Following a rationalisation of duplicated surrogate copies in the reading rooms at Kew, the National Archives of the United Kingdom is offering the following batch of redundant microfilms of War Cabinet minutes, free, on a first-come, first-served basis:
CAB 23 War Cabinet and Cabinet: Minutes, 1916-1939
CAB 65 War Cabinet and Cabinet: Minutes, 1939-1945
CAB 66 War Cabinet and Cabinet: Memoranda, 1939-1945
CAB 128 Cabinet: Minutes, 1945-1970
CAB 129 Cabinet: Memoranda, 1945-1970
This comprises approximately 189 reels of used 35mm diazo negative image microfilm on 30 metre reels (not all reels will be full).
I don't see anything here of significant genealogical value, but I do find it interesting from a technical viewpoint: there doesn't seem to be much interest in microfilm any more when the National Archives of the United Kingdom has to give away their duplicates free of charge.
I hope that some organization grabs these and digitizes them with intent to place the images online. There must be information of significant historical value in these minutes of War Cabinet meetings. These won't be the most popular offerings on the web, but it seems a shame to let them disappear. Apparently, Kew is keeping one master copy of each microfilm.
Keep in mind that these are old-fashioned diazo negative image microfilms, not exactly the latest in preservation technology. These films will eventually fade if they haven't done so already. That's even more impetus to get the films digitized as soon as possible.
Only requests for the whole batch will be accepted; they are not available as individual offerings. For further information, or to make a request for these films, please contact James Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 20 8392 5330 ext 2310.
This offer opens on 1 February at 10:00 UK time. Requests will not be accepted before this date. Submissions will not be accepted after 28 February at 17:00 UK time.