Welcome to Alpha

What is Project Alpha?

We believe that archives are for everyone. But with 34 million record descriptions available, we know that our online catalogue is vast and it can be easy for people to feel overwhelmed. So we are having a rethink.

Throughout 2020 we're building and testing a prototype for the future of The National Archives on the web, informed by user needs. We're calling this prototype 'Project Alpha' and sharing - in public - our experiments and their moving parts .

The prototypes you see here are works in progress. To ensure we can deliver them at pace, they have not been coded to production standards or subjected to the testing we’d usually conduct.

If you experience problems using the prototypes, we suggest that you first try using a different web browser. Alternatively, contact us for help.

Read about Alpha in our medium.com posts

Current prototypes

We hope you enjoy exploring Project Alpha as it takes shape. Your thoughts matter so please share them via the feedback link below each prototype.

Prototype services and APIs

API

Aggregator

Given a catalogue reference, aggregate the responses from other Alpha API's.

API

ID Resolver

Determine the item an identifier refers to and examine its parts

API

ILDB Web

Exploring URL patterns for catalogue records.

API

Dorisweb

Querying the document ordering system.

API

Research Guides

Given a catalogue reference, which research guides are relevant?

API

Image Library

Given a catalogue reference or creator name or information asset id, any image metadata and url in the image library for it

API

Online exhibitions

Given a catalogue reference returns any related online exhibitions

API

Elastic search test

Simplest possible app that makes a connection to Elasticsearch

API

Statplot

Some toying with visualisation techniques

API

Information asset

Given a catalogue reference or information asset id, returns the related information asset

API

Replica

Given a catalogue reference or information asset id or replica id, returns the related replica

API

AV Service

Given a catalogue reference, returns related AV resources from media.nationalarchives.gov.uk

API

Blog Service

Given a catalogue reference, returns related blog posts from blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk

API

Terms analyser (NER)

Given a search term, anaylse the term to identify any people or places in it

API

Summariser (NLP)

Summarise text and extract keywords

Here are some starter kits for building new prototypes

API starter kit

Hello World

A demo Flask app, with no static content (e.g., an API)

Front end starter kit

Front end prototype

A demo Flask app, with a Gulp build step, and NGINX for static files