Wednesday, 30 November 2011

TNA on digitized information

On November 8 I emailed The (UK) National Archives with a freedom of information request. I'd read the claim that "Over 80 million of our historical documents have been digitised and published online."

I asked four questions, repeated below with the answer received:

1) Is this 80 million individual pages or full documents?

The 80 million figure is full documents (not images). Due to different calculation models used for different record types the accuracy of this figure is approximately 80%.


2) What percent were digitised under a cooperative arrangement with a commercial or other partner?

75.7%

3) What percent are census records?

27.2%

4) What are the other major (top 10) record sets digitized and what percent of the 80 million do they each represent?

Series - %
1. WO 363 - 26.2 (Soldiers' Documents, First World War 'Burnt Documents')
2. WO 364 - 7.7 (Soldiers' Documents from Pension Claims, First World War)
3. WO 97 - 6 (Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers Service Documents)
4. PROB 11 - 2.91 (Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers)
5. WO 96 - 2.16 (Militia Attestation Papers)
6. HO 2 - 1.3 (Aliens Act 1836: Certificates of Arrival of Aliens)
7. BT 26 - 1.26 (Inwards Passenger Lists)
8. BT 27 - 1.16 (Outwards Passenger Lists)
9. WO 372 - 0.97 (First World War Medal Index Cards)
10. ADM 188 - 0.67 (Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services)

I'm surprised the census records are only marginally larger than the "Burnt Records". 

The top 11 represent three-quarters of the digitized records; there must be a long tail of smaller databases.

I'm impressed that a question asked on 8 November received a response from TNA before the end of the month.  

No comments: