I had a sketchy knowledge of the period relating to the Jacobites and had never studied them as part of my history degree. This all changed when I found out about The National Archives’ cataloguing project headed by Dr. Katy Mair. When I saw some of the material that was being uncovered from the State Papers of George I (SP 35) and George II (SP 36) by a dedicated team of volunteer cataloguers, it drew me in immediately, helped by the fact that the documents for the most part were so readable in their original state!
I immediately thought that it would be brilliant for schools to have access to some of the documents. After all, where do you find Jacobite source material for the classroom in a hurry when you need it? So the idea for our two themed online document collections, relating to the period of the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 for The National Archives education pages, was born.