Digital repository

The National Archives is constantly developing methods of storing, preserving and providing access to electronic government records – everything from emails and web pages to multimedia formats.

The digital archive was launched in 2003. For the first time a digital repository, successfully storing and making available electronic records of government held here at The National Archives was available to users.

Our work on this digital repository (in partnership with private company Tessella) led to us winning the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation, for developing a system for preserving digital information. This system, Safety Deposit Box, has since been adopted by archives and libraries around the world.

The digital archive’s holdings include the records of a number of high-profile public inquiries, departmental websites and the records of parliamentary committees and royal commisssions. Electronic records can exist in an enormous variety of formats, including office documents, applications, databases, virtual-reality models and audio-visual material.