Digital records transfer

Under the 20-Year rule you will usually transfer selected, sensitivity-reviewed digital records 20 to 30 years after they are created. Until then, you must safeguard the records and actively manage their digital continuity to maintain your ability to find, open, understand and trust them over time and through change. While this page gives guidance specifically for the transfer of digital records, you can find more information on how to ensure digital continuity in our guidance on the topic. We also offer detailed advice on the selection and transfer process for records in all formats.

With regard to digital records, we currently will accept early transfer of the records of Inquiries, significant Inquests and other Public Record Bodies that are closing. If you wish to discuss other circumstances that might warrant early transfer, or have any other questions in the context of preparing and transferring digital records, please contact the Digital Records Transfer team.

Under the 20-Year rule you will usually transfer selected, sensitivity-reviewed digital records 20 to 30 years after they are created

Once these five steps have been completed, digital records may be delivered to The National Archives.

Find the forms you will have to complete at stages three (Applying for closure on transfer) and five (Delivery of digital records to The National Archives) of the transfer process.

This page sets out the range of digital file formats that The National Archives can currently sustain over the long term.