The National Archives, UK

About The National Archives

The National Archives (TNA) is the official archive of the UK government and for England and Wales. It is the guardian of some of the nation’s most iconic documents, dating back more than 1,000 years.

TNA aims to make available up to 100,000 pages of content, and use a curated rather than whole file approach to retain focus on the Environmental Science subject areas.

There is a particular focus on the period from 1910 to the 1970s. The material has a strongly international flavour as it covers the colonial and post-colonial years.

Images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England.


Of particular interest is content drawn from and touching on:

  • The Committee for Colonial Agricultural, Animal Health and Forestry Research
  • Colonial Advisory Council
  • Pesticides Research Committee
  • Conservation of fauna and flora in the Antarctic Treaty Area
  • Oil exploration
  • Exploitation of natural resources
  • The economics of exploitation of natural resources
  • Natural resources and geopolitics
  • Telecoms and meteorology in the Antarctic Treaty Area
  • Anti-locust research centre
  • Alternative energy sources, including ‘atomic energy’
  • Waste disposal
  • Air pollution
  • Climate change

Primary Source Materials

  • Government reports and analyses
  • Memoranda
  • Meeting minutes
  • Correspondence
  • Pamphlets and brochures
  • Conference proceedings


  • The Colonial Office
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • The Meteorological Office
  • The Cabinet Office
  • Ministry of Overseas Development

What people are saying

  • “I used the typeset transcripts feature, as some of the handwriting was difficult to read. Thanks to the on-screen citations tab, I could keep an ongoing bibliography for my notes.”

    Ann-Marie Richardson

    PhD Candidate AHRC North West Consortium Funded Researcher with The Royal Society

    Lancaster University

  • "The Wiley Digital Archives interface is seamless and has a crisp, clean look. Clutter is a distracting feature of many databases, so it was enjoyable to smoothly browse these archives without running into interruptions, rather focusing on the substance. The content is incredible and can add enormous value to my research work in the history and evolution of healthcare."

    Tommy Flynn

    RN, CPNP-AC | Ph.D. Candidate, Nursing

    Emory University

  • “With the search terms I use, the collocations tool gives me a better sense of what is available in the archives. I’m able to click on a word and quickly be led to other information, to access a larger, macro view, and there can be real value in that.”

    Dr. Catherine Nichols

    Department of Anthropology and Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities

    Loyola University Chicago

  • “The WDA platform is a wonderful resource, bringing together numerous collections and enabling cross-referencing across multiple archives.”

    Mobeen Hussain

    co-Editor in Chief--Doing History in Public

    PhD Candidate, World History--University of Cambridge

  • “The search functions in Wiley Digital Archives are particularly good for the type of research I do. I can cross-reference my current inventories of Livingstone’s mentions of the word “women” very quickly, and the horizontality of the search process enables me to happen upon other works of interest that I might not have found otherwise. The malleability of this search function, in combination with the quality of the Wiley’s OCR, has facilitated fast, comprehensive data access—and underscores the value that these records can bring to the understanding of the socio-cultural makeup of exploration.“

    Dr. Kathryn Simpson


    University of Glasgow

  • “Wiley Digital Archives are always available, so there are no time limitations. Just as important, it opens the access to Society Archives to independent scholars or researchers at schools that don’t have the funding for extensive travel.”

    Sarah M. Pickman

    Ph.D. Candidate—History of Science and Medicine Program

    Yale University

  • “The RAI’s archive is the unique repository of Arthur Bernard Deacon’s original reproductions, which have been included by UNESCO in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.”

    Jacopo Baron

    PhD Candidate Doctoral School of Social Anthropology and Ethnology

    EHESS of Paris

  • “Wiley Digital Archives presents extremely robust features and tools for users. The dense archival collections are highly navigable with rich metadata and advanced filtering functionality. The range of exploration and analysis tools present users with innovative ways to explore within—and across—archives and collections.”

    Maria Smith

    Center for Research Libraries

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