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Phil Wood

War Diaries at TNA - many temporarily unavailable

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Phil Wood

In case anyone is planning a trip to Kew to view a war diary in the near future (until January) be warned that many of them will not be available.

Full details: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/756.htm

Catalogue Nos:

1096-1934: variable*

1935-2071: currently unavailable, due to return 30/9/12

2072-2292: currently unavailable, due to return 31/10/12

2293-2592: will be unavailable from 1/9/12, due to return 30/11/12

2593-2992: will be unavailable from 1/10/12, due to return 31/12/12

2993-3948 (excluding 3155-3910): will be unavailable from 1/11/12, due to return 30/1/13

The good news is that they are away being conserved and digitised - so they should appear online before long.

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Donald D

From the list of war diaries currently or proposed to be digitised (1096 - 3948) I thought I would check on my Grandfather's battalion 10th KSLI for availablity. It would seem that the period the battalion spent in France, May 1918 to March 1919 95/3154/2, will be available but the time the battalion spent in Palestine, 95/4679, is not on the list of war diaries for digitisation.

Is this the case for all war diaries not covering theatres of war other than France and Flanders?

I checked on 60th Division, which was exclusively in Salonika and Palestine and this appears to be the case.

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Chris_Baker

They are all going to be digitised, division by division as I understand it.

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Donald D

Chris

Thanks for that info. I presume then that the numbers following 95/3948 will follow on from February 2013?

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Sue Light

I asked some time ago and was told there were no plans (at that time, ? ever) to digitise WO95/3949 onwards.

Sue

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Donald D

Thanks for that Sue. How do I do an emoticon with a very very sad face? :(

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Chris_Baker

Could well be right, Sue. I'll ask William Spencer next time I am at Kew.

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J Banning

Over the past month or so I have been speaking to the Complaints Manager who has been great at organising access to diaries that are supposedly unavailable. If you pre-book documents before your visit then you can ask about their accessibility and request that they be made available in the invigilation room.

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Sue Light

I got the impression that the diaries from WO59/3949 were used only very occasionally, and at that same time most were extremely long - the time and effort involved might not be rewarded with much financial return. Of course I have transcribed and put on line four of them (3988-3991) - 4,000 pages and about a million words - but I'll pass on the others :blink:

Sue

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bigronhartley

Hello

Is there a proposed date for the release of the digitised War Diaries Online ?

Regards

Ron

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Gunner R.A.

Bump, same as Ron, does anyone know when the newly digitised war diaries will be going on line, i need quite a few,

cheers,

Pete.

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Peterhastie

I was told that all the units that served in France would be available to download in Feb 2013

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Gunner R.A.

Thanks Peter, great news.

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seaforths

Having been at Kew a week ago I was given access to diaries that had been withdrawn for digitisation and was allowed to have them in the invigilation room. It seems to largely depend on who you speak to on the desk. I think they only allowed me the first box because I had pre-booked them and had an email that said my reservation had been successful and nobody contacted me to tell me they had been withdrawn. On that basis I booked my train and accommodation. The chap said they were trying to get them all digitised for release in 2014 for the anniversary so it sounds like they don't really know themselves. After they allowed me access to one box I asked a different person on the desk and they just made a quick call and got the second box without any hassle.

Also, in the summer I went to Kew and got diaries that had been withdrawn for digitisation and it is strange that once they have been digitised they won't let you take them out into the main reading room anymore, they have to be looked at in the invigilation room. As I wanted to revisit some diaries I had out in the summer last week and they were back on the available list when I checked after a couple of days there, but only as I said, in the invigilation room.

I doubt this will help much as the staff are not consistent in allowing/not allowing access. If you live a long way from Kew as I do then you might not want to chance going and fork out the expense and then be told you can't have them. Maybe it would help to phone and ask, take details of the person you speak to if they say yes. Much of the problem is that they can't digitise them all at once but they have withdrawn and tidied them up and put them in order. Understandably, they don't want someone missing them up again before they have had the chance to digitise them. So the boxes are sitting around in limbo tidied up and waiting their turn in the digitisation process.

Marjorie

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Gunner R.A.

Thanks Marjorie, i guess we will just have to wait and see, it would be nice to have an official statement regarding the timeline for their release though,

Pete.

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spof

I was told that all the units that served in France would be available to download in Feb 2013

Not quite. Units in pieces outside the range in post #1 have not been removed for digitisation e.g. I am still able to access them in the main reading room and have looked at several of them below WO 95/1000 for GHQ troops in the last few weeks. The "basic Divisional units may be available online and I'm guessing Brigade diaries too.

I haven't tried to look at ones listed above as unavailable in the windows that they are definitely unavailable but have had no problems pre-ordering or ordering on site others in the 1xxx and 3xxx range at other times.

Glen

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Phil Wood

Recently I have been able to access several of the diaries (in the main reading room) that were withdrawn for digitisation. So they have finished the digitisation process for those up to 2600 or thereabouts.

Can anyone confirm the suggestion that they will go online from February?

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spof

Phil

Here is the schedule for digitisation:

1096-1934: variable*

1935-2071: currently unavailable, due to return 30/9/12

2072-2292: currently unavailable, due to return 31/10/12

2293-2592: will be unavailable from 1/9/12, due to return 30/11/12

2593-2992: will be unavailable from 1/10/12, due to return 31/12/12

2993-3948 (excluding 3155-3910): will be unavailable from 1/11/12, due to return 30/1/13

I have found one piece that was due to be returned for use at the end of Septmeber unavailbe now.but in general, TNA have done a good job despite the poor communications about removing access back in April.

February is a pipe dream. Once the pages have been digitised, they still need to be converted into PDFs and merged into a sequence in the same way the current digital war diaries are, QAed and loaded into the systems and made sure they can be accessed online.I certainly hope I'm proved wrong but, unless they are drip fed, I wouldn't expect any new war diaries online for some time yet.

Glen

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Phil Wood

Thanks SPOF - the schedule is the one I posted at the start of this thread. My latest point is that many of them are back into the normal access system. I infer that this means that the process of checking the scanned images for quality of image and correct ordering has been completed because scanned diaries were held back and only accessible in the invigilation room until this QA process was complete (they don't trust users to keep everything in the right order).

If they have images in the right order the creation of the pdfs is an automatic process - shouldn't take long - they may even have done this prior to checking. The online access is well established via Discovery - adding more pdfs should be incredibly simple, just load them on to the server and link them to the database (which could also be automated).

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GraemeClarke

Morning Peter,

Can I ask, are these NEW ones or ones that have always been available,

Regards,

Graeme

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Peterhastie

Morning Graham

This is the full series of e-mails

Dear Peter,

Thank you for contacting The National Archives.

At the moment the plans are to release the War Diaries next year but as the project has not completed this may change. We can only advise at the moment that you keep an eye on our website or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Currently the price is £3.36. Our prices are govern by the Treasury so it may change when the new WO 95 documents are made available.

Yours sincerely,

Discovery Downloads Direct Team

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444

Contact: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

The National Archives website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Discovery: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/

Follow us on Twitter @UkNatArchives, join us on Facebook or sign up to our newsletter for monthly updates direct to your inbox.

From: phastie@talktalk.net [mailto:phastie@talktalk.net]

Sent: 16 January 2013 22:32

To: DocumentsOnline

Subject: Re: Downloads Direct [uNCLASSIFIED]

Hello

Does this mean that some will be released before 2014 and if so how much and when.

I would much rather download the whole diary than come to the NA and photograph the bits that I need.

But, if its going to be anything more than a few months I might as well come down.

Peter

-----Original Message-----

From: DocumentsOnline <DocumentsOnline@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk>

To: '

Sent: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 16:23

Subject: Downloads Direct [uNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your email.

The WO 95 that are not available from Discovery at the moment are part of a ongoing project. This project will released the war diaries that are being digitised in time for 100 year anniversary of World War I. This will be mid 2014 and you should keep an eye on our website for more details.

Please find a list of WO 95 available online below

http://discovery.nat...=yyyy&x=31&y=25

If you require the war diaries below, you can either contact our Record Copying department or visit The National Archives and make copies onsite.

Please let us know if you require further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Discovery Downloads Direct Team

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444

Contact: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

The National Archives website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Discovery: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/

Follow us on Twitter @UkNatArchives, join us on Facebook or sign up to our newsletter for monthly updates direct to your inbox.

-----Original Message-----

From: contactforms@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk [mailto:contactforms@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk]

Sent: 14 January 2013 13:14

To: Electronic Records Online

Subject: TNA130057084: ERO feedback (Electronic Records Online)

ENQUIRY DETAILS

TITLE: Mr

FIRST NAME: Peter

LAST NAME: Hastie

EMAIL ADDRESS:

ENQUIRY DETAIL: Hello

Could you please advise me as to when the recently digitized WW1 War diaries (WO95) will be available to download. I am aware that some are already available and some are still being digitized. These are the ones I am interested in

WO 95/2835, WO 95/1940, WO 95/3086, WO 95/3077, WO 95/3141, WO 95/2821/3, WO 95/2821/2, WO 95/2674, WO95/2824, WO 95/3115,

WO95/3114

Regards

Peter

Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

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Phil Wood

Graeme - the list is of the 178 diaries that have been available for some time. When you click on the link and there are more than 178 search results then the new ones will have started to arrive.

TNA's response to Peter suggests that they will not release any more until they have all of the 2,000+ they are currently digitising are ready to go. Which is a disappointment - I fear that they are more interested in the publicity generated by a big launch than the convenience of their users. Surely they could put a few hundred up very soon if they were so minded.

I, and I'm sure, others am beavering away researching the names on my local memorial, I am hoping to have a lot of information available for an exhibition to coincide with the centenary of the start of the war - if TNA wait until mid-2014 they will be too late for many local researchers.

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seaforths

Phil

Here is the schedule for digitisation:

1096-1934: variable*

1935-2071: currently unavailable, due to return 30/9/12

2072-2292: currently unavailable, due to return 31/10/12

2293-2592: will be unavailable from 1/9/12, due to return 30/11/12

2593-2992: will be unavailable from 1/10/12, due to return 31/12/12

2993-3948 (excluding 3155-3910): will be unavailable from 1/11/12, due to return 30/1/13

I have found one piece that was due to be returned for use at the end of Septmeber unavailbe now.but in general, TNA have done a good job despite the poor communications about removing access back in April.

February is a pipe dream. Once the pages have been digitised, they still need to be converted into PDFs and merged into a sequence in the same way the current digital war diaries are, QAed and loaded into the systems and made sure they can be accessed online.I certainly hope I'm proved wrong but, unless they are drip fed, I wouldn't expect any new war diaries online for some time yet.

Glen

Planning a trip to Kew in April. Does anyone know if the dates that Glen put up still stand? Have they been returned into circulation to the public?

Cheers

Marjorie

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keithmroberts

I'm not sure about the rate of return to access, but they still do produce some of those that are withdrawn when you look piteous at the enquiry desk.

Keith

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