Accession to repositories annual surveys

FOI request reference: CAS-85213-F8H2L7
Publication date: March 2022


I would like the datasets for the accessions to repositories annual survey from 2016 until the latest available please (I think this is likely to be 2019).


Some information provided.


Please use the following link to access copies of the Accessions to Repositories Annual Surveys covering the period from 2016 to 2020.

Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey 2016

Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey 2017

Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey 2018

Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey 2019

Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey 2020

The Accessions to Repositories Annual Survey for 2021 is still being collated and will be finalised and published at a later date, consequently this information is exempt under section 22 of the FOI Act.

The National Archives is currently working to restore public access to copies of these surveys via the following webpage:


Exemptions applied.

Section 22: Information intended for future publication
Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) exempts from release information intended for future publication if (a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not), or (b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time when the request for information was made, and or (c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and we are required to conduct a public interest test when applying any qualified exemption. This means that after it has been decided that the exemption is engaged, the public interest in releasing the information must be considered. If the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in withholding it then the exemption does not apply and the information must be released. In the FOIA there is a presumption that information should be released unless there are compelling reasons to withhold it

We have considered whether it would be in the public interest for us to provide you with the information ahead of publication, despite the exemption being applicable. Please find below the reasoning for and against disclosure.

Arguments in favour of disclosure:
Disclosure of the requested information would demonstrate The National Archives’ commitment to being a transparent and accountable organisation and would increase public awareness of the work of the archives sector.

Releasing information at the current time would allow for contemporary discussion on manuscript accessions from record repositories across the nation and would consequently enable and enrich public debate.

Arguments against disclosure:
There are public interest arguments against disclosure of this information at the present time. These arguments include that it is in the public interest to adhere to the existing publication process for this type of information, which includes time for the information to be gathered and properly verified before being placed in the public domain.

It is also in the public interest to ensure that the information is available to all members of the public at the same time, and premature publication could undermine the principle of making the information available to all at the same time through the official publication process.

On this occasion, we have concluded that the balance of the public interest test falls in favour of withholding this information.

Further guidance on the application of this exemption can be found at: