Transfer Digital Records (TDR)

Transfer Digital Records (TDR) is The National Archives’ new digital transfer service that helps transferring bodies (government departments and other organisations subject to the Public Records Act) upload, prepare and transfer their selected digital public records to The National Archives for permanent preservation.

TDR is a browser-based preparation area where records are uploaded and prepared for transfer. Records uploaded in TDR continue to be the responsibility of and owned by the transferring body. At the end of the preparation process, the transferring body agrees to transfer legal custody of the records to The National Archives. Up until this point, the records are not held by The National Archives for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, and any FOI requests must be directed to the transferring body.

TDR is a service that will replace the DROID and encrypted HDD (Hard Disk Drive) method of transfer in most cases. Transferring bodies using TDR are not required to download the DROID software because these tools are built into the TDR system.

If you are a transferring body and have any questions about the service or wish to discuss a transfer, please contact

TDR now available

The TDR service is now available to be used by any transferring body wanting to transfer their digital public records to The National Archives.

The service allows transferring bodies to upload public records via a web browser. TDR automatically collects technical metadata that captures and preserves the integrity of the record. After the records have been uploaded, transferring bodies have the option to add more metadata, including records descriptions and closure information.

TDR is currently at public beta stage and its functionality is continuously developing. At the moment, we still ask transferring bodies, both new and existing users, to contact us before transferring records through TDR.

How do I access TDR?

The service has been developed to support transferring bodies who want to transfer their digital public records to The National Archives.

The onboarding process requires new users to register for a TDR account. Once your account has been set up, you will be able to access and use the TDR service to transfer your digital public records to The National Archives.

We recommend that users follow the relevant guide and FAQs that are linked further down this page (see ‘Further guidance and FAQs’).

Users of TDR should start here:

Please contact our team who can assist you with setting up your account, or to discuss a transfer you are planning to make.

When can I transfer my records?

For digital records, we are happy to take early transfer of material, there is no need to wait for the 20-year rule to apply. TDR has been developed with the aim of making transfers efficient and seamless. The National Archives strongly encourages and supports transferring bodies to transfer selected digital records as often as required using a ‘little and often’ approach. With TDR we no longer advise delaying until there is a large batch to transfer, the service can efficiently handle multiple transfers of small consignments.

What environments can I transfer from?

The TDR service currently accepts transfers of digital records from network drive or local hard drive environments.

Our teams are currently researching cloud-to-TDR transfer as part of our endeavour to expand the service’s capability to accept records directly from cloud environments.

What technical metadata is automatically captured by TDR?

The TDR service automatically captures technical metadata about your files, which include:

  • File path (identifier)
  • File name (title)
  • Date last modified
  • File/Folder
  • Checksum

What developments are planned for TDR?

Our team are researching new ways to expand the functionality of TDR. This includes research into faster, easier ways of adding large quantities of metadata and cloud-to-TDR transfers.

Over time, we will continue to develop the service in consultation with our users and will add support for more complex record types.

If you are a transferring body and would like to be involved in user research, and/or would like to trial TDR, please contact us at

What if my digital records do not meet current TDR requirements?

The National Archives still offers the DROID/encrypted HDD method for transfers of records that are outside the current scope of TDR. This includes very large transfers. We are continually expanding the capability of TDR and most transfers should now use TDR as the preferred method.

What are TDR’s security and accessibility standards?

TDR has undergone security testing, consultation, and applies relevant standards, including the following:

  • CHECK Penetration testing:
  • TDR follows the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) principles
  • External security consultation
  • The National Archives’ internal security accreditation
  • Internal security reviews
  • Multi-factor authentication is a requirement for users of TDR

TDR has passed its GDS Public Beta service assessment and has undergone accessibility testing to cover the user journey to complete a transfer. The service has been assessed against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.1.

For more information please read TDR’s Accessibility Statement.

Further guidance and FAQs

The National Archives provides further guidance and FAQs on transferring digital records using the TDR service. Please note that we have split these resources into two streams:

  • Government
  • Court and tribunal judgment users

Government users are defined as users of TDR who transfer their selected digital public records under section 3 of the Public Records Act 1958.

Government users’ transferred digital public records will be listed on The National Archives’ catalogue, Discovery.

Court and tribunal judgment users are defined as users of TDR who transfer their court judgments and tribunal decisions under section 8 of the Public Records Act 1958.

Transferred court judgments and tribunal decisions will be accessible from the Find case law service.

Please follow the relevant guidance and FAQ links for more information, tailored to your record type and user journey.

Government user TDR guide and FAQs

If you are a government user of TDR, please use the links below for your tailored guide and FAQs:

Court and tribunal judgment user TDR guide and FAQs

If you are a court and tribunal judgment user of TDR, please use the links below for your tailored guide and FAQs: