This year marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Central Office of Information (COI), the government’s one-stop-shop communications agency, prompting The National Archives (TNA), British Film Institute (BFI) and Imperial War Museums (IWM) to team up for an ambitious new project showcasing highlights from their shared government films collections. In this blog, Sarah Castagnetti (TNA, Visual Collections), Michelle Kirby (IWM Film Curator, Cold War/late 20th-century conflict) and Patrick Russell (BFI Senior Curator, Non-fiction) explain how this collaboration came about, how their respective COI collections complement each other, and how they believe these uniquely produced films are still well worth watching today.
Speaker: Tom Storrar – Web Archiving Service Owner at The National Archives
Do you remember when we used to pay educational visits to physical archives? These events were always a privilege; to go behind the scenes and breathe in the organisational magic of rolling stacks and special storage units. When I read that Tom Storrar, Web Archiving Service Owner at The National Archives (TNA), was presenting a webinar, I immediately signed up and was excited to join CILIP GIG colleagues online.
We weren’t disappointed. Tom and his colleagues (7 full-time and one part-time) have the important role of officially preserving the UK government’s online material. Technology has often run ahead of government, which has left researchers stranded. The issue of missing or inaccessible online government information has caused problems in the past, and was raised in parliament, for instance in 2006 and 2009:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure the long-term preservation of documents held in digital form.
Ms Harman: The National Archives is working with the Government’s Chief Technical Officers (CTO) Council to address the problem of the survival of electronic records with a mid and long-term value across Government. The National Archives has implemented a Digital Preservation Programme to ensure the long-term preservation of documents held in digital form. It has established a Digital Archive facility, in which it preserves a wide range of electronic records transferred by Government departments;
James Cleverley MP, Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union made a written ministerial statement on the 3rd July 2019 confirming that the Queen’s Printer’s duties and powers to publish European legislation under Schedule 5 paragraph 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act (c.16) which were brought into force on the 3rd July 2019.
The National Archives has released two new services:
. https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/eu-exit/: this new EU Exit Web Archive is a comprehensive archive of a wide range of legislative materials in English, French and German. This includes Treaties, legislative acts, the Official Journal of the European Union and other supporting materials, and judgements of the European Court of Justice. This archive will continue to be maintained until exit, at which point it will stand as a permanent record of EU law as it stood when the UK left the EU.
. We have added legislation originating from the EU to www.legislation.gov.uk. We have also published details about the amendments to EU legislation from the EU and, crucially, the corrective amendments made by UK legislation in preparation for exit. This new collection of EU legislation will continue to be maintained with new content from EUR-Lex until the point of exit, at which point we will maintain the UK versions of the legislation, with amendments incorporated into the texts.
The USA’s National Archives is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. These releases include FBI, CIA, and other agency documents (both formerly withheld in part and formerly withheld in full) identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records.
Have you ever wondered what happened to those departments that suddenly disappeared years ago? Or perhaps you are trying to find out which department took over the work of ‘Department [X]’?
The aim of a National Archives project is to represent changes to the names and functions of government organisations, or departments, which administer the state. These organisations are often referred to as the ‘Machinery of Government’.