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- Archives and records
Approved places of deposit
The National Archives has previously undertaken inspections of places of deposit against The National Standard for Record Repositories to provide assurance that the records are secure and that suitable arrangements are in place for their preservation and access, both on appointment of a new place of deposit and as part of ongoing supervision, as required to fulfil our statutory functions and obligations relating to approving places of deposit for public records under the Public Records Act 1958.
We plan to maintain supervision of places of deposit through Archive Service Accreditation and the new standard will be the baseline requirement before any new place of deposit can be appointed. Archive services that are currently appointed as a place of deposit are expected to apply for archive service accreditation during the initial roll out 2013-2017. An archive service which is an appointed place of deposit will be formally inspected for one of the following reasons:
- appointment of a new place of deposit
- new building or accommodation for the records
- substantial changes to buildings and or services
- significant changes to governance
We will be working in the coming years to fully align the two schemes as Archive Service Accreditation matures.
Manorial records and tithe records will continue to be held by previously approved archive services.
Find out more about how archive service accreditation will interact with place of deposit status.
Approved places of deposit (PDF, 0.00Mb)
What is a public record?
Public records are created by:
- government departments
- courts of England and Wales
- armed forces
- non-departmental public bodies with public record status
- committees, commissions, courts and boards of enquiry established by the above
Each organisation and its records are assessed separately as not every organisation falling within these categories creates public records.
Records can be created within the United Kingdom or overseas.
The following are not public records:
- records Presented under Section 3 (6) of the Public Records Act 1958 (the act)
- records originating from a body that does not have public record status
- records created by nationalised industries except where
- public record status has been conferred
- those industries have been placed under the control of a government body (for example the Transport Commission)
- records of local government and associated organisations
- records of religious denominations
- records of parliament
- papers from the Sovereign and Royal Household
- publications created by a public record creating body
- unused forms and guidance notes issued by a public record creating body for official use (although may be enclosed in a public record)
Records presented under the act (RTF, 0.54Mb)
Places of deposit
Places of deposit fall into three distinct categories:
- local record offices (usually borough or county archive services)
- specialist (for example university or military archives)
- government (for example research establishments or national museums)
We can appoint a repository as a place of deposit under s 4 (1) of the act, to hold certain classes of public records which are not held at The National Archives.
Public records can be transferred to a place of deposit under s 4 (3) of the act. The public record body should write to the place of deposit to confirm the transfer of records and the place of deposit should then confirm in writing with the public record body when all the records have been received.
Sometimes the transfer of records should be made using a statutory instrument. This is most common when records are transferred from one place of deposit to another.
If a place of deposit wants to hold types of public records other than those for which they have been approved, they need to contact us for approval. We ensure classes of public records are deposited with similar records so that collections develop and are easily accessible.
Presentations or gifts
Sometimes repositories receive a record as a presentation or gift. This is when a public record not selected for permanent preservation is passed to repositories under section 3 (6) of the act and the record loses its public record status. Any suitable repository can therefore receive a presentation, and not just a place of deposit.
Records deposited as presentations or gifts are described in the National Register of Archives rather than in the place of deposit schedule.
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