December 1916 saw the first official record of a Cabinet Office meeting under the first Cabinet Secretary, Maurice Hankey (Lord Hankey of the Chart 1877-1963). As the Cabinet Office sits at the heart of government its role is crucial to the development and effective implementation of government policies in the past and today. The historical record of the Cabinet is of paramount importance to the historian. A wealth of information can be found in their records on events such as World War One and the Suez Crisis.
As part of the 100 year celebration the Cabinet Office hosted a panel discussion, 100 years of Cabinet Secretarties – six in discussion which was posted on the Cabinet Service blog
The records of the Cabinet Office are held at the National Archives , who have a new resource, Cabinet Office 100 and an online guide Cabinet and its Committees. At the end of the guide there is also a useful guide to further reading. Many now have been digitised and are available at Cabinet Office Papers, a useful review on the papers has been written by Dr Michael Hopkins in ‘Reviews in History‘. Please note, Cabinet papers are subject to the 30 year rule.
Two new books on the Cabinet Office are now available:
Official Histories of the Cabinet Secretaries, by Ian Beesley, 2017
Cabinet Office 1916-2016: the Birth of Modern Government, by Anthoy Seldon and Jonathan Meakin, 2016
Today the Cabinet Office have their own twitter account, @CabinetOffice and YouTube channel, cabinetofficeuk. At the UK Government Web Archive hosted by the National Archives you will find archived twitter, video and websites relevant to the Cabinet Office.
Hannah Chandler, Official Papers Librarian, Bodleian Libraries Oxford.