Your Archives of the National Archives
Members of the public, and The National Archives staff may contribute a descriptive commentary on the contents of an archive in accordance with these terms and conditions of use. The contributions should be factual and descriptive and not contain opinion or political commentary.
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Planned closure of Your Archives in 2012
We launched Your Archives in 2007, with the intention of providing an online platform for users to contribute their knowledge of archival sources held by The National Archives and other archives throughout the United Kingdom. In that time, over 31,000 people have registered and contributed or updated articles, there are over 21,000 articles and there have been almost 260,000 page edits, there have been over 6 million visits to the site with more than 50 million page views.
However, online technologies have changed rapidly in that time, and the expectations of our users have also changed. Users expect to see information relating to records in one place, whether the 'official' catalogue description or detail added by another user. While the wiki format of Your Archives still very much has its place on the web, it doesn't fit with the seamless user experience that we want to provide.
We have therefore decided that we should focus our attentions on adding some of the functionality of Your Archives into the Discovery service, which will soon replace our online Catalogue. We're currently developing the functionality to enable users to enhance our collection by annotating and tagging our records. Our intention is to allow users the flexibility to describe records in new ways, while making the distinction between official catalogue descriptions and user-generated content. Discovery will provide a single platform for users to search and view official and user-generated content seamlessly.
In order to progress with the transition to the Discovery service, we have decided to close Your Archives to new users from January 2012. In addition, content will not be editable after September 2012. We will then prepare the site for preservation on the government web archive – Your Archives' content will be accessible from the archive, but some functionality may not work. We plan to migrate suitable content into the Discovery service.
Please have a look at the beta version of Discovery, which is up and running at nationalarchives.gov.uk/discovery. We're making constant improvements to it based on user feedback, so please use it and let us know what you think. Your Archives has helped us learn so much from researchers who use our collection, and has helped us realise the importance and value of user collaboration. We really do value your past contributions and hope that you will continue to work with us on our exciting new ventures.
Update: 1 February 2012
User registration was switched off today as part of the planned closure of Your Archives. Existing registered users can continue to create new pages and edit existing content.
Update: 30 September 2012Your Archives is now read only. Users can no longer create or edit any content.