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Publishing historical documents via Whitehall Publisher

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Product changes

The information in this blogpost may now be out of date. See the current GOV.UK content and publishing guidance.

We've made some improvements to the way you show that a document you're publishing to GOV.UK is old.

Adding old content to GOV.UK

Any new document published to GOV.UK via Whitehall Publisher will have a default first published date of today (the day you publish). This includes the document in email alerts to subscribers and marks the document visibly with today's date.

When you need to publish a 'new old' document (eg during transition), you can set the first published date to a date in the past.

This field was frequently missed when creating documents. It was hard to spot and was an optional field.

Many old documents have been published with an inaccurate first published date.

How to mark a document as old

Marking a document as new or old is now a mandatory field in Whitehall Publisher.

It's near the top of the editing form, with the other mandatory fields:

Mark a document as new or old


If you say the document is new, the first published date will be the day you publish the document.

If you say the document is old, you'll get the option to add the first published date:

Set a first published date

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  1. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    That's a good move, thank you. How about moving the scheduled publishing option, so all 3 date options (new today; new scheduled; past date) are together?

  2. Comment by Lisa Scott posted on

    Thanks Andrew - good suggestion. We went with putting all the mandatory fields together. We are looking at making the editing form more intuitive and quicker to fill out. So we can come back to this.