10 Aug 2011

Missing papers from National Archives

Recent reports have brought to light the troubling loss of important documents and papers from the National Archive. The Archive lists some 1,600 folders of documents reported missing since 2005, including items such as letters from Sir Winston Churchill to General Franco, minutes of Harold Wilson's meetings with the Queen, and documents from the courts of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Charles I. Some files have not been seen since the early 1990s and fewer than half have been recovered.

Despite negative commentary from scholars and historians on the handling of these materials (outlined in greater detail in this Telegraph online article), an archives spokesman said missing files amounted to 0.01 per cent of the collection. There is also an ongoing programme in place to search for lost items.

Many missing items relate to key moments in British history. Here’s hoping it’s an unfortunate but temporary misplacement...