A fantastic new project is being launched at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. With the enormous popularity of Queen Victoria’s Journals available online, the extensive collection of King George III’s papers will soon be available for the world to view on the web as well.
The Queen will attend the event announcing the project to digitise King George III’s private papers.
In collaboration with King’s College London, the project will see historic documents from the Royal Archives digitised and available for public viewing. There are over 350,000 pages included in the project. Previously only 15% were published.
Although the bulk of the collection is from George III, the project will include papers from King George I, George II, George IV and William IV.
“King’s was founded by King George IV – George III’s eldest son and successor – and with Her Majesty The Queen as our present day Patron, we are delighted and honoured to have been approached by the Royal Household to work on this prestigious project and to continue our long history of association with the Crown. This joint project, to open up over a century of Royal Archives, provides an unprecedented scale of opportunity to discover more about the Georgians,” Professor Edward Byrne, President and Principal of King’s College London, commented.
The Royal Librarian published some of King George III papers in the 1920 and again in the 1960s. Those papers are only a brief look into the reign of the sovereign and are now out of print.
Access to the Royal Archives is a somewhat daunting task since their location in the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, is a drawback to public access.
In 1912, the official papers of King George III and King George IV and their Private Secretaries were part of the initial collections added to the newly-created Royal Archives. Since then, other private Royal Family papers, and collections of Royal communication from the Georgian period have been acquired by the Royal Archives.
The availability of the papers online will allow for accessibility to historic material both to academics and scholars as well the wider public who are interested in King George III and 18th Century society.
King’s College London, in a press release, noted: “As an institution founded by King George IV – George III’s eldest son and successor – and with Her Majesty The Queen as our present day Patron, we are delighted and honoured to have been approached by the Royal Household to work on this prestigious project and to continue our long history of association with the Crown.
“It gives us great pleasure to share details of this project for interpreting and presenting this new body of material and ensuring that it is fully utilised at all academic levels from undergraduate upwards.”
King’s College London has a historic alliance with the Georgian Archives. In 1841, Queen Victoria gifted King’s College the majority of a compendium of scientific instruments accrued by King George III and others for use in public displays and use in scientific experiments and demonstrations.
The University renovated one of its libraries into a museum for the sole purpose of exhibiting the items. In 1843, Queen Victoria’s husband Albert opened the George III Museum in the King’s Building at the Strand.
Over his sixty-year reign, King George III had a significant impact on the culture and science of the day. The archives will illustrate his influence ranging from the politics to the arts.
Founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington, King’s College London continues a close relationship with the Crown. The Queen is Patron of the College, The Duke of Edinburgh has been a Life Governor since 1954 and both The Princess Royal and The Duchess of Cornwall are Fellows of King’s.