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Thread: The National Archives (TNA)

  1. #81
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: AIR27 Online at TNA

    For those who may be interested:

    AIR 27 - Air Ministry and successors: Operations Record Books, Squadrons
    Scope and content Record books in this series provide a daily record of events in each squadron entered on Form 540, with appendices including some photographs (many of which may have different covering dates from those of the books themselves).
    Also included are some Operations Record Books (ORBs) for Dominion and allied air force squadrons under British command. Though the system of Operations Record Books started after the First World War few books in this series date from before the mid-1930s.
    PLEASE NOTE: Electronic images of AIR 27/1-2893 are available online through DocumentsOnline.
    Covering dates 1911-1980

  2. #82
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    Default Re: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

    Quote Originally Posted by norwichpaul View Post
    I always wondered why the TNA in recent times never had a set of the Air Estimates. Now this has ment that one has to trawl through hundreds of badly-named files to find out when and how much certain new buildings cost or even whole RAF stations, when a simple look at the Air Estimates would have given you all the info you required in the Vote 4 part of the estimate. Turns out today I learn that the TNA had a complete set of Air, Army and Navy Estimates in the Library in the 1990s but the entire stock including many hundreds of other primary source miliitary books were sold to a book shop!

    Now correct me if I am wrong, but is this not a scandal? The PRO as it was then is the national archive is it not, therefore why were they selling off primary source material in this way? If I was the AHB I would immediately withdraw all AIR docs and offer them to the RAFM.
    Hello All

    I am new on here, but attempting to research general WW 2 information on aerodromes, rules, obstruction lighting, incidents and crashes at, etc. Yes, I understand that some official publications and Reports with Air Ministry Archives or Adastral Library Withdrawn stamped in them were sold off. Missing items in Air Ministry files "transferred to Library" seem to have disappeared, unless you are very lucky to find the missing or duplicate pieces in AIR 20.

    The TNA, ought to have kept their Library complete, but it seems to have been reduced to make room for the Family History Researchers.

    I agree that occasionly the file title does not seem to resemble what it contains. I have been tracing files by their original A.M. Registry number references found in other files and had some success, but this has now stopped, since TNA prevented users from interrogating the catalogue direct from the Google search bar and the original A.M. file numbers cannot always be found from the L/H search box, because you have to put them exactly as written and when the PRO files were entered on the electronic catalogue some bright spark put the original A.M. file reference together with the Air Ministry Historical Branch and you have to know both exactly as written.

    The TNA Catalogue download facility by subject is reasonable, where you can print the list of returns off at home, gives A.M. file refs., unless the file has been broken up prior to release. But some WW 2 Committee and Sub-Committee which were in existence at the time, don't seem to have any Committee Minutes or Reports files, as though the Committee did not exist, but some may be in the CAB PREM (P.M.) series and with other papers, making them difficult to find and a long trawl.

    I first visited PRO / TNA about a decade ago, but don't go much now and I feel that the Air Ministry files about Aerodromes are poor in number compared with other Aviation subjects and the only reason I can think of, was that there were probably thousands of accidents at aerodromes and the MoD either have them on extended closure or might have tipped some.

    My local newpaper stated a few years ago that the Military Record Office archives holds 20 million pieces, 13 million of which are files back to WW 1. According to Hansard, during the indexing process of the Hayes Archives (Military Record Office) before transfer to Swadlincote, they had at that point indexed 11 million files. But they can't find anything you ask for, even under FOI and they make the assumption the file has been destroyed.

    According to a PRO brochure written by a PRO Record Manager and once available online the Military Record Office at Hayes was once run by the PRO, which satisfied the 30 year rule. However, the MoD re-took control of the Military Records Office at Hayes in the 1990s and around 2005 transferred it to TNT Archives.

    If the Air docs were withdrawn from TNA by the Government Dept, you would probably find that some files might disappear from circulation, as the reviewers who decide if a file can be released appear to be more strict since the 1990s, I had a 1991 released file photocopied and parts had been transferred to part V and when I found part V they were missing. Although after much searching, I have found most of the missing pieces in the 'mirror' files of the other Commands and Air Ministry to whom they were corresponding, with a few pieces in a file in Air 20.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 21-04-2012 at 22:06.

  3. #83
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

    Mark,

    Thanks for the write up. I must admit that when you search the online database the appear to be large gaps in the files and the search for related information is a difficult one. Having gone through most of the obvious files (by description) I now resort to picking up the odd file that might have some related information. In most cases they don't but I have been lucky on a number of occasions and found some really useful information.

    What is a worry is that someone, probably a civil servant, is deciding what is worthless but this could be gold to us. This is partly the reason I photograph everything I come across in case it gets "thinned".

    In my research on ranges it is odd that the best file to date was a MAF file close second being an ADM one. There are no saved range log books at TNA and possibly nowhere else and there are no range orders saved either, unless they are in Group files. I did get a set though but from the National Archives of Australia!

    To my mind if some disposal is taking place they should be offered to another National collection or AiX/ARG Archive first. This is our history and these people WORK FOR US.

  4. #84
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    Default Re: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

    Welcome to AiX Mark.

    As far as the Air and Army Estimates go, we bought them from the bookshop so in a way its TNA's loss and ARG's gain. TNA has improved amazingly since the flurry of posts by me moaning about the place. Though I have not been there for a couple of months as I am now surrounded by more primary source material than I can cope with.

  5. #85
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The National Archives (TNA)

    I was under the impression, that the Freedom of Info Act replaced the old 30 year Rule?

  6. #86
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    Default Re: The National Archives (TNA)

    A Terrific Research & Document Copying Business

    I looked into various services including Kew to obtain my late dad's unit operations record because I live in Canada. I got quotes of 300. I was delighted to find "Arcre" run by Lee Richards for 8p per page on line. Lee photographed each page in a timely manner for a cost of 17 which included a Pay Pal fee.

    I highly recommend this business.

    Cheers

    Morag

  7. #87
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The National Archives (TNA)

    I have made good use of the AIR 27 online availability (probably too much in cash terms!) and being a cheapskate I have focused on the prewar era as you can get over a hundred pages for 3.50 in a lot of cases. The information is not that detailed but it differs from the wartime mission listings and gives some gems that have solved some outstanding problems. I have also used the wartime ones but in this case you have to be sure of thetime frame as you can expect to pay 3.50 for around 6 pages. In my case it costs me more As I can visit TNA with no extra cost as I have an all zone travelcard. Howeverther main saving is in time as you feel obliged to flick through a couple of hundred pages, just in case! Two ORBs and most of the day has gone.

    Hope that is of some use to somone.

  8. #88
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    Default Re: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

    I am frequently surprised at how some subjects turn up under headings that have no apparent relevance e.g.:

    AIR 2/4909


    DECORATIONS, MEDALS, HONOURS AND AWARDS (Code B, 30): Ground gallantry awards, Sept. 1942.
    Includes 13 photographs depicting: RAF Station Middle Wallop, sick quarters: plan of Gas Decontamination Centre and interior; oxygen installation. Dated 1943.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

    Just a quite update to say that I went a couple of weeks ago and the car parking's still free.

  10. #90
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    Smile Re: The National Archives (TNA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morag View Post
    A Terrific Research & Document Copying Business

    I looked into various services including Kew to obtain my late dad's unit operations record because I live in Canada. I got quotes of 300. I was delighted to find "Arcre" run by Lee Richards for 8p per page on line. Lee photographed each page in a timely manner for a cost of 17 which included a Pay Pal fee.

    I highly recommend this business.

    Cheers

    Morag
    I've recently sent for quotes from TNA on numerous files pertaining to the 1st Air Division and Splasher sites. Needless to say, the quotes reached into the hundreds if I was to have them copied by them. Could you please provide more information on Lee Richard's service as he seems to have a more realistic view on the cost printing than TNA.

    Thanks

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