Courtesy of Birmingham Archives and Heritage

Over the coming months, The National Archives will collaborate with archive professionals, key stakeholders and strategic partners from the cultural, creative and digital sectors, in order to create a new vision for a self-sustaining, highly-skilled and effective archive sector in England; building on the success of Archives for the 21st Century (PDF, 1.76MB)

Following the recommendation of an independent review in 2015 measuring the progress made since Archives for the 21st Century was first published in 2009, and the updated action plan issued in 2012 Archives for the 21st Century in Action: refreshed 2012-15. (PDF, 6.74MB); we feel the time is right for The National Archives to work with the sector on a stronger future for archives.

The independent evaluation confirmed that the policy and subsequent action plans had prompted notable achievements in raising the profile of archives, increasing digital access and developing and delivering effective commercial and cultural partnerships. It also highlighted some of the emerging strategic priorities identified across the sector for the period ahead:

  • Digital transformation
  • Financial resilience
  • Workforce capabilities
  • Sector leadership

The outcomes of Archives for the 21st Century demonstrated the value and positive impact of government setting a clear policy direction for the sector. The development of a national policy on archives provided a strategic vision which allowed the archive sector to find, and articulate, their place within the cultural and digital economies.

With help from the sector, we will develop a strong strategic vision to support the case for archives as a vital part of the nation's heritage.

Events will take place around the country and will be based on the following themes:

  • Digital transformation
  • Innovation and financial resilience
  • People and education
  • Sector leadership

The National Archives will continue to deliver guidance, training, research and expert advice. We welcome any comments or feedback. To contact us, email

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