Our objectives are to educate the public in the knowledge of public and other records, and to promote and assist the work of The National Archives (TNA) through fund-raising and practical support. Since 1988, the Friends has provided vital assistance to numerous projects through our volunteers and funding support. We have enabled records of all kinds and classes to be conserved, preserved, catalogued, calendared, indexed, made accessible and studied.
Some of the project work we have supported include SP 20/10-13 (Parliamentary Sequestration Committee); KB 9 (King’s Bench Indictments) MH47 (Conscientious Objectors Tribunals); C 5, 7, & 8 (Chancery proceedings) and HCA 30 & 32 (Prize papers – the High Court of Admiralty). We have supported various conferences, including those on RMS Titanic; Railways; various aspects of the First World War and the Prize Papers. We help to fund talks and events at The National Archives and supported the Writer of the Month series in 2013.
We have supported competitions based on the use of historical records to create films and computer games. We have jointly funded projects with the British Association of Local History, the Federation of Family History Societies and the National Maritime Museum.
We work closely with TNA’s education and outreach teams by providing funds for projects involving a wide range of activities with schools and community groups.
Some of the projects we have worked on include the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills and administrations (PROB 12/17-119), Chancery proceedings (C 2 – C 10), Admiralty papers (ADM 106, 354, 359), War Office records (WO 69, 97, 119, 121), the vast collections of photographs submitted to Stationer’s Hall prior to 1912 (COPY 1) and Civilian Awards for Bravery in WWII (HO 250). Some members work from home and others at Kew. Our members support The National Archives in other ways too. Volunteers assist in the Library and provide tours of the Keeper’s Gallery. Members also undertake book reviews for the Bookshop, help with recruiting for the Friends, and provide general assistance during events and public surveys.