Regular readers may be aware of our continued efforts to improve Discovery, our catalogue, and make it a more comprehensive service. It currently provides access to more than 32 million descriptions of records held at The National Archives and in more than 2,500 other archives across the United Kingdom.
Prior to Discovery, The National Archives provided records information via a number of different services. These services were managed, updated and supported by different teams in different ways. Bringing these resources together means that Discovery now offers the most comprehensive overview of records held by UK archives and beyond. Its coverage of UK private and public records is unique.
To remain accurate and to become more comprehensive, Discovery needs to be continually updated to reflect new material as it is accessioned (received) and catalogued across the archives sector. In the past, initiatives to expand the content in our resources have relied on editorial staff at The National Archives, or large funded projects to generate more descriptions. With Discovery we knew that we wanted to do things differently, by starting to shift control of content over to its owners, the archives services.
Over the past year we have begun work on a set of administrative tools for Discovery which will help towards that goal by enabling us to curate data here at The National Archives and in turn allow for archives services to contribute data directly to Discovery at a time and pace that suits them. Continue reading »