Monday, 22 April 2013

Old TNA catalogue to be switched off

The National Archives old catalogue is to be switched off on April 30th, leaving Discovery as the sole catalogue on the archive's website.

I have still to work out exactly how to use Discovery - which I have been less than impressed with since it first arrived - but I will have to lump it and get on with it now. For those still in the dark about it, there is a Discovery FAQs page at

For the full story on why it is being switched off (a combination of we've had to make big savings, and the time is right) visit

NB: From the story - "Discovery now offers nearly all of the Catalogue's most-used functionality, along with many other new features. Any remaining differences between the two systems are either included in our development plan, as we continue to enhance Discovery, or are little-used and will not be included."


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.


  1. The key to using Discovery is to ignore the siren song of the single box and go to Advanced Search. you can see all your options then. I generally prefer to use the options there, rather than to do a basic search and filter it, especially if you want to restrict your search to a date range, although the filter function is still useful. Once you have some results you can re-sort them by date or be reference order. This is one of the features that weren't there when Discovery was first released - there have been quite a lot of other changes too, so if you haven't used it for a while it might not be as you remember it. When Discovery was first launched I used the old Catalogue quite a lot because there were some things I couldn't do in Discovery, but now I hardly ever use it.

  2. It's the filtering that was such a wind up - seems to be a real fad now (FamilySearch, FindmyPast overseas versions, etc). Will have another look in due course!