Catalogue Week 2023

The end of November marks our annual celebration of projects and initiatives currently taking place at The National Archives. Catalogue Week is now in its fourth year as an online event. Today we are releasing 8 blog posts and presentations providing an update on a number of current or recently completed cataloguing projects, in addition to updates on other initiatives and processes taking place across the organisation. You can find them all on our Catalogue Week 2023 page.

Ada Mascio, an archivist with the Cataloguing, Taxonomy and Data Department, discusses the transformation of LR 16, describing how full and illuminating descriptions for the Office of the Auditors of Land Revenue, modern deeds were made available by employing a wide range of skills and knowledge, from Excel expertise to an understanding of both archival practice and standards and user needs.

A still from archivist Ada Mascio’s presentation

Data Analyst Dr K Faith Lawrence describes in her blog post the key user groups involved in the development of a new catalogue management database, and how their input affected the design process of Project Omega.

The themes of identity and movement are described in two of this year’s contributions from colleagues in the Collections, Expertise and Engagement department. Lisa Berry-Waite’s overview of the work of four volunteers describes how their work transcribing data from the passenger lists for the Ormonde, Almanzora and Empire Windrush led to the creation of a series of interactive maps. Elizabeth Haines, Team Leader, Overseas and Defence, describes both individual and collective accounts of belonging and identity in series CO 730, linking 1920s Iraq to East Asia, the Caribbean and the wider world.

Map showing passengers onwards journeys from the Ormonde, Almanzora, and Empire Windrush

Colleagues from Collections, Expertise and Engagement have also provided two fascinating contributions focussing on The Second World War. Volunteer Projects Office Keith Mitchell’s blog highlights stories revealed by volunteers indexing records of prisoners of war in series WO 208, enabling them to capture details of both civilians and individuals providing assistance and aid in the pursuit of escape. Record Specialist James Cronan’s presentation on cataloguing T 336: Civilian Gallantry Awards in the Second World War once again highlights the vital role of our volunteer contributors, who have worked alongside colleagues at The National Archives to catalogue by name, place, action and awards the details of this series.

A still from record expert James Cronan’s presentation

With a focus on providing support to archives using our online catalogue Discovery, Caroline Catchpole, Digital Development Officer within The National Archives’ Archive Sector Leadership team, focuses on the vital role of authority files and recent efforts to utilise them to provide a more equitable picture of women who, until recently, were historically described only in relation to men.

Taking a wider look across the archives sector, Sophie Anstee de Mas, Grants and Funding Officer at The National Archives, discusses the achievements of the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants, a collaborative programme of funding awards offered by The National Archives, the Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation and describes the positive impact on archives in receipt of grants.

Image from Beth Junor Archive, The National Library for Scotland, recently awarded a grant

We hope that there is something to meet all interests with this year’s event. I would like to extend my thanks to all the contributors who made this weekly celebration of our cataloguing projects and initiatives possible. Colleagues from across the office and our remarkable volunteers make this event possible, and I hope that all of our readers enjoy the presentation and blog entries made available.

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