Transferring to places of deposit

Organisations specified in the secondary legislation under The Public Records Act are required to select and transfer their records to local archive services known as ‘places of deposit’. These organisations include:

  • Magistrates’ courts
  • Coroners’ courts
  • NHS organisations
  • Prisons including young offender institutes

Places of deposit are local archive services, other than The National Archives, which are appointed to hold certain classes of public records.

Transferring to places of depositHow do I transfer my records?

Follow these simple steps to achieve a successful transfer of records to an approved place of deposit. For more detailed instructions, see our brief guide to transferring records to places of deposit.

How do I find out who my place of deposit is?

Take a look at our online application to find where you should deposit your records. If your organisation does not appear, or you think the information contained therein is incorrect, please contact us.

How do I know which records should be selected for permanent preservation and transferred to my local place of deposit?

Some selection guidance is available for the following organisations:

Magistrates Courts RRDS
OSP 6: Records created by and relating to coroners 1970-2000
NOMS and HMPS RRDS: PS1 35/2014 (note: under revision)
Records Management: NHS Code of Practice
NHS Wales Welsh Health Circular 2000 (71)

National guidance cannot cover all possible variations in local circumstances or the types of records created in a particular organisation. You may consider selecting records which are not listed, or not selecting records which are listed in the guidance, provided that:

  • your decision is compatible with The National Archives’ national collecting policy
  • you take the advice of the place of deposit, and where necessary the relevant Whitehall Departmental Records Officer and The National Archives
  • you formally record the reasons for this local variation

How does the 20 year rule affect my organisation?

The secondary legislation under The Public Records Act reduces the point at which public records are transferred to places of deposit from 30 to 20 years over a ten-year transition period. This means the period during which your organisation should select and transfer its records for historical preservation will be reduced by one year for each year of the transition. This means that during 2016 records dated up to and including 1987 and 1988 need to be selected and transferred to your place of deposit. A further two years’ worth of records should be transferred each year until 2024 when records from 2003 and 2004 will have been transferred.

What is the Record Transfer Report for local bodies?

Organisations including magistrates’ courts, coroners’ courts, prisons and NHS bodies can take part in The National Archives annual survey which helps to monitor organisations’ progress in moving toward the 20 year rule. Taking part will help your organisation demonstrate your compliance with the new legislation.

Results of the 2015 survey can be found here.

Find out more