A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

About the Project

MoI Digital will keep you up to date with the progress of the project, which remains lively and productive long after its period of funding. It will offer a frequently-updated blog, tweets, a growing list of lectures and events (some of which will be available as a podcast), and an expanding list of project-based publications of all sorts.

However, its core function will be to make accessible primary material (mostly from the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum, with their kind cooperation) on which we have based much of our research. This will come in two forms. The first will consist of records that have been digitally photographed and then re-typed. This process results in files that can be searched for key words and phrases. The second form are files that have simply been digitally photographed, the images of which will appear on your screen. These can be read but cannot be searched. In addition, and in the future, we shall be adding contemporary photographs of the activities of the ministry, and images of some of the  printed outputs (such as posters, leaflets, magazines, and comics) published by the ministry. Furthermore, we shall at various times be uploading spreadsheets which detail, as comprehensively as possible, the full range of printed items and other outputs produced by the ministry.

Given the amount of material to be processed, we shall be augmenting MoI Digital in a series of phases. The speed at which we shall move to Phases two, three, and four will be determined by available resources.

Phase one
This will feature fully-searchable versions of all the Home Intelligence Reports and all the Wartime Social Surveys produced by the ministry. You can find an introduction to these records here.

Phase two
We shall upload fully-searchable versions of papers relating to meetings of the Executive Board, and the Policy Committee. In addition, we will make available in the same searchable form Cyril Radcliffe’s unpublished ‘History of Information and Propaganda’ and the collection of ‘Histories of the Regional Information Offices’. 

Phase three
This will see the upload of digitally-photographed records from other key ministry files at the National Archives.

Phase four
This will consist of visual material in the form of, one, photographs from the Imperial War Museum’s collection and, two, examples of the ministry’s printed output from the National Archives.

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