The Royal Navy's contribution to charting the seas - decline or resurgence?
What is it about?
An account of the decline of Royal Naval capability for survey and charting of the seas since the third quarter of the twentieth century is challenged, high-lighting an innovative response to both the cut-backs in defence spending and the rapid development of technology. Comment is made on the vulnerability of the official sources for a history of the period, especially since the advent of word-processing and widespread use of e-mail for correspondence.
Why is it important?
Since publication several academic researchers have signalled agreement with this clarion call for awareness of the vulnerability of official records from recent decades. This is partly because of a move to 'electronic offices' dispensing with hard copy records. But it also reflects ill-disciplined paper-work with the advent of computer word processing, leading to important documentation being overlooked in bulky official files when they are assessed for retention or disposal.
The following have contributed to this page: Captain RN Michael Kenneth Barritt