Government departments that transfer records to The National Archives provide data on the volume and transfer status of the records they hold. This data has been collected in Spring and Autumn each year, beginning in Autumn 2012. From 2017, departments will provide data once a year (starting from February 2017). The National Archives will use data collected from previous surveys to monitor compliance and assist departments in managing the transfer process and identifying need for additional resources.
Access the record transfer report
The file shows the data provided by Government departments that transfer records to The National Archives. The 21 departments that transfer 90% of the records sent to The National Archives each year are listed in A-Z order, with the data from the remaining departments included in the report then also listed alphabetically.
Record transfer report Autumn 2016 (XLS, 108KB)
Record transfer report Autumn 2016 (CSV, 50KB)
Our new data-driven visual display for the top 21 transferring government departments enables easier comparison between legacy, current and future forecasts of departmental record figures, and is designed to be easily viewed on mobile devices.
Legacy, current and forecast figures
Government bodies that transfer records to The National Archives provide data on the volume of records they hold in the following categories:
- legacy – records due for transfer or disposal by the previous year and now overdue
- current – records due for transfer or disposal in the current year
- forecast – records due for transfer or disposal next year
Public records selected for permanent preservation should be transferred to The National Archives or an approved place of deposit by the time the records become historical records, unless the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport authorises a department to keep them for longer. This approval is recorded in the Retention Instruments. For independent advice on questions relating to access to public records, the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport refers to the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives.
Figures provided are split into records covered by a Retention Instrument and records not covered by a Retention Instrument.
Explanatory comments are given by departments to accompany the survey data with further information provided by some departments on their websites. The number of records shown as being planned for transfer is a forecast of how many records will be transferred to The National Archives by the end of the calendar year.
See data for previous record transfer reports:
Record transfer report Spring 2016 (XLS, 180 KB)
Record transfer report Spring 2016 (CSV, 53 KB)
Record transfer report Autumn 2015 (XLS, 102 KB)
Record transfer report Autumn 2015 (CSV, 53 KB)
Record transfer report Spring 2015 (XLS, 102 KB)
Record transfer report Spring 2015 (CSV, 53 KB)
Record transfer report Autumn 2014 (XLS, 121 KB)
Record transfer report Autumn 2014 (CSV, 27 KB)
Record transfer report Spring 2014 (XLS, 75 KB)
Record transfer report Spring 2014 (CSV, 21 KB)
Find out more
- Access a summary of the public records transferred to The National Archives each year
- Read more about the 20-year rule
- Find out how the records transfer process works
- Read about the legislation that shapes how the government record is managed