Archives for Everyone 2023-27 published

Today, we share the priorities in our Archives for Everyone 2023-27 strategic plan. This opens a new chapter in our transformation, outlining our vision for the next four years and looking ahead to where we want to be by 2038, when we will celebrate the bicentenary of the Public Record Office.

In April 2019, we made a commitment to become the ‘21st Century national archive’ – inclusive, entrepreneurial, and disruptive. In the four years since, much has changed in the world, and we have changed too. We have found new ways of working, we have found new ways of reaching people and we have become still more important to the life of the nation as a source of memory, evidence, and public value.

Our new strategic priorities published today reaffirm our commitment to our vision: to the transformation of The National Archives to meet the present-day challenges of our historic mission, to a creative approach to these challenges, pioneering a new kind of cultural and heritage institution, and to make good on our unique promise and potential. 

Over the next four years we will bring the archives of Parliament together with our own to become the archive of the UK state, comprising records of the executive, legislature and judiciary.

We will complete the single biggest transfer in our history, approximately 10 million service personnel records from the Ministry of Defence. In addition, we will further develop our ability to connect people with our collection in person, online and through education at all levels.  We will continue to implement our new research programme increasing our funding and developing pathways for enhanced research.

We will also complete a business case for a new regional location to complement our Kew headquarters, one that is rooted in and distinctive to its setting and that will meet our future storage needs, strengthen archival networks and enhance our public engagement and outreach.

Jeff James, Keeper and Chief Executive of The National Archives, said: ‘Four years ago we committed to the vision of becoming an archive for everyone: inclusive, entrepreneurial and disruptive. With our 2019-23 goals achieved we are now publishing our ambitious priorities for the next four years.

‘This is an exciting time for us. The National Archives is an essential resource for our democracy, and an asset for future generations. Our conviction is that archives are for everyone, and that archives change lives for the better.

‘This plan allows us to build on that conviction and create a living, digital archive that preserves the contemporary government record while widening access to our historic record and leading the organisation into the next its third century.’ 

Professor Andrew Wathey, Chair of The National Archives Board, said:The National Archives is one of the world’s great collections, and I feel privileged to be leading its Board and working alongside a group of people who are ambitious and passionate about opening up archives and our nation’s history to the widest possible audience.

‘Over the next four years, our strategic plan sees us developing as an outstanding example of a state archive, growing in outlook and stature, and, in the true spirit of Archives for Everyone, drawing out the value of archival collections to people across this country and around the world.’

Tags: archive sector, Archives for Everyone, ministry of defence, parliamentary archives, strategy