This series consists of registers of letters received by the Home Office. Between 1841 and 1871 letters and papers were numbered consecutively as they were received, starting afresh at 1 on 1 January each year. The registers record the date and sender of the papers, and the assignment within the Office to one of the departments. The first year recorded completely is 1849, but the first two pieces in this series (HO 46/1A-1B) are registers retrospectively compiled covering the years 1841 to 1848. They are arranged alphabetically by subject or sender and show the Old Series (OS) number for each paper. (see following paragraph).
Accompanying all of the daily registers of the period 1849-1871 are registers of special subjects, alphabetically arranged, an index to the daily register by correspondents, and, usually, a register of papers preserved. When papers were preserved they were given an OS (Old Series) number, different from the original registration number. The OS numbers are marked in the registers. Preserved papers of the period 1841-1871 will be found in HO 45. The OS number is used as the piece number for purposes of ordering these items.
Until 30 January 1852 criminal papers were entered in the same daily registers as domestic papers, but between then and 1871 a separate series of criminal registers was in use, which now forms the series HO 14, and the surviving criminal papers for that period are in HO 12
Preserved papers raised between 1871 and 1949 will be found in HO 45 and HO 144, as will six figure series files running on beyond 1949 in HO 45. Entries in the daily registers of that period are classified under various subjects arranged alphabetically, and relate to both domestic and criminal correspondence.