Press release

Students dig deeper than ever before

The National Archives, working with Bafta-nominated Wave design co-operative, has launched a groundbreaking education website providing free online access to more than 60 years of Cabinet papers.

The 'Cabinet papers, 1915-1977' project, funded via the JISC Digitisation Programme, provides unprecedented online access to more than half a million pages of Cabinet Minutes and Memoranda. Users can key-word search the entire content of each record, opening the information up to people all over the world. While education tools - including interactive maps and images - will help students engage with the records and understand the way they influenced people's lives over the years.

Wave was appointed to design and build the site after a competitive pitch and on the strength of their previous work including the Bafta and Webby Award nominated site, Discovering Antarctica.

The site will provide an invaluable resource to students, with many of the topics covered forming an integral part of the A-level examination syllabuses and university programmes.

The Higher Education section of the site covers more than 100 topics written by historians and peer-reviewed by leading academics. These packages give students an introduction to the subject area and then support them in conducting their own research.

'This is an outstanding resource which, for the first time will give A-level students direct access to the actual records of the decision-making process which influenced so much of the history of the 20th Century,' says Andrew Payne, Head of Education and Outreach at The National Archives.

'For sheer knowledge-access and inspiration alone the Cabinet Papers are invaluable. But on top of that, the powerful interactive tools in the website will support students in their analysis of the primary sources and significantly enhance their interpretative skills, which is exactly what examiners and university admissions tutors are looking for.'

Sally Lampitt, Wave director said: 'This has been both a fascinating and challenging project for the Wave team, bringing out the best of our creative and technical expertise. Our aim was to make the site and its functionality engaging and accessible for all, to really maximise the potential for knowledge exchange.'

Wave is a design co-operative that specialises in print and web design for charities, social enterprises and public sector organisations. With over 20 years experience, Wave works for organisations that make a positive difference to today's society. Wave is a member of Co-operativesUK.

This project is funded under the JISC digitisation programme, which aims to make available previously hard to access resources for use in teaching, learning, research and wherever possible open to the wider public too.'

Log on and explore the workings of Government by clicking here.

Find out more about Wave design co-operative.