecca Probert Duration: 36:50

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Jewish tax receipt roll for Norwich,1233  - Catalogue reference: E 401/1565)

Dependence, intolerance and expulsion: the story of the Jews in England, 1066 - 1290

Published date: Wed, 19 May 2010 12:00:00 GMT

William the Conqueror invited Jews into England from Normandy around 1070, but the Jewish community of merchants and money lenders formed an uneasy relationship with the English crown and people. Medieval Jews were considered to be the king's property, and received certain protection, despite ruthless exploitation of their finances by the crown. However, their religious beliefs created suspicion that resulted in frequent persecution.

Author: Sean Cunningham and Adrian Jobson Duration: 42:02

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Establishment of a Welsh Colony on the River Chupat in Patagonia. Correspondence. 1865-1867 - Catalogue reference: FO 420/23

Bara Brith on the pampas: the Welsh in Patagonia

Published date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 10:00:00 GMT

In 1865, a Welsh speaking colony was established in the valley of the Chubut River in Patagonia Argentina. The original emigrants sailed from Liverpool on the Mimosa and they were joined in the 1880s by a second wave of emigrants and a further colony was established in the foothills of the Andes. Although measures were later taken to remove some of the colonists to Canada and South Africa, most of the settlers and their descendants remained in Argentina. The National Archives holds a vast amount of material relating to this relatively unknown but fascinating episode in British history. This talk looks at the main records relating to the history and development of the settlement from the earliest days to modern times, and examines why the Welsh travelled to Patagonia, what they encountered when they got there, and how the colony developed over the years.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 54:01

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Counting The People

Counting the people

Published date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Census returns are among the most popular records used by family historians and other researchers, but many of us give little thought as to what went on behind the scenes every time a census was taken. This talk explores the creation of the census, with the mass organisation of enumerators, temporary clerks, permanent civil service clerks and registrars, as well as the fascinating stories that lie behind each census, to help us better understand the records we think we know so well.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 1:04:09

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Catalogue ref: PREM 11/2818

I'm All Right Jack! Britain in 1959

Published date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

The famous Boulting Brothers film 'I'm All Right Jack!' was released just over 50 years ago. The film, in which a blundering innocent causes a nationwide strike, was a satire - but did it also reflect social realities in 1959? Were trade unions and government on a collision course at this time? Does it reflect other trends in post-war Britain? This talk analyses the film and examines related material in the public record of the late 1950s - some of the results may seem surprising from today's perspective.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 00:52:54

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Hitler Youth Cycling - Catalogue reference: KV8/85

Highlights of Security Service files released at The National Archives

Published date: Mon, 08 Mar 2010 10:00:00 GMT

This is the twenty-fourth Security Service records release and contains 196 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to more than 4,300. As with previous releases, around 80% of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with a small number of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6). The files cover subjects from the pre-war period, the Second World War and the post-war period, dealing with a range of groups and subjects. We apologise for the poor sound quality during the first few minutes of the recording.

Author: Professor Chistopher Andrew Duration: 21:02

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Kindertransport children - Image courtesy of The Wiener Library

Kindertransport: Britain's rescue plan

Published date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 10:00:00 GMT

The Wiener Library holds many personal accounts of children evacuated from Nazi Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia between December 1938 and September 1939. Using individual first-hand accounts sourced from The Wiener Library and documents held at The National Archives, this talk gives insights into how Britain dealt with the refugee children who arrived on the Kindertransports and the difficulties they faced.

Author: Ela Kaczmarska Duration: 51:56

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Fashion or ration: Hartnell, Amies and dressing for the Blitz

Published date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

How did the fashionable woman of the Second World War and post war era manage to remain chic in a climate of rationing? Using sources from The National Archives this talk will consider the fashion industry of the time, and reveal how designers Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies not only contributed to the war effort, but made a lasting impact on British style.

Author: Robert Daoust Duration: 26:48:00

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Tracing ancestors in Nelson's Navy

Published date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 13:00:00 GMT

An overview of the essential finding aids and documents held by The National Archives which can be used to trace ancestors who served in Nelson's Navy.

Author: Bruno Pappalardo Duration: 34:11

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The seal of Owain Glyn Dwr, on his 1404 treaty with Charles VI of France

Medieval warfare: sources and approaches

Published date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

An exploration of how records created by the crown before 1485 can be used to study medieval armies, campaigns and battles in Britain and France. The talk will focus on the records of key battles such as Bannockburn, Crécy and Agincourt.

Author: Adrian Jobson/James Ross Duration: 49:58

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New Britons - Immigration to the United Kingdom

New Britons - Immigration to the United Kingdom

Published date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

This talk looks at immigration into Britain from the 16th to the 20th century and the relatively few sources that can be used to trace immigrants entering, and living, in this country. Records discussed can provide vital clues to the overseas origins of denizens or naturalised British citizens, as well as providing insight into their first years in their adopted country.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 54:09

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H-Peters-Wines-&-Spirits-Southwark-1877 - Catalogue reference: TNA(PRO)COPY1-36f238-SHOP

Shop workers: tracing your retail ancestors

Published date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

We all go shopping, albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and many of us have also worked in shops. It was the same for our ancestors, and although the records may not always be easy to find, they are out there if you know where to look. There is also a wealth of background material to show us what our ancestors' shopping and shopkeeping experience was like.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 1:00:10

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New files from 1979

Published date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 09:00:00 GMT

An introduction to newly releases files from 1979, covering subjects such as the winter of discontent, cuts to the civil service, trade union strikes, and the new Thatcher administration, providing a fascinating insight into government 30 years ago. Other subjects include the Iranian revolution and the British military withdrawal from Malta. Presented by Mark Dunton, and introduced by Frances McDarby.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 10:46

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From cotton spinning to coffins: specifications for patents of invention

Published date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

Patents of invention cover a vast range of ideas, from the industrial and agricultural revolutions, to transport, domestic life and health. Many are bizarre, and some are even horrific, but they all have a fascinating story to tell. The specifications are the written descriptions of how the invention will work, with drawings where appropriate. This talk focuses particularly on the drawings, while explaining the process of enrolling the specifications themselves and exploring a remarkable range of inventiveness.

Author: Vanessa Carr Duration: 40:47

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Edwardian schoolboys

Education in 1911

Published date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

What was education like for the majority of children in 1911, the year when pupils staged strikes in 62 schools? This talk provides a fascinating glimpse of day-to-day life in an Edwardian school, covering such aspects as lessons, discipline, and examinations. It also touches on the dramatic resignation of the President of the Board of Education.

Author: Ann Morton Duration: 00:38:08

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Illustrated London News, 1846 - Hulks were also known as “Hell On Water”. They were established as a temporary expedient by an Act in 1776 but were a brutal and demoralising place of confinement, filthy, and overcrowded - Catalogue reference: ZPER 34/8

Transportation to Australia

Published date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 10:00:00 GMT

Over 162,000 British and Irish convicts were transported to Australia between 1787 and 1868. This talk explores the reasons behind the policy of transportation and looks at the experiences of the people who were shipped beyond the seas, using case studies from the archives.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 48:03

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The Metropolitan Police Recruitment Poster

The Metropolitan Police: its creation and records of service

Published date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:00:00 GMT

London's Metropolitan Police service was formed in 1829. This talk provides an overview of how crime was dealt with before this date, and how to trace the records of our Metropolitan Police ancestors at The National Archives.

Author: Chris Heather Duration: 25:26

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Illustrated London News  - June 17 1865 - dreadful accident on the south-eastern railway, and loss of ten lives - Catalogue reference Reference ZPER 34/46

Railway disasters: an introduction

Published date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 12:00:00 GMT

This talk looks at some of the most famous railway accidents and disasters of the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular, the disaster at Quintinshill in 1915, in which 226 people died. The National Archives holds a wide range of documents which record details of accidents and collisions but the talk also considers other useful sources such as railway staff magazines.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 37:43

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The Consular death certificate for Oscar Wilde

Records of births, marriages and deaths

Published date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 12:00:00 GMT

This talk explores the sources available for searching for births, marriages and deaths, both at The National Archives and elsewhere, and features fascinating examples of birth, marriage and death records.

Author: Gerry Toop Duration: 59:10

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The gunpowder plot: key documents and hidden voices

Published date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 13:00:00 GMT

The National Archives holds a wide range of documents which tell the story of the Gunpowder Plot and its investigation - but their meaning is hotly contested. James Travers selects some of the key documents and shows that beneath the noise of the ideological debate, we can hear the principal characters speaking in their own words - and a very different view of the plot emerges.

Author: James Travers Duration: 39:06

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Moung-Phoset, the Burmese hairy man, 1886 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/376

Roll up, roll up: the evolution of the circus 10-in-1 show

Published date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:00:00 GMT

Circus sideshows have fascinated people for centuries. From the bearded lady to PT Barnum, contortionists to fire eaters, people have flocked to see the peculiarities of the 10-in-1 show. From their early beginnings at Bartholomew Fair to their decline in the politically correct world of the 1960s, this talk will take you on a rollercoaster ride using sources held by The National Archives and other organisations.

Author: Adele Chaplin Duration: 35:07

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COPY 1/501 Weaver and apprentice in a cotton mill, 1906

Apprenticeship records for family historians

Published date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:00:00 GMT

In this talk, Mark Pearsall, The National Archives' family history specialist, focuses on the apprenticeship system and how it worked in practice, and covers those records that survive in The National Archives, in particular the Apprenticeship Books in record series IR 1. It also suggests where to look for surviving apprenticeship records in other archives and record offices, as well as other useful sources for tracing apprentices where details of the apprenticeship indentures have not survived.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 51:11

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An introduction to sources for Anglican clergymen

Published date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 GMT

Have you found a parson, a rector or a curate amongst your ancestors? This talk will introduce you to the main sources for the history and education of Anglican clergy, at home and abroad, using sources held by The National Archives and a variety of other repositories.

Author: Jessamy Sykes Duration: 20:18

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The London Family History Centre

News from the London Family History Centre

Published date: Fri, 09 Oct 2009 09:00:00 GMT

This talk highlights new features of this popular South Kensington destination, including access to important new databases, more English church records on microfilm, a newly organised collection of resources for Mormon ancestors and significant additions to English probate records - including record copy wills from 1858-1925 from the Principal Probate Registry.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 38:19

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Sword Hilt

How to win a duel

Published date: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 11:00:00 GMT

A fight, possibly to the death, over a matter of honour this month. No, we're not just arguing amongst ourselves, the Past Masters team are talking about duelling. Formal duelling evolved from medieval sword fights into pistols at dawn before fading away in the 19th century. We'll be looking at what survives in the Archives from these risky and generally highly illegal fights and finding out what happens to the winners and losers of a duel.

Author: Past Masters Duration: 25:35

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The Truth is in Here: UFOs at The National Archives

Published date: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 14:00:00 GMT

From ghost rockets in Scandinavia to mysterious spheres tracked over Eritrea, the Past Masters team look at the records of Unidentified Flying Objects held at The National Archives and ask, is the truth in here? The Ministry of Defence is now transferring files on UFOs to The National Archives covering 1978 to 2002. You can keep up with all the new releases at nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos/. A selection of documents from The National Archives used in this podcast are below.

Author: Past Masters Duration: 34:47

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Replica of the great seal of Edward III

Two Crowns, One King: Henry V and the Treaty of Troyes

Published date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 12:00:00 GMT

The Past Masters team join Henry V in the battle for France. Henry fought the Hundred Years War on two fronts - military and diplomatic - but was the signing of the Treaty of Troyes in 1420 his greatest victory or just a millstone around England's neck? And more importantly, can we really cover a century of conflict in less than 30 minutes?

Author: Past Masters Duration: 29:09

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Charles Darwin (COPY1/57/255)

Darwin's voyage: HMS Beagle 1831-6

Published date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 GMT

In 1831, in his twenties and fresh out of university, Charles Darwin set sail aboard HMS Beagle on the expedition of a lifetime, into literally uncharted waters and a series of discoveries that would form the basis of his later pioneering work on the origin of species. Join the Past Masters team as we delve into the Archives to find out where Darwin went, what life on the Beagle was like and to discover how the most exciting gap year in history went on to change the face of science.

Author: Past Masters Duration: 22.27

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Roy Thomas Harris - London gazette 17 December 1940

Civilian honours and awards

Published date: Fri, 02 Oct 2009 10:00:00 GMT

The London Gazette is a crucial source for announcements of military and civilian honours and awards. This talk explains how to use and get the best out of the Gazette, and how further information about awards can be found among the records held by The National Archives, many of which are now available online.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 17:24

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Movement of Internees abroad: diary kept by internee who was shipped from the Isle of Man to Camp Hay, Australia and back, 1940-1 - Catalogue reference: HO 215/263

Internment

Published date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 12:00:00 GMT

On the declaration of war on 3 September 1939, some 70,000 Germans and Austrians resident in the UK became classed as enemy aliens. This talk looks at official papers relating to the tribunals, the policy of internment, individual internees, and the camps in which they were interned.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 40:03

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Damage to buildings. Catalogue reference AIR20-4376

GIs and POWs: Kew in the Second World War

Published date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 GMT

Local historian Christopher May reveals the wartime history of The National Archives' Kew site. American servicemen stationed here created the maps used in the Normandy landings of 1944. Later, the same buildings were used to house Italian prisoners of war who helped to clear bomb damage in London.

Author: Chistopher May Duration: 36:58

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Submarine crew surrender to HMS Easton, 1943 - Catalogue refrence: CN 1/35

The battle that frightened Churchill: the war in the Atlantic

Published date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:00:00 GMT

On 3 September 1939, the passenger liner Athenia was sunk by U30. So began the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest and most complex campaign of the Second World War. The battle pitted the submariners of the Kriegsmarine against the Allied merchant fleet who were providing Britain's vital life line. This talk follows the changes in fortune of both the Kriegsmarine and the merchant fleet, and explains why Winston Churchill knew that the Battle of the Atlantic was the battle that Britain could not afford to lose.

Author: Janet Dempsey Duration: 45:05

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Catalogue reference: AO 3/908/13

Forgeries in the archives

Published date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:00:00 GMT

Forgery has always been a major problem to archivists and librarians - from the great 19th century Shakespearean forgers to more recent examples in the 21st century of people who forged letters about the murder of Himmler and the social life of Noel Coward.

Author: David Thomas Duration: 43:12

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Death duty register entry. Catalogue Rerefence: IR 26/2551

The final balance: researching families and wealth in the 19th century using the death duty records

Published date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

This presentation explores how The National Archives' collection of death duty records can be used to research families and wealth-holding in 19th century Britain. The talk unravels some of the complexities of working with the records and explains how the different records can be linked with other sources of interest to those researching families and wealth.

Author: Alistair Owens and David Green Duration: 47:40

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Lord Steward's Department, Buttery, Pantry and Cellar, Charles II, 1660-1661 - Catalogue reference: LS13-91

Upstairs and downstairs in the royal household

Published date: Fri, 07 Aug 2009 07:35:00 GMT

An introduction to the administration of the Royal Household from the restoration of Charles II to the death of Victoria. The talk is based on the records of the Lord Chamberlain's Department and the Lord Steward's Department, which were responsible for above stairs and below stairs management respectively. All the minutiae of royal life is here, from the granting of warrants to tradesmen, to the daily menus prepared for the kitchens.

Author: Vanessa Carr Duration: 50:24

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Birth certificate - Catalogue reference: RG 5/120 f.238

Dr Williams' Library: an early birth registry

Published date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 17:00:00 GMT

Dr Williams' Library in London is an essential resource for people who are researching the history of protestant nonconformity in England and Wales. But the library has also given its name to an important collection of registers and certificates which were once held there. This talk looks at these fascinating documents which represent an early attempt to introduce a form of civil registration of births.

Author: Dave Annal Duration: 27:08

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Road safety poster, ca 1969 - Catalogue reference: INF 13/290

Summer of '69

Published date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:00:00 GMT

A look back at the year in which Neil Armstrong took his 'giant leap for mankind', Concorde continued its flight test programme and the hippy culture reached its zenith with the age of the pop festival. However, the summer of '69 also saw Harold Wilson's government wrestling with difficult issues such as the sending of British troops to Northern Ireland. This illustrated talk explores the British take on the summer of '69, using examples from public records to shed light on this eventful time.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 1:00:48

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Royal Naval medals: an introduction

Royal Naval medals: an introduction

Published date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 12:00:00 GMT

This talk discusses the Royal Naval medal rolls held by The National Archives in record series ADM 171, and explains how to interpret the most commonly used codes and abbreviations found in them. It also demonstrates how the medal rolls can be used to locate other records relating to an individual's Royal Naval service.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 35:21

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CENSUS RECORDS  Entry for Oscar Wilde, 16 Tite Street - Catalogue reference: RG 12/63

Genius on trial: key sources relating to Oscar Wilde at The National Archives

Published date: Fri, 03 Jul 2009 12:00:00 GMT

The arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Oscar Wilde was one of the most sensational and controversial episodes of the late Victorian era, with far-reaching social and cultural implications. This talk presents the key documents held by The National Archives on Oscar Wilde, and uses them to tell the story of the events which culminated in 1895 in his three trials and a sentence of two years' imprisonment with hard labour.

Author: Charles Tattersall Duration: 40:51

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Empire Marketing board poster - Catalogue reference CO 956/537A

Researching the British Empire and Commonwealth

Published date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:00:00 GMT

The British Empire existed for four centuries and, at its height, governed one quarter of the world's population. Mandy Banton introduces the records of British government departments responsible for the administration of colonial affairs from about 1801 to 1968, outlining the expansion of the Empire during this period.

Author: Mandy Banton Duration: 44:03

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Death insurance proposal form. Catalogue reference ASSI 52/6

Burial clubs - the unfriendly societies

Published date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 00:55:14 GMT

Friendly Societies were popular in the 19th Century, and were regulated by law. Surprisingly, burial clubs, which offered a form of life insurance, didn't always fall into this category, and provided many incentives to commit fraud - and even murder!

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 00:55:14

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Titanic Lives: The Crew of RMS Titanic

Published date: Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:19:03 GMT

Much has been written about RMS Titanic, but this has tended to concentrate on the ship and its passengers. Using sources such as crew lists, local newspapers, Titanic Fund minute books and the newly released 1911 census, this talk traces the lives of a crewmen and his family and seeks to answer the question: What was life like for families in Southampton in the aftermath of the tragedy?

Author: James Cronan Duration: 47:05

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Charles Darwin, 1882. Catalogue reference: COPY 1/56 folio 768

Charles Darwin and the Beagle

Published date: Fri, 29 May 2009 12:00:00 GMT

An investigation into the real reasons behind the celebrated voyage of HMS Beagle (1831-1836) and the momentous decision by Captain Robert FitzRoy to choose Charles Darwin to accompany him.

Author: James Taylor Duration: 1:03:01

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Timothy Buckley

Prison: five hundred years behind bars

Published date: Fri, 22 May 2009 GMT

A look at the changing nature of imprisonment over the centuries and the experiences of those who endured it, charting the growth of the national prison system in England and Wales from castle dungeons to purpose-built concrete gaols.

Author: Edward Marston Duration: 53:51

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Kripo photographs and index cards showing the four escapers murdered by Kiel Gestapo - Catalogue reference: WO 235/431

The Great Escape: you've seen the film, now hear the truth

Published date: Fri, 15 May 2009 12:00:00 GMT

During the night of 24 March 1944, 76 airmen escaped from the Prisoner of War camp Stalag Luft III. Only three made it home and, of the remainder, 50 were murdered on Hitler's orders. This talk will explain what actually happened in the so-called Great Escape, one of the Second World War's most infamous incidents.

Author: Alan Bowgen Duration: 52:42

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A police team searches for the body of teh wife of Dr Crippen, 1910 - Catalogue reference: MEPO 3/198

Catching Victorian and Edwardian criminals on paper

Published date: Fri, 08 May 2009 10:00:00 GMT

The problem of serious habitual criminals and how to keep track of them greatly exercised the minds of our Victorian and Edwardian forebears. This lecture focuses on the methods utilised by police and government to record and monitor such offenders, and how the surviving records can beused by present-day historians to investigate both historical and contemporary questions concerning serious and persistent crime.

Author: Professor Barry Godfrey and Doctor David Cox Duration: 27:26

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Titanic name plate - Catalogue reference COPY 1/566

Every journey has two ends: using passenger lists

Published date: Fri, 01 May 2009 12:00:00 GMT

The National Archives' Chris Watts reveals the benefits of using both arrival and departure records when searching for details of our migrant ancestors, as well as demonstrating how the shortcomings of content, indexing and accessibility can be minimised.

Author: Chris Watts Duration: 45:21

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Highways of Empire poster, Empire Marketing Board, 1927 - Catalogue Reference: CO 956/537 A

From Mountbatten to Patten: the last proconsuls and the ending of the British Empire

Published date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 17:55:00 GMT

After the Second World War, the role of governors in Britain's overseas territories changed. This talk examines the colourful personalities and mixed fortunes of these proconsuls, and argues that, in spite of their declining power and authority, they performed a key role in managing imperial retreat.

Author: Tony Stockwell Duration: 51:15

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Joe Coral’s registration card - Catalogue reference: MEPO 35/16/2

Naturalisation and alien registration

Published date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Using records at The National Archives, this talk examines the various Alien Acts that affected the status of foreigners resident in the UK from the 19th century, and the reasons why so many chose to become naturalised British citizens.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 44:40

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J. A. Dunn Aberdeens Boot Warehouseman - Catalogue reference COPY 1/114

Finding company records

Published date: Thu, 09 Apr 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Historian, Alex Ritchie, looks at the distribution of business records and introduces the finding aids that are available to researchers, as well as revealing some of the less obvious resources that can be used to identify and track down business information.

Find out how to research business records.

Find out how we advise business archives.

Author: Alex Ritchie Duration: 28:25

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DNA double helix

What can you learn from a DNA test?

Published date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Chris Pomeroy, of the Pomeroy DNA Project, reviews the history of DNA testing and explains how it can be used by family historians, as well as discussing the experiences of leading family history projects that are using DNA testing to link and verify their family trees.

Author: Chris Pomery Duration: 1:00:23

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George Ives

George Ives: queer lives and the family

Published date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Cultural historian Matt Cook delves into the diary of George Ives, the early homosexual law reformer, and considers the issue of family, a pertinent and recurrent theme within Ives' diary.

Author: Matt Cook Duration: 49:41

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Map of Ogmore Castle and mill, 1579 - Catalogue reference: MPC 1/49

Locality, land and livelihood: sources for early local history

Published date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:00:00 GMT

An introduction to medieval and early modern sources relating to English and Welsh local history. Sean Cunningham and James Ross explore the vast collection of accounts, surveys, court rolls, inquisitions, deeds and taxation records held at The National Archives.

Author: Sean Cunningham and James Ross Duration: 42:56

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Charles Darwin 1882 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/56 f767

Tracing your ancestors: a case study featuring the Darwin family

Published date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 12:00:00 GMT

A step-by-step guide to tracing your ancestors, using the Darwin family as a case study. Gerry Toop introduces researchers to the most important genealogical sources available at The National Archives and elsewhere, including birth, marriage and death indexes, census returns, wills and death duty records, as well as some of the main websites for family history research.

Author: Gerry Toop Duration: 1:00:35

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Pullar’s Dye Works, Perth 1884 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/65 folio 150

Tracing Scottish ancestors

Published date: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Holding records for Scotland from the union in 1707, The National Archives holds documents on many of our Scottish ancestors. Find out how to go about discovering them in this talk by Audrey Collins.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 52:37

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Report of the amputation of Nelson's arm by surgeon James Farquhar on board HMS Theseus 1797 - Catalogue reference: ADM 101/123/2

Dissecting and cataloguing medical officers' journals in ADM 101

Published date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Bruno Pappalardo introduces the collection of medical officers' journals found in ADM 101. These journals give a detailed insight into a ship's daily activities, as well as the science and wildlife that was encountered by British Navy medical officers.

Author: Bruno Pappalardo Duration: 14:33

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Royal Air Force aeroplane - Catalogue reference: AIR 1

Royal Air Force service records

Published date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 12:00:00 GMT

Last year saw the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Air Force. The records of thousands of men (and women) who served in the RAF and its predecessors during the First World War are held by The National Archives. This talk will demonstrate how you can use these records to find out more about your ancestors' lives in this pioneering branch of the armed services.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 40:21

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Catalogue reference INF 3/518: Shoulder of a Commando, Roland Davies, 1939-1945

Kapow! Fifties Britain versus the comics menace

Published date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 15:00:00 GMT

In the mid 1950s Britain woke up to the threat of an invasion: "American style" comics were accused of ruining the reading habits of vulnerable children across the country and even inciting racism and violence. Could Captain Marvel cause crime? See the comics condemned as harmful and find out what action the government took to stamp out the comics menace.

Author: Jo Pugh Duration: 53:31

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Ireland: Munster (except County Clare), map showing place-names, rivers, forests and towns - Catalogue reference: MPF 1/74

Irish land records

Published date: Fri, 06 Feb 2009 11:00:00 GMT

With the loss of the 19th century census returns for Ireland, Sharon Hintze guides us through the alternative sources for family historians researching their Irish ancestors.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 43:14

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Irish land records - British Sign Language video

Irish land records - British Sign Language video

Published date: Fri, 06 Feb 2009 11:00:00 GMT

With the loss of the 19th century census returns for Ireland, Sharon Hintze guides us through the alternative sources for family historians researching their Irish ancestors.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 43:14

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Civil registration and beyond - BSL content available

Civil registration and beyond - British Sign Language Video

Published date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

The National Archives' Audrey Collins takes civil registration as her topic and reveals some of the little-known facts and stories behind the records.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 56:58

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RG and HO series

Civil registration and beyond

Published date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

The National Archives' Audrey Collins takes civil registration as her topic and reveals some of the little-known facts and stories behind the records.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 56:58

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Court Rolls and Other Manorial Documents from Crown Manors, Richmond1-30 Elizabeth I - Catalogue reference: LR/3-101-6m1

The Manorial Documents Register

Published date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 11:00:00 GMT

Liz Hart, from the National Advisory Service, provides an introduction to the various types of manorial records and offers a practical guide to using the Manorial Documents Register.

Author: Liz Hart Duration: 33:34

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BSL content avaliable - Court Rolls and Other Manorial Documents from Crown Manors, Richmond1-30 Elizabeth I - Catalogue reference: LR/3-101-6m1

The Manorial Documents Register - British Sign Language Video

Published date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 11:00:00 GMT

Liz Hart, from the National Advisory Service, provides an introduction to the various types of manorial records and offers a practical guide to using the Manorial Documents Register.

Author: Liz Hart Duration: 33:34

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1911census.co.uk

Introducing the 1911 census

Published date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Mark Pearsall is a family history specialist at The National Archives. Here he provides an introduction to the newly released 1911 census and tells us how invaluable it will be for family historians.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 7:14

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1911 census logo - BSL content available

Introducing the 1911 census - British Sign Language Video

Published date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Mark Pearsall is a family history specialist at The National Archives. Here he provides an introduction to the newly released 1911 census and tells us how invaluable it will be for family historians.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 7:14

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Barnardos, Canada

Child emigration to Canada - BSL Sign Language Video

Published date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 10:00:00 GMT

Find out about the British child emigration schemes from 1618 to 1967 as Roger Kershaw examines the reasons and the records behind the schemes to Canada, Australia, South Africa and beyond.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 38:26

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Barnardos, Canada

Child emigration to Canada

Published date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 10:00:00 GMT

Find out about the British child emigration schemes from 1618 to 1967 as Roger Kershaw examines the reasons and the records behind the schemes to Canada, Australia, South Africa and beyond.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 38:26

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James Callaghan Nature Trail in Newfoundland - Catalogue reference: PREM 16/1531

New files From 1978

Published date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Contemporary historian Mark Dunton discusses the release of high-profile records from 1978, which provide fascinating insight into the thinking of key government figures in the run-up to the Winter of Discontent.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 13:13

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James Callaghan Nature Trail in Newfoundland - Catalogue reference: PREM 16/1531 - BSL content available

New files From 1978 - BSL Sign Language Video

Published date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Contemporary historian Mark Dunton discusses the release of high-profile records from 1978, which provide fascinating insight into the thinking of key government figures in the run-up to the Winter of Discontent.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 13:13

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A repository at The National Archives

Filling the gaps

Published date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Professor Peter Hennessey presents records officers and information managers as 'unsung heroes' in providing historians, such as himself, with rich collections to use. He also discusses the hugely successful Waldegrave initiative which has led to hundreds of thousands of files being released, creating a new currency for historians.

Author: Professor Peter Hennessey Duration: 28:12

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Document showing the countering WW1 submarine threat - Catalogue reference: MT 25/1

Merchant Navy operational records

Published date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Janet Dempsey examines the wealth of records which deal with the tragedy, terror, heroism and honour of the Merchant Navy in both World Wars.

Author: Janet Dempsy Duration: 25:52

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A colour portrait of Winston Churchill - Catalogue reference: INF 3/67

Cabinet Papers, 1915-1977

Published date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Laura Withey (Project Manager) and Dr. Ed Hampshire (Records Specialist) talk about this exciting new project, the new web pages and the records being made available online for the first time.

Author: Ed Hampshire Duration: 17:48

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The Real Little Dorrit - British Sign Language Video

The real Little Dorrit: Charles Dickens and the debtors' prison - British Sign Language video

Published date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 15:00:00 GMT

David Thomas examines the reality behind Charles Dickens' fiction - what were Victorian debtors' prisons really like and how accurate was Dickens' portrayal of them?

Author: David Thomas Duration: 47:54

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Charles Dickens, 1910 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/541

The real Little Dorrit: Charles Dickens and the debtors' prison

Published date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 15:00:00 GMT

David Thomas examines the reality behind Charles Dickens' fiction - what were Victorian debtors' prisons really like and how accurate was Dickens' portrayal of them?

Author: David Thomas Duration: 47:54

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New Poor Law poster, Huddersfield - Catalogue reference: EXT 1/12

Radicalism and unrest

Published date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 12:00:00 GMT

From the early trade unions of the 18th century, through to the Luddites and Chartists of the 19th century, there was a profound desire to protect or improve living standards. This talk looks at what ordinary people really thought about their world and what types of records we should be exploring to discover how they tried - and sometimes succeeded - in changing their part of it.

Author: Paul Carter and Jenni Orme Duration: 54:14

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GNR Stirling Single no.5 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/404

God's Wonderful Railway

Published date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 11:00:00 GMT

Find out how the development of the railways transformed the landscape of Great Britain and became the agent of enormous social change. Bruno Derrick explores the early years of the Great Western Railway, from its foundation to the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, and brings to light the vast collection of records in the custody of The National Archives.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 45:28

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BSL content available - GNR Stirling Single no.5 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/404

God's Wonderful Railway - British Sign Language video

Published date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 11:00:00 GMT

Find out how the development of the railways transformed the landscape of Great Britain and became the agent of enormous social change. Bruno Derrick explores the early years of the Great Western Railway, from its foundation to the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, and brings to light the vast collection of records in the custody of The National Archives.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 45:28

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BSL content available - Bradford, 1901 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/452

The parish: administration and records - British Sign Language video

Published date: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 11:00:00 GMT

For hundreds of years the parish was the most important unit of local government. This talk covers the historical administration of the parish, its officials and their records, as well as showing you how you can use these records to trace your ancestors and find out more about their local community.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 48:03

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Bradford, 1901 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/452

The parish: administration and records

Published date: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 11:00:00 GMT

For hundreds of years the parish was the most important unit of local government. This talk covers the historical administration of the parish, its officials and their records, as well as showing you how you can use these records to trace your ancestors and find out more about their local community.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 48:03

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Entry for Nicholas Robilliard - Catalogue reference: CUST 39/21

Customs and Excise service records

Published date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:00:00 GMT

Everyone hates taxes! Find out what Dr Johnson thought of them in this illustrated talk in which Janet Dempsey reveals how to hunt down the revenue collectors in your family.

Author: Janet Dempsey Duration: 23:12

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Referendum leaflet - Catalogue reference: INF 12/1285

Unfinished business: Britain and the European Community

Published date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Focusing on Britain's changing relationship with the European Community between 1945 and 1975, Contemporary Specialist Mark Dunton guides us through the key documents that reveal the attitudes of leading figures, the diplomatic process and public perceptions of an evolving Europe.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 55:42

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Photograph of coastguards - Catalogue reference: CUST 143/15

Merchant Navy service records

Published date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Was your ancestor one of the hundreds of thousands of men who served in the Merchant Navy, keeping Britain fed and watered? This talk looks at the Merchant Navy records held at The National Archives and how to use them.

Author: Janet Dempsey Duration: 33:17

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A photo of Mary McDonald prisoner number 2424 1873 - Catalogue reference: PCOM 2/291

Victorian women prisoners

Published date: Thu, 09 Oct 2008 09:00:00 GMT

This talk looks at a series of records of women prisoners dating from 1853 to 1887 - records of females released early on licence. It also focuses on particular individuals in order to tell their tales, and illustrate the depth of information available.

Author: Chris Heather Duration: 40:52

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Rob Roy, Catalogue reference: RAIL 1005/132

Railway staff records

Published date: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Historian Bruno Derrick offers guidance on how to trace ancestors who worked on the railways during the Victorian era, both at home and abroad. Discussing the extensive collection of railway staff records held at The National Archives, this talk looks at various company records, accident records and railway magazines, and offers advice on the best ways to approach and use these resources.

Author: Bruno Derrick Duration: 37:41

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BSL content available -  Introduction to Family History

Introduction to Family History - British Sign Language video

Published date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Need advice on how to begin tracing your family's past? Presented by Audrey Collins, this talk is for anyone new to family history. As well as advising on good research habits, the speaker provides an overview of the main resources available to family historians, such as birth and marriage certificates, online and offline resources, parish records, military records and newspapers.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 58:17

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Introduction to Family History

Introduction to Family History

Published date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Need advice on how to begin tracing your family's past? Presented by Audrey Collins, this talk is for anyone new to family history. As well as advising on good research habits, the speaker provides an overview of the main resources available to family historians, such as birth and marriage certificates, online and offline resources, parish records, military records and newspapers.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 58:17

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Punch magazine - A quiet corner

Scandals in the family

Published date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Who needs fiction when there are so many true stories of scandal and intrigue? This talk looks at the misdeeds of the members of one family, through records held at The National Archives and elsewhere; featuring fraud, extortion, adultery, gambling debts and much more. (We apologise for the poor sound quality during the last ten minutes of the recording.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 51:59

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Lillywhite; photograph of a family, taken in 1887 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/382

How the Society of Genealogists can help you

Published date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 09:00:00 GMT

The Society of Genealogists offers a unique combination of research material, guidance and support for those interested in family history and the lives of earlier generations. The charity's broad objectives are to "promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy".

Author: Else Churchill Duration: 54:58

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Adams' divorce

Divorce records after 1858

Published date: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 09:00:00 GMT

An in-depth and light-hearted look into divorce records, put in context by an introduction to the very antiquated divorce laws pre-1858. Hear about the famous feminist and family planning crusader Marie Stopes' high-profile divorce. At the other end of the scale, hear the numerous reasons cited for divorce including going out without a bonnet!

Author: Liz Hore Duration: 35:26

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Enigma decrypt machine - taken from exhibition at The National Archives (not a public record)

Security Service document releases

Published date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 00:05:00 GMT

Over 150 Security Service files dating from around the time of the Second World War have now been opened. Professor Christopher Andrew, Official Historian of the Secret Service, talks about German and Soviet agents and intelligence officers, right-wing extremists and Communists, amongst others.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 26:32

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'Knight's London’ published in the late 19th century

The 'Fleet Registers' or irregular marriage registers of 17th and 18th century London

Published date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 07:00:00 GMT

More than 200,000 clandestine or irregular marriages were performed in London between 1667 and 1754. The area around the Fleet Prison in the City of London was particularly notorious, hence the name 'Fleet Registers', and at least one of the registers is known to be a forgery, as explained by Audrey Collins.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 52:11

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The National Register of Archives

The National Register of Archives

Published date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 07:00:00 GMT

This talk introduces users to the structure and content of the National Register of Archives (NRA). The NRA contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history. The speaker demonstrates search techniques to make best use of its indexes and other resources.

Author: Alex Ritchie Duration: 38:11

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Original artwork of the Resistance Movement - Catalogue reference: INF 3/1811

The Special Operations Executive, the French Resistance and the D-Day landings

Published date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 07:00:00 GMT

This talk looks at the results and effectiveness of the British Special Operations Executive, or SEO, and the French Resistance in supporting the Second World War D-Day landings.

Author: Neil Cobbett Duration: 1:01:26

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Four generations of the Page family of Southampton, 1905 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/490

Using the London Family History Centre

Published date: Thu, 07 Aug 2008 07:00:00 GMT

Director of the London Family History Centre, Sharon Hintze, gives an in-depth talk about the excellent facilities available for family historians at the centre. The centre is one of more than a hundred in the British Isles, run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Author: Sharon Hintze Duration: 44:19

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Charles II seal,1667, Catalogue reference: SP 45/12/246

The annual Ancestors Lecture: our 17th century ancestors

Published date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 07:00:00 GMT

Once we go back beyond the period of civil registration, census returns and uniform parish registers, it becomes more difficult to trace a family tree. This talk will look at early parish registers, wills, apprenticeship records, hearth tax returns and other records to see how progress might be made when the going gets tough.

Author: David Hey Duration: 47:19

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A photo of the members of the Women's Land Army with piglets, Catalogue reference: MAF 59/3

Tracing World War One ancestors

Published date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 07:30:00 GMT

William Spencer takes you through the key records for tracing your World War One ancestors, including records of women who were nurses or in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 35:37

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Sample of census record

Solving census problems

Published date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 07:30:00 GMT

David Annal takes a practical approach to overcoming the most common problems faced by family historians when using the 19th century census returns.  It may seem that some of your ancestors are missing from the returns - this talk aims to convince you that, if your ancestors were living in England or Wales at the time of the census, they were almost certainly recorded and you should be able to find them.  The odds are firmly stacked in your favour.

Author: Dave Annal Duration: 22:50

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Photograph of an ancient seal - Catalogue reference: E 42/540

Was Richard II mad?

Published date: Thu, 03 Jul 2008 08:00:00 GMT

Terry Jones, 'Python', historian, broadcaster, actor, director and comedian, has called King Richard II a "victim of spin". Here he sets out to rescue his reputation and lift the lid on the turbulent world of 14th century politics.

Author: Terry Jones Duration: 01:00:55

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A photo of a ship in harbour - Catalogue reference: INF 9/384/4

Emigration records

Published date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 08:00:00 GMT

This talk explains the reasons behind the emigration of some 16 million people since the 17th century.  It discusses the most popular destinations for emigrants as well as sources, such as outgoing passenger lists, passport records, and a host of emigration schemes supported and fostered by the Government. It also features the various child migration schemes that have been responsible in migrating some 150,000 children from the UK between 1618 and 1967. Particular reference is made to the growing number of online sources relevant to this subject.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 41:50

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A photo of Rose Cardine from the Habitual criminals register - Catalogue reference: PCOM 2/300

Criminal ancestors: trial records at The National Archives

Published date: Thu, 19 Jun 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Nigel Taylor takes us through a short introduction into the records that can be used to trace criminal ancestors.

Author: Nigel Taylor Duration: 16:22

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Pre-military 1914 army ancestors

Tracing pre-1914 army ancestors

Published date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Covering the period from 1760 to 1913, William Spencer discusses the service records of army officers and other ranks.

Author: William Spencer Duration: 34:04

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World War II: 422 Squadron, RCAF: U-Boat surrenders off Land's End, Catalogue reference: AIR 27/2830

Royal Navy service records

Published date: Thu, 05 Jun 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Mark Pearsall covers the main sources for officers and ratings service records in this introductory talk about Royal Navy service records from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.

Author: Mark Pearsall Duration: 45:02

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Paris: 29 May 1968: Peak of the Crisis  Catalogue reference: FCO 33/37

1968: Year of revolutions

Published date: Thu, 29 May 2008 08:00:00 GMT

Mark Dunton takes you back in time to a tumultuous year, using key documents to show the British Government's take on the dramatic events of 1968, and its own particular preoccupations.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 56:50

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Leytonstone ufos

UFO files from the UK Government

Published date: Thu, 22 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Listen to Dr David Clarke, an expert in UFO history, as he explains the significance of the released UFO files.

Author: Dr David Clarke Duration: 28:19

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Document entitled 'Top Secret' - Catalogue reference: DO 35/5264

Secrecy and government records

Published date: Thu, 15 May 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Professor Foot is a noted historian and academic. He is the official historian for the Second World War Special Operations Executive (SOE) and has an extensive knowledge of the background to the requirements for secrecy in government records. This is a rare opportunity to hear the views of a person who has lived with the secrecy of such records for many decades.

Author: Prof. M R D Foot Duration: 23:52

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Sir Oswald Mosley - Catalogue reference: KV 2/892

Britain and the challenge of Fascism: saving Europe at a cost

Published date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 11:00:00 GMT

How did Britons weigh up the decision to go to war in the 1930s and did things turn out as they expected? Professor David Stephenson from the London School of Economics and Political Science explains how the British Government and the British public responded differently to the rise of Fascism in Europe.

Author: Prof. David Stephenson Duration: 44:37

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Neville Chamberlain (INF 3/46)

Britain and the challenge of Fascism: saving Europe at a cost (Part 2)

Published date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT

In the second part of this two part podcast for A-Level students a chief examiner from one of the major examination boards discuss the British policy of appeasement towards the fascist regimes of Hitler and Mussolini. Chief Examiner of GCE History at Edexcel looks at how students traditionally tackle this question and how historians have grappled with it over 60 years.

Author: Geoff Stewart Duration: 39:35

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Joe Orton on holiday

Losing Orton in the archives

Published date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 08:00:00 GMT

The tangled history of the papers of the playwright Joe Orton is unwoven by Dr Matt Cook. Here he reveals the extraordinary sources that survive on the writer's life, and the perhaps even more extraordinary ones that remain stubbornly missing. Warning: the following material may not be suitable for all listeners.

Author: Dr. Matt Cook Duration: 43:02

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Security Service document - Catalogue reference: KV 2/1421

Security Service document releases

Published date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 08:00:00 GMT

From astrologers to oil barons: Professor Christopher Andrew, official historian for the Security Service, talks about espionage and tracking enemy agents.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 22:04

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Security Service document - Catalogue reference: KV 2/1421

Security Service document releases

Published date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 08:00:00 GMT

From astrologers to oil barons: Professor Christopher Andrew, official historian for the Security Service, talks about espionage and tracking enemy agents.

Author: Professor Christopher Andrew Duration: 22:04

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Photograph of a lifeboat - Catalogue reference: CUST 143/15

The Navy Board project

Published date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 10:00:00 GMT

Archivist Sue Lumas describes the painstaking cataloguing and conservation of naval records held at The National Archives.

Author: Sue Lumas Duration: 13:51

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Photograph taken in December, 1908 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/528

Watch the birdie and say 'cheese'

Published date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 10:00:00 GMT

Conservator Stephen Harwood looks at the invention and development of photography, describing all the major photographic processes and explaining how anyone can identify different photographic types from the earliest photogenic experiments to today's sophisticated gelatine-silver prints.

Author: Stephen Harwood Duration: 25:20

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Researchers in map and large document reading room at The National Archives in Kew

Research and collections at The National Archives

Published date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Caroline Williams describes how the new Research and Collections Development department is contributing to The National Archives' research, collections and academic agenda, and its benefit internally and beyond The National Archives.

Author: Caroline Williams Duration: 12:27

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Workhouse in 1900-1905

'Living the poor life': poverty and the workhouse in the 19th century

Published date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 09:00:00 GMT

Paul Carter's talk explores the poor life in 19th-century England and Wales. Using records from The National Archives, he presents allegations of cruelty to paupers, accounts of political and Chartist activities and much more.

Author: Paul Carter Duration: 12:27

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Closeup of Lord Darnley and Servant, Catalogue reference: MPF 1/366

Closing the last day: death, memory and landholding in the Inquisitions Post-Mortem, 1216 - 1660

Published date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 08:00:00 GMT

Sean Cunningham tells us how the Inquisitions Post-Mortem (IPMs) or inquests taken after the death of people who were tenants of The Crown reveal a great deal about land use, local customs, and how communal memory had an important social function for our English and Welsh ancestors. This talk looks at how these manuscripts help to paint a picture of local life and land use during the Medieval and Early Modern periods.

Author: Sean Cunningham Duration: 09:56

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First Labour Cabinet 1924 - Catalogue reference: PRO30/659

20th century Cabinet records: digitising a core collection of modern political records

Published date: Fri, 04 Jan 2008 08:00:00 GMT

Ed Hampshire discusses the Cabinet records digitisation project, explaining how the innermost records of government will soon be made fully available online and what visitors to the site can expect when the project is completed.

Author: Ed Hampshire Duration: 10:56

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Pike Musket. - Catalogue reference: MFQ1/107

Sources for army officers' commissions

Published date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Mark Dunton looks at the system for purchasing and selling commissions as it worked from 1800 - 1871. He covers first appointments, promotions, exchanges, retirement, the payment process and the activities of the 'army agents'. He uses document examples to illustrate the talk.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 31:30

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Map of Virginia in 1916 - Catalogue reference: MPG1/284

The road to Jamestown - part 2

Published date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:00:00 GMT

The second part of Sean Cunningham's talk about how and why English sailors and the English Crown turned their attention to the New World of America in the 16th century. This talk explores how piracy, greed, religion and warfare became the foundations of Elizabethan attempts to settle America.

Author: Sean Cunningham Duration: 25:37

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Map of Virginia in 1916 - Catalogue reference: MPG1/284

The road to Jamestown - part 1

Published date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Sean Cunningham talks about how and why English sailors and the English Crown turned their attention to the New World of America in the 16th century. This talk explores how piracy, greed, religion and warfare became the foundations of Elizabethan attempts to settle America.

Author: Sean Cunningham Duration: 16:54

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A colour portrait of Stalin - Catalogue reference: INF 3/78

The making of the Stalinist state 1928-1941 - part 2

Published date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT

The second part of this talk in which Dr Jane McDermid puts Joseph Stalin's Russia under the microscope from the first of the Five-Year Plans to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Author: Dr Jane McDermid Duration: 32:30

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A colour portrait of Stalin - Catalogue reference: INF 3/78

The making of the Stalinist state 1928-1941 - part 1

Published date: Thu, 22 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Dr Jane McDermid puts Joseph Stalin's Russia under the microscope from the first of the Five-Year Plans to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Author: Dr Jane McDermid Duration: 19:34

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Registration card - Catalogue reference: MEPO35/20

Modern sources for immigration - part 2

Published date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT

The second part of Roger Kershaw's talk looks at key immigration sources at The National Archives such as inwards passenger lists, certificates of arrival and alien registration cards.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 32:30

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Wedding party - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/497

Army deaths, marriages and births 1761-1913

Published date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Many family trees fall at the hurdle of locating the death of a British soldier, his marriage or the birth of his children. The records available are woefully incomplete, scattered and often not fully indexed. In this presentation, Chris Watts examines the material available for tracing these events, for a pre-First World War British soldier, and guides the researcher in its use; material available on microfiche, microfilm or the Internet is highlighted.

Author: Dr Christopher Watts Duration: 00:40:11

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Registration card - Catalogue reference: MEPO35/20

Modern sources for immigration - part 1

Published date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Part one of an in-depth look at key immigration sources at The National Archives from inwards passenger lists and certificates of arrival to alien registration cards, records of internment, and citizenship papers.

Author: Roger Kershaw Duration: 40:17

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Why Not? by John Leech. Published in Punch magazine between 1842 and 1864.

Sex, lies and civil registration

Published date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 08:00:00 GMT

When you have been researching family history for even a short time, you will realise that the information shown on certificates is not always completely accurate! Sometimes this is the result of an honest mistake, or misinterpretation of the question; sometimes people are being 'economical with the truth'; and sometimes they just tell outright lies. Why? The answer is usually to do with money or sex, and sometimes both.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 60:00

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Four generations of the Page family - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/490

In the name of God, Amen: wills for family history

Published date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Whether your ancestors owned large swathes of land in the north of England or came from a more humble background in the West Country, the chances are that somewhere along the line some of them will have left wills. In this talk, Dave Annal looks at how to access wills and how you can use them to get a better understanding of what life was really like for your ancestors.

Author: Dave Annal Duration: 33:32

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First Great Seal of Henry III - Catalogue reference: E 42/315

From Magna Carta to the parliamentary state: the Fine Rolls of King Henry III 1216-1272

Published date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Professor David Carpenter talks about this unique resource preserved at The National Archives and how the records are being made accessible on the web.

Author: Professor David Carpenter Duration: 59:24

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World War One, Audit office member, Catalogue reference: RAIL 253/516

Sources for First World War army ancestry

Published date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Mark Dunton focuses on the prime sources at The National Archives for documenting First World War army service, covering both the officers and other ranks of the British Army.

Author: Mark Dunton Duration: 34:13

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Inhabitants of an Irish village 1888 - Catalogue reference: COPY1/ 393

Tracing your Irish ancestors at The National Archives

Published date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:00:00 GMT

Less than a century ago all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom; six of its northern counties, making up Northern Ireland, still are. Many records relating to our ancestors are to be found in the UK and not in Ireland. In this talk, Audrey Collins explores some of the hidden treasures at The National Archives.

Author: Audrey Collins Duration: 42:40

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Painting of Robin Hood - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/42/f323

Medieval criminals and the law

Published date: Thu, 07 Jun 2007 08:00:00 GMT

An introduction to the formidable collection of documents that relate to the law and criminals during the medieval period using case studies.  James Ross provides practical tips on how to access the collections, as well as shedding some light on one of the most fascinating areas of medieval society.

Author: James Ross Duration: 38:07

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Thomas Paine - Catalogue reference: MPL1/134

What at first was plunder: tracing records of excisemen

Published date: Thu, 31 May 2007 08:00:00 GMT

James Cronan examines sources for tracing excisemen, including staff lists and joining papers, and will use case studies such as Thomas Paine. He will also consider the role of an excise officer and how the excise service developed.

Author: James Cronan Duration: 37:07

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A snippet from the Magna Carta - Catalogue reference: DL 10/71

King John and Magna Carta

Published date: Wed, 23 May 2007 01:00:00 GMT

History has portrayed King John as a tyrannical monarch whose arbitrary conduct forced his barons into rebellion and the eventual restriction of his powers in the iconic charter of liberties, Magna Carta. Using original sources held at The National Archives, Adrian Jobson explores some of the key crises and events of the reign before asking whether King John really deserves his reputation as one of England's worst kings.

Author: Adrian Jobson Duration: 43:01

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Henry VIII

Henry VIII: dynasty and power in Tudor England

Published date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 10:00:00 GMT

An introduction to the documents of Henry VIII's reign through the story of his struggles to secure personal power, to make the right marriage, and to pass the crown to a male heir.

Author: Sean Cunningham Duration: 29:37

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Richard III's official justification for taking the throne, as presented to parliament 1484, Catalogue reference: C65/114

'In deadly hate?' Richard III and the War of the Roses

Published date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 09:00:00 GMT

The conflict for the crown in the 15th century has created many of English history's most vivid characters and thanks to Shakespeare, we have one of our greatest villains in the shape of Richard III. This talk looks at the key sources for this period of civil war, and investigates whether Richard III really did resemble Shakespeare's destructive monster.

Author: James Ross and Sean Cunningham Duration: 59:16

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Catalogue reference: WO 305/1933

The creation of the Iraqi state: 1914 to 1974

Published date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 09:00:00 GMT

A lecture by Dr Charles Tripp, Reader in Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, to mark the launch of Thomson Learning's online edition of his selection of files on the history of Iraq. Dr Tripp, author of the Cambridge History of Iraq, considers the consequences of British state-building for Iraq's future.

Author: Charles Tripp Duration: 44:34

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Oxford Street - Artist Grace Golden - Catalogue reference: INF 3/1738

Jermynology: how genealogy can change history

Published date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 09:00:00 GMT

Anthony Adolph talks about his research into the life of Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of Saint Albans (1605-1684) and the founder of the West End.

Author: Anthony Adolph Duration: 25:00

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Photograph of children, taken in January, 1905 - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/481

Workhouse records for family historians

Published date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 09:00:00 GMT

Prepare to be revolted as Simon Fowler considers conditions in 19th century workhouses and suggests ways you can research the poor unfortunates who lived there.

Author: Simon Fowler Duration: 29:15

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A photo of Newhaven fishwives 1895, Catalogue reference: COPY1/419(ii)

Marriages at sea - fact or fiction?

Published date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 09:00:00 GMT

There is a rumour in the family that an ancestor was married at sea! How often have we heard this? Is it fact or fiction? Were marriages at sea permitted and, if so, where are records of them to be found? In this talk Dr Christopher Watts examines the range of records, both at The National Archives and elsewhere, that help us trace such events.

Author: Dr. Christopher Watts Duration: 33:27

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Image of a ship docking - Catalogue reference: COPY1 442

Tracing births and deaths at sea

Published date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:00:00 GMT

Ships carrying our ancestors to faraway places often arrived with more, or less, passengers than they they set out with.  In this talk Dr Christopher Watts examines the vast range of records, both at The National Archives and elsewhere, that help us to trace such events.

Author: Dr. Christopher Watts Duration: 51:35

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Star Chamber record during the reign of Henry VII, Catalogue reference: STAC 2/14 folio 10

Star Chamber stories: using records of the early modern equity courts

Published date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 09:00:00 GMT

The National Archives holds a vast collection of Chancery Court and other equity legal records from the early modern courts of Star Chamber and Requests. In this talk Sean Cunningham introduces the records created by the courts, and offers advice on how to make the most of these sources.

Author: Sean Cunningham Duration: 33:27

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Painting of a man drinking liquor - Catalogue reference: COPY 1/142

Going, going, almost gone: the vanishing face of the traditional English pub

Published date: Thu, 07 Dec 2006 09:00:00 GMT

The pub has undergone enormous changes in the past 40 years. This talk examines what remains of unaltered pubs and what this tells us about their social history. Geoff Brandwood is an architectural historian, co-author of English Heritage's recent book, Licensed to Sell: the History and Heritage of the Public House, and is chairman of the Victorian Society.

Author: Geoff Brandwood Duration: 52:17

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Colin Jackson

Colin Jackson: my journey into the past

Published date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 09:00:00 GMT

As part of The National Archives Caribbean Family History Day, Colin Jackson CBE, world record hurdler, discusses the experience of tracing his family history.

Author: Colin Jackson, CBE Duration: 13:01

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George Anson Byron claiming title of Baron Byron of Rochdale 1825 - Catalogue reference: HO 44/15

Creating a legacy from your family history

Published date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 09:00:00 GMT

A panel discussion that took place at The National Archives Caribbean Family History Day. The contributors were Colin Jackson CBE, Jackie Osei-Tutu (producer of Colin Jackson's Who Do You Think You Are?), Patrick Vernon (Director of Every Generation Media and Foundation) and family history specialists, Kathy Chater and Paul Crooks. The panel addressed the process of embracing and understanding personal heritage, and creating a legacy for future generations.

Author: Colin Jackson CBE, Jackie Osei-Tutu, Patrick Vernon, Kathy Chater and Paul Crooks Duration: 22:03

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Oliver Cromwell

Was the Cromwellian Protectorate a military dictatorship?

Published date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 09:00:00 GMT

Professor Barry Coward, President of the Historical Association and the Cromwell Association discusses the nature of the republican government of Britain's most controversial head of state.

Author: Professor Barry Coward Duration: 52:37

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Catalogue reference: COPY 1/146 Pt.2 f70

The dichotomies of drink

Published date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 09:00:00 GMT

Presented by Philippa Glanville, Senior Research Fellow at the V&A Museum. The event was held at The National Archives to accompany our temporary on-site exhibition, which she curated, entitled, Drink: the History of Alcohol 1690-1920.

Author: Philippa Glanville Duration: 59:36

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Sahib - the British soldier in India

Sahib, the British soldier in India, 1750 - 1914

Published date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 09:00:00 GMT

Well-known military historian Professor Richard Holmes examines Indian soldiering in peace and war.  He addresses the experience of ordinary soldiers, why they joined up, how they got to India and what they made of it when they arrived.

Author: Professor Richard Holmes Duration: 56:25

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Specification for the 'Spinning Jenny' weaving machine by Richard Arkwright, 1769 - Catalogue reference: C 73/13

Inventions in 18th century Britain

Published date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 09:00:00 GMT

Maxine Berg, Professor of History at the Eighteenth Century Centre, University of Warwick, explores the inventions and the making and buying of goods in 18th century Britain.

Author: Professor Maxine Berg Duration: 48:24

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A bag of secrets. Detail from cat. ref. E 33/2

A bag of secrets

Published date: 12:00:00 GMT

Dr. Tracey Sowerby of Pembroke College, Oxford, introduces listeners to the records of Tudor government held at The National Archives. She examines records of Parliament, delves into the murky treason trials of Henry VIII's regime and even demonstrates how the files can take us inside Henry's art collection and his library.

This podcast is part of The National Archives A level Masterclass series.

Author: Dr Tracey Sowerby Duration: 40:46

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PCOM2-300 Prisoner Albert Cullum, Cambridge, 1875-1877

The problem of the poor: faith, science and poverty in 19th century Britain

Published date: 16:00:00 GMT

Dr. John Shaw discusses Victorian attitudes to the poor and how they developed over the 19th century. As the Church tried to decide whether charity was the solution or part of the problem, Victorian science afraid of 'degeneration' in Britain began to suggest some sinister solutions of its own. This podcast is part of The National Archives A level Masterclass and is particularly suitable for AS and A2 students who are considering studying History to degree level.

Author: Dr John Shaw Duration: 43:25

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