The documents above may look familiar, perhaps in the ‘I know the reference’ kind of way for archivists, though more likely in a vague ‘I may have seen that somewhere before’ kind of way. These are a selection of the documents which have been filmed at The National Archives over the last year. (ADM 53/72336, AIR 19/1126, HLG 71/850, HS 5/728, E 101/411/9, E 101/44/30)
I was updating some paperwork and, after writing about Henry Tudor in one sentence and then James Bond in the next, I thought it would be good to share the breadth of documents available at The National Archives which have made it on to your screen. All the references below have been filmed.
Between June 2012 and June 2013 we hosted 43 film crews who collectively looked at about 140 documents (although not all of the shots made it through the editing stage.) Subjects go through ups and downs in popularity depending on public interest or upcoming anniversaries. For example, in August 2012 we had a flurry of enquires and crews coming in to look at documents relating to Edward VIII’s abdication and Mrs Wallis Simpson (HO 144/21070), this may be due to several book releases or just plain coincidence.
Other popular subjects to feature recently include: operations involving Ian Fleming while he was a naval intelligence officer (ADM 223/490 – Goldeneye), the suffragettes, the battle of Dieppe, the 100 year war (E 101/411/9 – Richard II treasure roll), prisoners of war, the Tower of London (SP 14/216) and MI5. There are also specific people, places and events which continue to fascinate, such as Admiral Nelson’s time serving in Antigua (ADM 1/316), Churchill and William Wallace.
One which interested me particularly is the case of the O13. The O13 is the last missing Dutch submarine from the Second World War – a film crew came to read patrol reports from the O13 before it disappeared and from the submarine Wilk which reported hitting an unidentified object in the area the O13 vanished (ADM 199/1853).
There is not only the variety in subject but also in date. The treasure roll mentioned above is dated 1398, the Antigua file 1793 and Goldeneye 1939. There are years of history at our fingertips (and on your remote control) which The National Archives has available to view.