The UK National Archives has a free online search, but there are problems. Some knowledge has always been necessary to search the catalogue with any success.
The Discovery Service makes it easier for everyone – novice to expert – to search and use the collection.
The user is able to search the collection, explore and browse, whether for genealogy research and/or scholastic purposes.
Discovery is a digitized document delivery service that will make it easier to search for genealogy records such as wills and testaments, court proceeding transcription and order digitized genealogy records.
To experience Discovery, visit the Labs section of the National Archives website, the place they release new online services for customers for testing and to provide feedback. New features are being added to Discovery regularly and the latest release includes advanced search and fixes existing problems in previous versions.
The Discovery service will be fully tested and approved before it replaces any other services.
The National Archives holds over 22 million historical government and public records, doubling in just over two years and making it one of the largest archive collections in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.
The old catalogue offered a free search of the collection, but had its problems. A minimum knowledge level was necessary to be able to effectively search the collection. This required level of knowledge made it difficult for new users to take advantage of the search.
The National Archives Discovery Service implemented a system that makes it easier for users of all levels.