Catalogue description Home Office: Noters Section: Precedent Books

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Details of HO 384
Reference: HO 384
Title: Home Office: Noters Section: Precedent Books

This series consists of precedents from Home Office files arranged in large bound volumes according to subject.

Noters maintained precedent registers on the basis of information passed from divisions. Divisions with a particular interest in precedent (eg. dealing with royalty; special compilations of Home Office papers for major royal events are included) are therefore over-represented but the registers as a whole act as a subject index to Home Office papers, and most subjects dealt with by the Home Office are covered (including four books on the First World War).

The original series were known as "A" notebooks and only one of these has survived. These were succeeded at the turn of the century by "N" books, a number of which were lost during the Second World War. In 1948 the "N" books were succeeded by "V" books.

"Clips" are supplementary precedent notes. They are called clips because they were originally filed in clip binders and these are the references given to them by Noters. The clips were transferred to files for the purpose of transfer to the PRO.

From 1984 precedents have been recorded on microfiche.

Date: 1821-1993
Related material:

Prison Commission precedent books are in PCOM 17

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Home Office, Establishment Department, Information Retrieval Services, 1988-1993

Home Office, Establishment Departments, Noters Section, 1890-1988

Physical description: 189 files and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

Registry clerks at the Home Office began the system of noting in 1890. Before this date precedents were searched by registry staff without the benefit of any form of index. As the work expanded it became necessary to create a separate section known as "Noters" within the Establishment Division.

The Noters section provided a centralised service to divisions noting precedents on request and undertaking research in archives/closed files for the department and members of the public.

In 1988 the Noters Section became Information Retrieval Services (IRS). In 1993 IRS merged with Record Review Section to become Review Services.

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