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Changes to public services at The National Archives

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Changes to public services at The National Archives

30 June 2009


Please refer to our up-to-date information pages for details on the proposed changes at The National Archives


The National Archives proposes a number of changes to its operations and public services. The proposals include closure of the Kew reading room to the public on Mondays, and a new daily charge for car parking on the Kew site. We anticipate that the changes will be implemented from early 2010.

These changes to our Kew service reflect the growth in demand from our online customers, who account for over 90 per cent of our usage, and are unaffected by these changes.

Public meetings

You are invited to attend one of our open information meetings where Jeff James, Director of Operations and Services, will take you through proposed changes at The National Archives. The meetings will take place at Kew:

  • 12:15 on Thursday 2 July in the talks room, first floor reading room
  • 10:00 on Saturday 11 July in the talks room, first floor reading room

The proposed changes will also be discussed at The National Archives' user forum on 16 July, 20 August and 17 September 2009.

Strategic approach

The National Archives has taken a strategic approach and identified changes that will put the organisation in a strong financial position.

Chief Executive, Natalie Ceeney says, 'The demand for our services is increasing significantly and so we need to make choices. We are committed to maintaining quality, and will continue to offer great onsite and online services while adapting to our customer needs. We believe this approach will keep The National Archives world-class and will continue to secure access to our unique collection for generations to come.'

Investing in online services

More and more customers expect to access services online and The National Archives will always need to evolve to meet our customers' changing needs. In fact, over 170 documents are now downloaded for every one original document seen by a visitor to the reading rooms. Investment in the website will continue as The National Archives constantly improves access to its records and expertise online, for example, developing the catalogue and digitising popular records such as the 1911 census.

Staff and trade unions were informed of the details on Monday and will now enter into consultation over the next couple of months.


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