Results from previous surveys

The results of the survey are used to promote archives services and their collections through Discovery and in other ways.

Follow us on Twitter to hear news about the survey and join us in promoting new collections by using #NewInArchives.

The survey

Our curated overview shows collecting by archives service and across broad areas of research. These include subjects like politics and military history and areas that we have a special interest in such as manorial records.

Having refreshed these categories for the 2017 survey, we can also see collecting activity across themes including black and ethnic minority and LGBTQ history and track records generated by third sector charitable and philanthropic activity. For information about these themes, please contact the team.

See the 2017 survey results by archives service and theme.

The report

Our vision Archives Unlocked calls on us to ‘demonstrate the impact of archives by developing and expanding audiences, piloting approaches to using data and evidence’.

Since Accessions to Repositories 2016, we have published a report offering insight into collecting trends by analysing the complete and unedited accessions data. For the first time it gives us the materials as sector lead to initiate a new dialogue about UK collecting based on evidence we have been gathering for over 60 years.

The report celebrates the investment that archives make in quality collection development and accessioning practice.

Read What’s new in archives? Accessions to Repositories 2017 (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Read Accessions to UK Repositories 2016 (PDF, 1.76 MB)

We are keen to gather feedback and know what analysis and insight would you like to see from this reporting in future years. Please email your thoughts to the team.

The data

The complete raw data (including nil returns and all single and traditionally non-archival items and accruals) gathered from participating archives has been published on, to encourage research and analysis into collecting and collections.

Access the 2017 and 2016 datasets