The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives is an independent body. It advises the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on issues relating to access to public records and represents the public interest in deciding what records should be open or closed. It was established by the Public Records Act 1958 as a non-departmental public body.
It is chaired by the Master of the Rolls, a senior judge, and has 17 members including historians, archivists, information management professionals, former civil servants and journalists.
Advisory Council reports
The Advisory Council reports to the Secretary of State every year. This is published with the annual report of The National Archives.
Advisory Council report 2021-22 (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Advisory Council report 2020-21 (PDF, 0.45 MB)
Find information on the Advisory Council’s role in providing advice to the Secretary of State.
Openness and objectivity underpin the Advisory Council’s work in considering applications for the retention or closure of records.
The function of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives (the Council)1 is to advise the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (the Secretary of State), on matters relating to records and archives. It is chaired by the Master of the Rolls.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport appoints the members of the Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives (ACNRA) is an authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore has a statutory obligation to adopt and maintain a publication scheme.
The following list gives the file structure for Advisory Council files held by the secretary.
The Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research is a subcommittee of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives.
Find out about the various papers produced by the council.