Most of the records in this series appear to have come from the Director of Experiments and Research of the Research Department (later Armament Research Department), Woolwich and transferred to Waltham Abbey just after the Second World War when the decision had been made to concentrate explosives research there.
This series consists of a comprehensive set of reference abstract cards and some related source material as well as some miscellaneous research reports.
Pieces 1-103 consists of around 100,000 Reference Cards. The bulk of the cards are filed under scientific or technological headings. The remainder, relating mainly to foreign matters, are filed under 'Foreign' or by name of country. There is also a sub-section under the generic title 'Reports'. Some reference numbers given refer to sources (eg files) which are not part of this collection. Others refer to material available in other PRO series.
The rest of this series consists for the most part of source material representing a variety of documents ranging from letters and loose minutes, many giving scientific and technical information of substance, to a selection of reports, including reports on experimental work and progress reports
The remaining category of reference material in the series covers a selection of miscellaneous reports and related material. Included are research reports; drawings of apparatus; papers relating to committee work; periodic progress reports; reports from the Chemical Research and Development Department; report indexes and papers relating to Combined/British Intelligence Objectives Committees - CIOC/BIOC (mainly accession lists). The research material covers experimental results, tests methodology, calimetry, manufacturing processes, investigation into accidents and research in other countries.