The documents above may look familiar, perhaps in the ‘I know the reference’ kind of way for archivists, though more likelyÂ in a vague ‘I may have seen that somewhere before’ kind of way.Â These are a selection of the documents which have been filmedÂ 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 someÂ paperworkÂ and, after writing about Henry TudorÂ in one sentence andÂ then James Bond in the next, I thoughtÂ it would be good to share the breadth of documents available at The National ArchivesÂ which have made it on to your screen.Â AllÂ the references below have been filmed.
BetweenÂ June 2012 and June 2013 we hostedÂ 43 film crews who collectively looked at about 140 documents (although not all of the shotsÂ 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 andÂ crews coming in toÂ look at documents relating to Edward VIII’s abdication andÂ Mrs Wallis Simpson (HO 144/21070), this may be due to several book releases or just plain coincidence.
Other popular subjectsÂ 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 specificÂ 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 toÂ 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. ThereÂ are years of history at our fingertips (and on your remote control) which The National Archives has available to view.