About our research

As an originator and supporter of research, we maintain an innovative programme to develop and test new ideas, for the benefit of government, information and preservation professionals.

Collaborating with academics is important to us and we welcome applications to partner external research projects. However, due to limited resources we are unable to support every application we receive. Therefore we hold regular Grants Panel meetings to discuss new proposals and their benefits to The National Archives. Find out more about how to submit a proposal.

We do not supply archive services with formal letters of support for funding bids or other related purposes. If you are from an archive, go to our Using Advisory Letters page to find out more from our Archives Sector Development department.

For those intending to create web or digital outputs as a result of their research projects, we ask that academic colleagues think carefully about appropriate digital standards and metadata creation so that created resources can easily be transferred and sustained. We are happy to discuss draft proposals in this area, and would appreciate being involved in the early stages in planning on these issues. Please email research@nationalarchives.gov.uk for more information.

Sign up to our free research enewsletter to stay up to date with the work we do.

Academic Engagement and Research Roadmap and Scoping Study

Our business plan, Archives Inspire, identifies the academic community as one of The National Archives’ four key audiences. The National Archives is working to reinvigorate its relationship with this audience, which is made up of individual academics, research organisations, funding councils, and universities.

Academic Scoping Study

In October 2015, The National Archives commissioned DJS Research to undertake an Academic Scoping Study.

The scoping study examined the current changes occurring across the academic landscape and recommended how these changes might provide new opportunities for The National Archives to work collaboratively with members of the academic community.

It also sought to establish the nature and extent of The National Archives’ current reputation amongst this audience.

Delivered in March 2016, the Academic Scoping Study provided a comprehensive overview of The National Archives’ relationship with individual academics, universities, funding bodies and other Independent Research Organisations as it began the exciting journey to reinvigorate its academic engagement.

Academic Scoping Study (PDF, 1.10MB)

Academic Engagement and Research Roadmap

The Academic Engagement and Research Roadmap provides a strategic and practical response to the recommendations of the Academic Scoping Study.

It gives a detailed overview of how The National Archives will reinvigorate its academic engagement, increase its own research capacity, and more effectively showcase staff expertise.

It details 29 practical steps to achieve these ambitions between 2016-2026.

Academic Engagement and Research Roadmap (PDF, 0.15MB)

Digital Research Roadmap

The Digital Research Roadmap responds to the recommendations in Digital Research Challenges at The National Archives, a scoping study carried out by Darryl Mead, Michael Moss and Norman Gray in 2015-16.

The Digital Research Roadmap is a strategic plan for the digital research that we will carry out as an organisation, individually or in collaboration, between 2016 and 2026.

It sets out why digital research is important to us, what our digital research priorities are, and how we will increase our capacity for digital research. It shows that research forms an essential part of our digital strategy 2017-2019.

Digital Research Roadmap (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Current projects

Read more about some of the projects we’ve been involved in.

If you are interested in collaborating with us on research projects, please see our guidance for research partners.

See some of the research published by staff at The National Archives.

Code of conduct

The National Archives wishes to set out a code of conduct relating to research. It reflects the principles of the RESPECT project (Code of Professional Conduct in Socio-Economic Research), which seeks to ensure respect for research ethics, intellectual property, confidentiality, professional qualifications, professional standards and for research users.

Read the Code of Conduct (PDF, 0.05MB)

Using documents at The National Archives

Find comprehensive guidance on the citation of documents held at The National Archives in theses and publications.