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.