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General => The Common Room => Topic started by: Tickettyboo on Thursday 02 April 20 12:27 BST (UK)

Title: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Thursday 02 April 20 12:27 BST (UK)
Moderator comment: several topics on the same subject now merged, so there may be some apparent non-sequiturs!


TNA has announced via Twitter that they are working on making the digitised records that currently carry a charge free while the Archives is closed.

https://twitter.com/UkNatArchives/status/1245340191964958721?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Well done them, their techy folk are working from home to do this and often, like so many,  juggling work with childcare so currently no ETA for the access to be available but its a lovely gesture.

Boo

Title: The National Archives
Post by: frogspawn4 on Thursday 02 April 20 16:36 BST (UK)
Hi
Don't know if this has been posted already.
Just had an email from National Archives saying

We’re pleased to announce that soon we will be providing free access to digitised collections that are available on our website (and usually chargeable) for as long as we are closed to the public. We’ll publish more details when this goes live.

Jay
Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: Treetotal on Thursday 02 April 20 16:38 BST (UK)
I haven't seen that before...great news, thanks for posting  :D
Carol
Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: Ellenmai on Thursday 02 April 20 16:51 BST (UK)
Thanks Jay, can you keep us posted if they give you any dates  ;D
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: bradburyd on Thursday 02 April 20 16:52 BST (UK)
Is there a list of the records included?
Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: rosie99 on Thursday 02 April 20 16:56 BST (UK)
Earlier post 
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=828235.

Ellen Mai, I don't know whether it is currently available but you can sign up for the National Archives emails, they are very informative  :)
Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: Ellenmai on Thursday 02 April 20 16:58 BST (UK)
Thanks for that Rosie  :) will go & have a look.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: louisa maud on Thursday 02 April 20 17:02 BST (UK)
Thank you tickettyboo
Louisa Maud
Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: rosie99 on Thursday 02 April 20 17:05 BST (UK)
It is here  :)
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/email-updates/

Title: Re: The National Archives
Post by: Ellenmai on Thursday 02 April 20 17:10 BST (UK)
All signed up, Thanks
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Thursday 02 April 20 17:12 BST (UK)
Someone asked that on Twitter and this was the reply

 all digitised collections that are available on our website (and usually chargeable) will be available to download for free for the duration of the closure. At this stage, this doesn’t extend to our collections on other sites.

I'd suggest searching on the NA (limit it to what is actually held at the NA and if possible to records that have been digitised) now for things you may be interested in to see if there are any that are digitised and currently have a fee. I am not aware of a full list as such, but someone else may know if its possible to find that info on the site.

Boo
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Thursday 02 April 20 17:20 BST (UK)
hmm just found this
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/?letter=&search=&research-category=online

Each entry says where they are available, if its the NA then I imagine they would be included. I don't know how up to date the list is but do recognise some that I have purchased in the past.

Boo
Title: National Archives
Post by: Guy Etchells on Thursday 02 April 20 17:29 BST (UK)
I don't know if these two tweets from the National Archives has been mentioned-

We’re pleased to confirm that we will be giving everyone free access to our digitised collections very soon, but it’s taking our amazing digital team a bit of time to make it happen.

They’re facing similar challenges to the rest of the world with regard to connecting to our various technical systems while working from home, and many of them are also juggling childcare duties. Stay tuned for an update soon!

Cheers
Guy

Moderator comment: several topics on the same subject now merged, so there may be some apparent non-sequiturs!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: jc26red on Thursday 02 April 20 17:39 BST (UK)
Just marking so I keep up to date ;D

Thank you
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Crumblie on Friday 03 April 20 11:06 BST (UK)
The Times has an article about this today and it says the records will include Wills 1384-1858, British Army WW1 medal cards and war diaries. It also mentions immigration records including petitions for naturalization between 1801 and 1871.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Gibel on Tuesday 21 April 20 20:08 BST (UK)
I’ve just been on the National Archives website and was looking to download Medal Cards for Merchant Navy in WW1 and WW2 and a service card for RNR personnel they were still £3.50 each. I went right through to the payment page and then emptied my basket as I didn’t want to pay £10.50 for them. Maybe other things are free to download but not what I wanted.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: jonw65 on Wednesday 22 April 20 21:27 BST (UK)
It's here at last!
TNA
Free access to digital records
Wednesday 22 April 2020
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/digital-downloads/

With restrictions (fair use policy)
Registered users will be able to order and download up to 10 items at no cost, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Wednesday 22 April 20 22:40 BST (UK)
I went to sign up for an account, but when I clicked on the link in the verification email, all I got was, "There was an error sending the verification email. Please contact [email protected] for help. "

 :( :(
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: jonw65 on Wednesday 22 April 20 22:59 BST (UK)
They sent me two verification emails simultaneously, clicking on the first got that same error message, but the second one worked.
Although when I went to sign in, they then wouldn't accept my password and I had to reset it (yes, I was already registered)

Finally all seems to be OK, and I have even managed to download a record!
John
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Wednesday 22 April 20 23:05 BST (UK)
Tried 5 times now! Still no joy.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: carol8353 on Wednesday 22 April 20 23:08 BST (UK)
Tried 5 times now! Still no joy.

I couldn't get signed in at first,then realised that I had to accept their terms and conditions on the right of the page.

Like John, I too have managed to download a record and found that a male ancestor of mine at age 23 was only 4ft 11 inches!!!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: plk74 on Thursday 23 April 20 13:36 BST (UK)
I have sucessfully registered and downloaded a number of free items. Well done TNA!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: candleflame on Friday 24 April 20 01:17 BST (UK)
I've registered, verified and have had a quick search using some family keywords. Looks promising esp some ww2 home guard stuff. Going to dig out my research to check they might actually be my lot tomorrow then download . Exciting .
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Friday 24 April 20 07:12 BST (UK)
Re: Durham Home Guard records.
In case anyone doesn't realise, you can use the preview facility to check the record. Though they are heavily watermarked, you can open the preview full screen and zoom in to make sure that the details match what you know.
I've done that for a while, both when I have paid for the records in the past and yesterday when I got another couple.

Boo
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: candleflame on Friday 24 April 20 08:19 BST (UK)
Re: Durham Home Guard records.
In case anyone doesn't realise, you can use the preview facility to check the record. Though they are heavily watermarked, you can open the preview full screen and zoom in to make sure that the details match what you know.
I've done that for a while, both when I have paid for the records in the past and yesterday when I got another couple.

Boo

Thanks for that tip Boo.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Millmoor on Friday 24 April 20 09:23 BST (UK)
I thought I had registered a few years ago but had forgotten my password. When  a reset was not forthcoming I simply registered again with no difficulty.

I have now downloaded 3 records, all from the "Country Court Death Duty Registers 1796-1811". These are really helpful records (pity that there is such a short time frame)  as they provide a summary of the provisions of the wills involved and importantly list the names of the legatees and their relationship with the testator.  I am fortunate in that my area of interest is Durham and so can compare with the wills on familysearch. However in one case the will is not online and so this death duty register is the only source as to the wills content.

William
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Friday 24 April 20 09:43 BST (UK)
Re: Durham Home Guard records.
In case anyone doesn't realise, you can use the preview facility to check the record. Though they are heavily watermarked, you can open the preview full screen and zoom in to make sure that the details match what you know.
I've done that for a while, both when I have paid for the records in the past and yesterday when I got another couple.

Boo

Thanks for that tip Boo.

I assume that other records have a similar preview (though am not sure about that). No matter if I am paying, or at the mo getting them for free, its well worth making sure that I am getting the right record - both to save money and to ease the load on the servers and stay within the fair usage limits.
Its good of TNA to give us some records for free, but, of necessity, they do have limits.

Boo
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: candleflame on Friday 24 April 20 14:14 BST (UK)
I tried doing the preview thing but  it wouldn't let me. It said I had to put it in the basket.....the first - and only one so far - wasn't one of my lot even though it looked promising. Right name right birth, wrong area......
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Friday 24 April 20 14:35 BST (UK)
How odd, I've just looked at another one and the preview opens fine here.

Out of interest, what browser are you using and is it via a pc/laptop or a tablet? 

Boo
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Rena on Friday 24 April 20 14:43 BST (UK)
Tried 5 times now! Still no joy.

I couldn't get signed in at first,then realised that I had to accept their terms and conditions on the right of the page.


What a rigmarole applying to join! It refused to accept my password  until I changed one letter to  "z", it still wouldn't accept my application and I couldn't understand why because I had read all their terms, etc.   

What I had not done was seen a few extremely tiny boxes, to do with their terms, that needed ticking on the RH side of the page.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: carol8353 on Friday 24 April 20 15:02 BST (UK)

I couldn't get signed in at first,then realised that I had to accept their terms and conditions on the right of the page.


That is exactly what I said on Wednesday!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Friday 24 April 20 17:45 BST (UK)
Mine turned out to be a technical hitch at their end. All clear now, and I have managed to join, and download a few things that had been puzzling me for ages!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: candleflame on Saturday 25 April 20 22:58 BST (UK)
How odd, I've just looked at another one and the preview opens fine here.

Out of interest, what browser are you using and is it via a pc/laptop or a tablet? 

Boo

I'm on a Windows 7 PC. I eventually managed to get a preview using the selection tools at the top, but I couldn't read it even after zooming in maximum . I downloaded one record to try out, but it wasn't one of my lot......I haven't really found anything useful yet ......
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Biggles50 on Saturday 25 April 20 23:04 BST (UK)
The search functions are pretty poor.

Zero success so far in finding anything useful.

Each time I download something it is to general and pretty irrelevant.

Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Mckha489 on Sunday 26 April 20 01:00 BST (UK)
The search functions are pretty poor.

I am sure I have posted this before, but when I once employed a professional researcher for some national archives stuff, she said their catalogue was called Discovery “ because you have to discover how to use it”
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: mare on Monday 27 April 20 14:07 BST (UK)
An interesting exercise for husband this ANZAC public holiday, registered/ signed in successfully to look up and download files relating to his dad's service RNZAF 490 Squadron Operations. Just one tiny hiccup to begin with when he got an error message, otherwise very pleased and quite a novice at any archived research.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: BushInn1746 on Monday 27 April 20 15:06 BST (UK)
Hello

Our ancestors names may be hidden within a Volume or File (of that Catalogue Reference) itself and therefore not appear in the search return, which quite often only gives the File or Volume Title.

Some TNA Volumes and Files are already scanned, name indexed and searchable on subscription sites.

Names contained within TNA Files and Volumes (not indexed by name and not on Subscription sites) but digitised by TNA, Kew, some can be searched through page by page for names.

Sometimes ancestors might appear in certain records and sometimes they don't.

Usually the first part of TNA Catalogue Reference denotes the record Reference and often the Government Department or Service creating the file.

Inland Revenue (ref IR) Will Abstracts catalogued on Discovery by Name
If your Ancestors left a Will Registered with an English Probate Registry and assessed for Duty between late 1790s and circa 1820.

Then an Abstract of the Will usually with Executors and Beneficiaries named might be useful (these are not the full Will copies available from a Probate Registry).

They are in the 'Inland Revenue' record series "IR 26"

Try your own surname in the "Exact word or phrase" box AND enter "IR 26" in the "Any of these references" box on the Advanced Search page, to bring up these particular former Inland Revenue records.

Make sure you leave a one space gap between IR and 26

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/advanced-search

A search example of HOOD under IR 26 should give these 16 results covering a 20 year period approx (the other years got destroyed in a fire) ...

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_ep=Hood&_cr=IR%2026&_dss=range&_ro=any&_st=adv

Mark
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Bookbox on Monday 27 April 20 15:13 BST (UK)
The search functions are pretty poor.

I am sure I have posted this before, but when I once employed a professional researcher for some national archives stuff, she said their catalogue was called Discovery “ because you have to discover how to use it”

For anyone having trouble with Discovery, there’s a basic introductory podcast here ...
https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/introduction-to-discovery-the-national-archives-catalogue/

... and a free webinar coming on Tuesday 19 May (register through Eventbrite)
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/top-level-tips-using-discovery-tickets-103129555276?aff=homepage
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: wee Hugh on Tuesday 28 April 20 13:18 BST (UK)
The quality of the images is atrocious, too.

What a load of amateurs they are!
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: rosie99 on Tuesday 28 April 20 13:30 BST (UK)
The quality of the images is atrocious, too.

What a load of amateurs they are!

There has been nothing wrong with the images that I have downloaded, is it a particular data set that you are looking at.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: wee Hugh on Thursday 30 April 20 13:40 BST (UK)
Everything I have looked at (mainly military records) has been grey in grey, sometimes barely legible.  I suppose one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but I wouldn't pay £3.50 under normal conditions.
They clearly have a lot to learn about scanning.

One man with middle name John was indexed with middle initial R.
That's the sort of crass error we've come to expect from Ancestry,
but not from an official body such as the National Archives.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: majm on Thursday 30 April 20 13:53 BST (UK)
I am not used to using TNA web site but I have not found any difficulties in downloading various digitised records for several of my ancestors.  I have found them easily, downloaded them easily and not had any issues with 'grey on grey'

I congratulate TNA on this initiative.  Currently reading an 1823 will full of details about my ancestors .... nothing crass found ....  :)

JM

Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: rosie99 on Thursday 30 April 20 14:54 BST (UK)
One man with middle name John was indexed with middle initial R.
That's the sort of crass error we've come to expect from Ancestry,
but not from an official body such as the National Archives.

Sadly that is true of most data sets, there will always be errors.  That is why we always say on here you need to see the original.

I think also that some of the TNA transcripts may have been done by the likes of Ancestry & F M P when they were awarded the contracts to publish them on their websites
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Mean_genie on Thursday 30 April 20 15:50 BST (UK)
Images in black and white means that they are scanned from microfilm or fiche. The original filming might have been done decades ago - when I first visited Kew in the late 1980s loads of records were on film, so a lot of filming must have been done some time before then. Some records that have been scanned from original documents much more recently are really good, and they're in colour. I've found some interesting stuff in Poor Law Union correspondence MH12, although only only a small amount of it seems to be digitised and indexed
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: ABradley on Thursday 30 April 20 23:35 BST (UK)
Hi,

I have attempted to download an 1808 will but they still want payment ???

Andrew

OK I had to sign in again - download completed
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Hackstaple on Saturday 02 May 20 10:42 BST (UK)
I was one of the very first members of Rootschat and helped many newbies with info as I had paid access to quite a few sites but I no longer have any paid subscriptions and have recently learnt that the 1939 National Register has been released by Kew but I see that records can only be accessed by paying Findmypast about £40 minimum for 3 months.

I have relatives that I would like to find out about in London, Middlesex and Gloucestershire - just one in Essex.

If I pay how easily can I search for those - do I first have to find out which registration district they were in or can I just search the whole database with surname and given names?
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Tickettyboo on Saturday 02 May 20 10:46 BST (UK)
post cancelled, misread the question, apologies

Boo

Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: rosie99 on Saturday 02 May 20 10:47 BST (UK)
1939 registers are available on F M P and Ancestry, I think they may sometimes appear as part of their free weekends.  FindMyPast updates theirs regularly, Ancestry once a year.

They are easy to search just using names though obviously better if you can narrow down a part of the country.  You can also include dates of birth in your search.

Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: Nick_Ips on Thursday 04 June 20 15:15 BST (UK)
1939 registers are available on F M P and Ancestry, I think they may sometimes appear as part of their free weekends.  FindMyPast updates theirs regularly, Ancestry once a year.

Also worth mentioning that access is free at many libraries, and some authorities have arranged for free access to Ancestry for library members (at home) due to the current Covid-related closure of libraries.

If I pay how easily can I search for those - do I first have to find out which registration district they were in or can I just search the whole database with surname and given names?

Searching is essentially the same as for the online census records - if the name(s) are unusual then you might be lucky and get away with those only.

There is no birthplace information, and the records don't give the name of the parish someone was living in, so it is necessary to have an understanding of the registration districts to work out whether a result might be correct.

The compensation is having the full date of birth available sometimes helps - although only if it is correct. From my own searching I've found there is a good chance of the year being +/-1 and it is surprising (to me at least) how many people's birth days don't match other sources.

Also bear in mind there was already a lot of war-related displacement of people. Either evacuees or forces families might not be where you expect them to be, and forces personnel are generally missing entirely.

And finally it is worth bearing in mind that you don't necessarily need to pay in order to just search the records.  E.g. F M P still operate on the principle of non-subscribers paying to 'unlock' individual households - but typically it is possible to locate a household of interest before payment is required.  Therefore if you are only going to subscribe for a short period of time (or will use 'free' access opportunities) then it makes sense to use the free searching options to first locate the households you are interested in (and note down the details), so you can be more productive when you have paid for/free access to the full information.

There is still a lot of information online from when the register was first launched about how to make the most of the searching facilities and to improve the chances you've found the right household before paying to view.  Much of this is still relevant if you don't have full subs.
Title: Re: National Archives Digitised records to be free while the NA is closed
Post by: jmp on Thursday 04 June 20 17:10 BST (UK)
There is currently free access to Ancestry for Oxfordshire library card members from home. If you are not an Oxfordshire member then you can still apply for a library card to access the same and they will send you details of your library card and pin number which yiou can then use to access the site. This will only be temporary whilst the libraries are closed so make the most of it ;D
https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/libraries/reference-online/family-history-and-biographies