One that is being publicised at the moment is by Tracy Borman who reveals how the Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers, even in their most private moments. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.
Dr Tracy Borman is a historian, author and joint Chief Curator for Historic Royal Palaces. Her books include the highly acclaimed ‘Elizabeth’s Women: the Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen’; ‘Matilda: Queen of the Conqueror’; and ‘Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction’. Her latest book is ‘The Private Lives of the Tudors’, published by Hodder & Stoughton.
The National Archives has revealed on it website that one of the earliest surviving public records – Domesday Book – is going to be loaned to Lincoln Castle as part of a major exhibition for 2017.
The iconic document that was commissioned in 1086 by William I, the Norman king best known as William the Conqueror, to give him an insight into his new realm by recording the taxable value and resources of all the boroughs and manors in England is to travel North. The document will be on loan to Lincoln Castle from its permanent home at The National Archives in Kew. It will be on display in the Magna Carta vault from 27 May to 3 September along with a number of local and national treasures showcased as part of the exhibition ‘Battles and Dynasties’.
This week (2 February 2016) The National Archives have launched a new record copying service, integrating the service into their online catalogue, Discovery, with revised costs and clearer guidance on how to order copies.
Record copying allows people to request digital or paper copies of TNA’s records – an essential service for those unable to visit The National Archives in person, or for when records are not available to download.
Reviewing record copying
The record copying service is a two-stage process: people send TNA the details of a document that they want copied, and the staff at Kew find and check the document to see if copies can be made and how much they will cost. After this, researchers can decide if they wish to order the copies.
The National Archives said “During reviews of the service, we found that the system was unintuitive and that we received a high number of speculative requests which did not become record copying orders, as well as requests we could not fulfil. We wanted to improve the success rate of the first stage, as well as make the service more perceptive and easy-to-use.”
The new process will be introducing a new first step which involves a paid-for page check, costing £8.24. This will cover TNA’s staff resources for them to find the information that a person wants copied, and then to assess whether they can safely copy it. To offset this cost, they have revised their current fees structure, reducing the cost of both digital and paper copies. Documents up to A3 in size will now both cost £1.10 per copy; digital copies previously cost £3.50 and paper copies £1.30.
At the same time TNA say that they are also integrating the record copying service into their online catalogue Discovery, to make sure all requests provide a valid document reference number. Also they will be introducing new features so people can track their order as it progresses through the record copying service.
The National Archives blog has announced the release of the latest batch of the MI5 files to view at TNA in Kew while a selection have been digitized.
They write that “As always they contain a fascinating new glimpse into the murky world of Second World War and Cold War espionage and provide extraordinary insights into some of the most famous of all spies.”
The National Archives has launched a new online database that reveals data of immigration in medieval England as held in their records at TNA.
England’s Immigrants 1330-1550 is the outcome of a major Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project that was undertaken by the University of York in collaboration with the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) and The National Archives.
For the first time the resulting database allows researchers to search over 65,000 immigrants who were resident in England during this period by name, nationality, profession and place of residence.
To find out more take a look at TNA’s blog post in which Dr Jessica Lutkin and Dr Laura Tompkins explore the database and medieval immigration in more detail.
On 9 April Dr Lutkin and Dr Jonathan Mackman will also be giving a talk on the project as part of the weekly talks programme.
Founded in 1988, the Friends of The National Archives has recently reached its 2014 target of achieving over 1,000 members.
The Friends of the National Archives is a voluntary organisation and registered charity, dedicated to supporting the TNA’s role in preserving and providing access to the nations records. The Friends also get involved in voluntary project work to assist The National Archives.
The ‘UK Archive Service Accreditation Committee’ has announced the first fully accredited archive services:
Cumbria Archive Service
Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives
Media Archive of Central England
Network Rail Corporate Archive
Tyne and Wear Archives
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Archive Service Acreditation is the new quality standard for archives services across the UK, developed in partnership with the archives sector and its stakeholders. It defines those organisations that maintain good practice and standards, including encouraging and supporting development.
According to The National Archives, “it is aimed at organisations that hold archive collections, whatever their constitution, and covers both private and public sector archives. It enables archive services to review and develop their policies, plans and procedures against a UK wide standard which has been developed by the archives sector, identifying strengths of the archive service and providing a framework to improve areas of weakness.”
Latest news from The National Archives is that there are a number of new, previously top secret files from the past now available to view by the public. The files contain records of the role of British Intelligence in World War 2 and the period during the early Cold War.
463 pieces from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are now available covering the years 1939 to 1951 as well as a selection from 1903 to 1913.
Some of the fascinating subjects covered in the files include the assassination priorities of Operation Overlord (D-Day) suggesting targets such as German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and the security matters relating to Wallis Simpson and the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936.
There’s more information about the new available files from The TNA website.