Providing access to your collections

Discovery is a portal to archival collections held within the UK and to many collections held internationally relating to the UK. It incorporates data from the National Register of Archives (NRA), Directory of Archives (ARCHON), Access to Archives (A2A) and the Manorial Documents Register (MDR), and replaces them.

Manage Your Collections

Data an archive has within Discovery can be added to, updated and deleted by the relevant archive using the Manage Your Collections tool.

Access to Manage Your Collections requires a Discovery account. For more information on Manage Your Collections, including information on the signup process, please see our dedicated web pages.

Sign up

If you are an archivist at a repository with an ARCHON code who wishes to set up an account within Manage Your Collections then:

  1. Take a look at the terms and conditions (PDF, 0.16MB)
  2. Register for a Discovery account
  3. Send us an email letting us know the username you signed up with and stating your agreement to the terms and conditions.
    We will be in touch when your account is activated.

If your archive had data in the legacy A2A system, you will see these collections when you login to the system.

Manorial Documents Register in Discovery

The Manorial Documents Register (MDR) is an index to English and Welsh manorial records, providing brief descriptions of documents and details of their locations in public and private hands. We have now completed our programme to improve the quality and quantity of the available information and to make the register available online within Discovery.

We will continue to take in information that will allow us to provide accurate and up-to-date information about manorial records and their locations. The new owner of manorial documents must report any change of ownership to the Secretary of the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) and Head of Archives Sector Development at The National Archives, as stated in the Manorial Document Rules.

Notify us of a change in manorial document ownership by emailing

Find an archive directory

Prior to Discovery, contact and access information for over 3,000 UK and international archival repositories was made available via ARCHON, the online directory of contact and access details. This information can now be searched via the Find an Archive directory and is also used in Discovery to describe the location of records.

You can use this form for updating and creating pages via Discovery. Although ARCHON is now closed as a standalone database, the unique repository number used for ISAD(G) compliant cataloguing will continue to be used and known as an ARCHON code.

Please note that all changes to information made available in Discovery will take at least 24 hours to be displayed.


You can contact the Archives Sector team by email, or write to us to discuss the best way to provide collections information or with corrections, amendments or new additions to Discovery, including Find an Archive and the Manorial Documents Register at The National Archives. Please use the address: Archives Sector Development, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.

Accessions to Repositories

We are continuing to collect information from repositories about new collections as part of the Accessions to Repositories survey. For up to date information about this year’s survey, please visit the project page on our website.