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The National Archives Labs

Cabinet papers keywords

Cabinet papers datasets are available to download for web developers.

The National Archives’ Cabinet Papers site offers free access to the complete minutes and memoranda from every Cabinet meeting from 1917 to 1980.

The cabinet papers keywords application shows major figures and concepts extracted from the complete text of the minutes of those meetings and allows the content to be explored in a completely different way.
Get started with the cabinet papers keywords

We are making this data available, along with a variety of other datasets, to encourage web developers to experiment with new applications, online tools and ways of visualising data.

The application shows the names of members of the Cabinet and the top 25 keywords from all the meetings for the period shown. These have been filtered to remove the most common English words. Each entry links back to the original papers that include it which are available to download.

Keywords are displayed annually in peacetime and monthly in wartime when Cabinet met much more regularly.

The result can offer an insight into the major issues of the day and hint at the relative importance of politicians within the Cabinet. Some terms are predictable, such as ’surrender’ in August 1945, while others refer to half forgotten international crises: what was going on with Iran in 1951? Iraq in 1923? Shanghai in 1927?

We hope you enjoy exploring.

Comments (4)

  • Airminded · The National Government and the air

    [...] The National Archives made all Cabinet papers from 1915 to 1980 freely available for download. Now TNA Labs have created a visualisation tool for said papers, allowing you to see clouds of the 25 most [...]

  • Yousaf


    I work for Elevatelocal, we are interested in using the available data for an infographic. Do we need to seek permission or would attribution suffice?


    The National Archives reply:

    Hi Yousaf,
    Attribution will suffice, thank you! These and all the other datasets are licensed under the Open Government Licence.
    And please do let us know what you produce, we’re very keen on seeing how people re-use our data.
    Thanks very much,

  • Paula

    Title – express the title of the paper in as few words as possible, that is, no more than one line. Put key words identifying the subject of the paper first.


    1 State the proposal at the beginning of the paper in one or two sentences. Succinctly state what Ministers are being asked to consider or decide. Do not list the recommendations.

    Executive Summary

    2 An executive summary must be provided if the paper, including appendices that must be read to understand the issues, is more than 4 pages long, or the paper is particularly complex. An executive summary should be a few paragraphs in length and succinctly explain the main issues.

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