View Full Version : Files Held at TNA

phill jones
7th February 2017, 20:43
Please can anyone tell me if a list available of all the Files held at TNA relating to the RAF

ie Air 29 Misc Units , Air 27 ORB , and so on , is a complete list available giving all the Air Reference Numbers etc

TIA P Jones

bruce dennis
7th February 2017, 20:58
Hello Phil, what an interesting question. There probably is some list but I doubt if it is available to the public. However, the information (if I understand your question correctly) is there for the asking via the advanced search feature on the TNA Discovery catalogue.
Go to 'advanced search'; find 'Search for or within references, Any of these references' near the bottom of the first field; enter the file series you are curious about, such as AIR29;

... hit search and you will find that there are 9,593 individual files at Kew in the AIR29 series.

I know the search shows 9,594 hits but look to the left and you will see that it has caught one file held at another archive. It works with any series of files.

If I have missed the thrust of your question, my apologies and please let me know what needs tweeking.

Hope this helps.

phill jones
8th February 2017, 19:49
Hello Bruce ,

Thank you for replying to my thread , and i must confess i perhaps did not put it as i should have basically i was looking for what does each file in the AIR Series cover? such as Air 29 Covers Misc units etc what does each file in the Air Series detail ? from start to finish .

Hope this makes sense and thank you

Rgs Phill Jones

bruce dennis
8th February 2017, 20:46
Hello Phil,
Perhaps this will help:


... as an example of the information available from Discovery, TNAs online catalogue. All files are arranged by subject (such as AIR) which is broadly described when you view the 'top' of the list, such as the description for AIR being 'AIR - Records created or inherited by the Air Ministry, the Royal Air Force, and related bodies'. I am sure you know that but it must be said to make sense of what follows. Sticking to AIR as our example, there are 82 series within AIR and each series covers a different set of files grouped by subject. So AIR27 is squadron ORBs (2893 of them), AIR28 is station ORBs, AIR29 is Miscellaneous Units and so on. Within each of these numbered series are sub-series and the best way I know to get a grasp on what is inside each is to look in the description of the numerical series and see the section called 'Arrangement:' . 'Arrangement' will tell you what 'headings' are inside, such as AIR29 saying 'Arranged under headings including Air Sea Rescue Units, Embarkation Units, Instruction Units, RAF Regiment Squadrons, Air Ministry Experimental Stations, Maintenance Units, Operational Training Units, Reconnaissance and Interpretation Units and Training Units.' Each of the 82 series within AIR follows this format so if you use advanced search and select 'AIR' in 'Search for or within references' and then a keyword in the top field such as 'rescue' or 'regiment' it should be easy to identify a sub-section in the search results.
Some numerical series are dedicated to a single subject or a very narrow band of related subjects. Sometimes these will not have the 'Arrangements' field but will have 'Administrative / biographical background:' and should be easy enough to follow.
I hope this helps, but if not why not send an email to TNA and ask if a master list exists of the 'Arrangements'? Please publish the answer if so.


phill jones
8th February 2017, 20:58
Dennis , thank you now we are getting there , sorry i mislead you on my first question , i will contact TNA and see what if any lists exists ie a master list of arrangements and report back

Thank you Phill