Material Classification

War, State and Society contains records from the following collections:

Records of central government departments and ministries

  • War Cabinet: Home affairs minutes and memoranda from the Lord President's Committee and the Food Policy Committee.
  • Ministry of Information: Home intelligence reports.
  • Ministry of Home Security: Civil intelligence papers and daily reports of attacks on the U.K.
  • Ministry of Health: Records of the Government Evacuation Scheme.
  • Board of Education: Evacuation surveys and progress reports.
  • Ministry of Labour and National Service: Minutes of the Committees for Reserved Occupations and Manpower Priorities.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries: Administrative records of the Women's Land Army.
  • Foreign Office: Records of refugee policy and the Advisory Council on Aliens.
  • Ministry of Works and Buildings: Records of the Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey.

Records of local organisations and wartime bodies:

  • Ministry of Home Security: Progress reports on bomb shelter provisioning and conditions.
  • Research and Experiments Department: Surveys on the social impact of bombing.
  • Ministry of Health: Evacuation numbers and progress reports submitted by Regional Officers.
  • Food Control Committees: Minutes and enforcement records.
  • Women's Land Army: Minutes of local organisations and welfare committees.
  • The Home Guard: Histories and organisational records of local units.

Collections of government propaganda:

  • Wartime advertisements from the History of Advertising Trust archives, Beccles (U.K.).
  • Film production records from the Ministry of Information and the Crown Film Unit.
  • Transcripts of the radio broadcast series Kitchen Front, produced by the Ministry of Food.

Users can browse, filter, and search the collection by the following themes and subthemes:

Preparations for War and Peace Military activity and Home Defence Bombing and Attacks on the Population
Pre-war planning Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence Damage to property
The wartime economy Air raid shelters Disruption to services
Health and welfare Conscription Casualties and injuries
Central and local government Civilian-military interactions Psychological impacts
Post-war planning Invasion contingencies Reconstruction and salvage

Rationing and Supply Evacuation Industry and Infrastructure
Agriculture and food supply Evacuation scheme Manufacturing and materials
Rationing, licensing, and price control Reception and billeting Transport and travel
Fuel and utilities Education and schooling Labour supply and relations
Retail and consumer goods Unofficial evacuations Gender and work
Enforcement and regulation Dislocated populations Reserved occupations

Domestic Life Information Services and Propaganda Social Relations
Eating and cooking Public opinion and morale Crime and policing
Housing and living conditions Publicity campaigns and initiatives The black market
Wages and cost of living News and information channels Political movements and disruption
Families and relationships Censorship and surveillance Social identities and divisions
Entertainment and culture Rumours and gossip Foreign nationals and newcomers

The files contain the following document types:

  • Advertisements, Pamphlets, and Posters
  • Film and Broadcast Transcripts
  • Letters and Statements from the Public
  • Maps, Charts and, Diagrams
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Memoranda
  • Miscellaneous
  • Official Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Press Summaries and Publications
  • Reports and Surveys
  • Statistical data

In addition, the files are also indexed according to the following:

  • The thirteen Civil Defence Regions of the wartime U.K. (including Northern Ireland).
  • A list of over 1,500 locations (including over 200 countries and locations outside of the U.K.).
  • A list of over 500 government, commercial, and public organisations and services.
  • A list of over 950 subject-specific keywords.

For a detailed description of each of these metadata fields, visit our Metadata and Keyword Glossary pages.

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