The Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) appointed under Royal Warrant in 1869 has been part of The National Archives since 2003. HMC has a long tradition of publishing information on the location and nature of records, highlighting their value in historical research and advising on their care. The activities of the Commission are an integral part of The National Archives and our approach to sector leadership.
We build on the tradition of the Commission, maintaining information about archives and their collections within Discovery, our catalogue. Discovery incorporates data previously made available via the National Register of Archives (NRA), Access to Archives (A2A), the Archon Directory and the Manorial Documents Register (MDR). This is augmented through survey work such as the completed Religious Archives Survey and the Architectural, business and construction records project.
To ensure the long-term accessibility of the content of these resources, they are being incorporated in Discovery. Discovery has been developed in the light of user requirements and feedback. It provides a single point of online access to catalogue and organisational data from across the archive sector.
We work in partnership with archives stakeholders to develop strategies for improving the care of particular types of archives, and to provide information and guidance through our web resources and staff expertise.
The Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research informs our work in this area.