Original OCR: no clean-up

70,410 ALTO XML files at page level

70,410 image files

METS metadata files at item level

20,932,746 lines and 43,090,178 words

Covers years 1919-1945


The Royal Air Force (RAF) was formed on the 1 April 1918 by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, as a response to the events of the First World War. It was controlled by the British Government Air Ministry.

The Official Lists for the RAF have been published since 1919 and give details of officers who served in the British Royal Air Force during the First and Second World Wars. They also list retired officers, medical staff, nurses and chaplains, decorations and awards and holders of the Victoria Cross.  

The lists were issued monthly, bimonthly and quarterly.

This dataset gives details of officers and staff  who served in the Royal Air Force during the First and Second World Wars and covers the years 1919-1922 and 1938-1945.

This dataset reflects only part of the Library’s printed collection of British Airforce lists.

Related dataset

Visit the British Navy Lists page on the Data Foundry website: British Navy Lists


Rights information

Public domain

This collection is free of known copyright restrictions. For details visit the Library’s copyright page.


Download the data

Trial the data

Download a sample of the dataset for initial evaluation.

File contents: 1 plain text readme file; 678 ALTO XML files; 1 METS file; 678 image files.

File size: 114.3 MB compressed (203.0 MB uncompressed)

All the data

File contents: 1 plain text readme file; 1 CSV inventory file; 70,410 ALTO XML files; 103 METS files; 70,410 image files.

File size: 9.8 GB compressed (17.1 GB uncompressed)

Caution: large dataset

Just the text

File contents: 1 plain text readme file; 1 CSV inventory file; 103 plain text files.

File size: 81.4 MB MB compressed (227.0 MB uncompressed)


Cite the data

DOI: https://doi.org/10.34812/j7ny-ay57

Dataset creator: National Library of Scotland

Dataset publisher: National Library of Scotland

Publication year: 2020

Suggested citation: National Library of Scotland. British Air Force Lists. National Library of Scotland, 2020. https://doi.org/10.34812/j7ny-ay57