National Archives Images of Documents

tim4848

Member
Does anyone know if there is a dedicated website that contains scans/images of documents available at the National Archives in KEW?

Have you considered putting such images on your site John?

I have some of Operation Pistol and will hopefully have some more of other operations later in the year when I have visited the National Archives

Tim
 

Bamboo43

New Member
Hi Tim,

You/we have to be very careful regarding placing paperwork online, held by the NA or any other public library or archive center. I belong to a couple of forums where the members freely helped each other out with documents they had previously gleaned from such places. The NA and I think Ancestry. com both sent a warning about people offering papers purchased or copied from their archive services online. Most of the time it was documents such as Medal Cards for WW1 that seemed to cause offence.

Bamboo.
 

tim4848

Member
Hi Bamboo,

Thanks for the info. It would be a shame if that is the case. I can see that there would be a problem if such a site did exist and it was making money from it, either by subscription or advertising.

What about transcripts of documents such as "After Action" reports? I have seen one on this website whilst trawling through the threads relating to 2SAS.

I might have a look at the Terms and Conditions I agreed to when I purchased document scans from NA.

Tim
 

sammyb

New Member
I think you raise a good point Tim. I have an after action report (from the National Archives) from when a unit of 1SAS were ambushed in Jan 1943 in Libyia. It provides an excellent insight into how 4 men that are listed on this Roll of Honour lost their lives.

I wondered about whether somehow it could be posted so it could be linked to their entries in the roll of honour.
 

Bamboo43

New Member
Hi Gents,

I have a lot of documents from the NA to do with the Chindits and their actions, some of which I have passed on to John on this site. I think the main problem with these organizations is when people publish these docs on forums to save others from needing to purchase them, thus stopping potential revenue or subscription.

If the material is used in a decanted form and not shown as originally presented or verbatim, I am sure they would not mind. Plenty of sites I use have documents presented which come from public sources, some acknowledge or credit the source, others do not make an issue or highlight the source.

It is a difficult to really understand the actual 'legal copyright' position on this matter. One webmaster I have spoken to just uses what he wants and holds his breath!

Bamboo.
 

Pete

Member
The National Archives like any other organisation has costs and budgets. It is a fantastic resource and for a small purchase price the individual can obtain documents they desire. Commercial interests such as publishers can also obtain a license for publication of such documents which costs more. If everyone were to breach the agreement you make when purchasing documents and place them online then revenue to maintain the archives would be lost. I agree that to see many of these documents would be fascinating. I myself have acquired a few Army Commando reports from them. I believe they are working to have all their documents available for online access but a charge will still be necessary to cover what must be high storage, labour, and other costs involved. I feel it is unfair to be asking John Robertson, the moderator/creator of this marvellous site, to risk the penalties of copyright or any other breach of the law by publishing them. Would we all be willing to chip in to help him pay the considerable fines imposed when such breaches are pursued through the courts ! Bamboo I think you are right when you say about them not being used verbatim. A short one or two sentence summary and then supplying the reference number of the document and details how to obtain it should be enough for anyone who may wish to discover more about a particular operation. That would in fact be good advertising for the NA and possibly generate them some more revenue.
 

geronimo

Member
I agree that we should pay for these items where we need, however the price can be a little on the high side. I contacted the IWM on obtaining a photocopied diary of 160 pages. the price quoted to to me was 10p per page. that's ?160. I think that's ludicrous. not all of us can get to london to read the documents to know what's pertinent and what's not. I know how much it would cost to reproduce that document, using a photocopier with an auto feed ( I used to sell industrial copiers) . each page would cost them including paper less than a penny. I can understand charging what it costs them and making a profit of something like 3p a copy but 10p. I have no qualms about paying just not what it would cost for me to get to london and stay for the weekend
 

tim4848

Member
It was never my intention for anyone to compromise themselves and fall foul of any copyright issues. if john's answer was, yes, i have considered it but there are copyright issues, i would have said, oh, of course that may be an issue. in fact, one of the early replies to my question had content to this effect.

the service i've had from the national archives has been exceptional and thanks to them, i have found out information about my grandfather that he never divulged to me (he died when i was 16) or even my late father (he died when i was 19).

i suppose i'm looking at this subjectively. i believe that because it was my grandfather who wrote his report, then i should be able to make it available to whoever i want to.

last year (in fact 65 years to the day), i visited all the locations mentioned in Operation Pistol that my Grandfather had detailed in his report. I have edited all the video and was intending uploading it to youtube. i'm now concerned that because it contains video image of the documents i obtained from the national archives, i may be in breach of copyright.

in summary, i believe that the national archives should continue to charge the fees they do (they are very reasonable) but they should also consider making any scans that they have done, available for the public to view. not for free, but charge a small fee. can you imagine that if 100 different people were to ask for the same document, what the physical damage would be, every time the document was retrieved, unbanded, scanned, rebanded and restored?
 

Pete

Member
Tim

I am a great believer in getting things right from the outset, albeit in the circumstances you describe I can't see any official getting upset. This youtube video that you are making is a great tribute to your grandfather . Your grandfather as you say wrote the reports. The video is for non commercial use. Might I suggest that you write, or email, the National Archives to seek permission to use it. Explain fully about your grandfather, the tribute you are making, the non commercial aspect of it, say it from the heart. Include your comments from here about the help from the NA that you have received. I have approached authors, publishers, newspapers, for photos and information on behalf of the CVA and so far found them more than helpful. If they try to charge you a fee I would be amazed but let us all know on here if they do. People might say there are ways round it in that that your grandfather may have kept a copy or diary, etc etc. If you don't ask them you will never know what they might have said.

Regards

Pete
 

geronimo

Member
40p a page, not 10p I knew there was a reason why I thought it was dear. 84 pages ( 2 per sheet must be A3) costs 2.50 handling fee comes out at ?36.10
 

wheretofindmatt

New Member
Hello, any chance I could see these documents? It’s a long shot but my grandfather was 1 SAS and captured in Libya at sometime or another
 
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