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Important Announcement

On 1 June 2010 the Archives and Records Association (ARA) was officially formed as a result of a merger of the National Council on Archives; the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (ACALG) and the Society of Archivists (SoA).

With the creation of ARA, the National Council on Archives will cease to operate as an independent group.  Ongoing NCA activities will be continued by the new organisation, further information about which can be found at www.archives.org.uk

The website of the National Council on Archives will continue to serve as a resource for professional literature.  However, the website will no longer be maintained and updated.

October 2010

Aims & Objectives

The National Council on Archives was established in 1988 to bring together the major bodies and organisations, including service providers, users, depositors and policy makers, across the UK concerned with archives and their use. It aims to develop consensus on matters of mutual concern and provide an authoritative common voice for the archival community.

Its specific aims are:

  • To bring to the attention of the public, government or relevant institutions or organisations, matters of current concern in the field of archives.
  • To assist the work of the The National Archives and The Museums, Archives and Libraries Council in such a way as those bodies deem appropriate by mutual agreement.
  • To encourage and to assist in a continuing programme of public education in archive matters; to work to inform the public of existing archive services and of the importance of preserving our archive heritage, by encouraging or supporting conferences, publications and other such educative ventures.
  • To encourage funding, where appropriate and in consultation with other relevant agencies, in support of the preservation and acquisition of archives and to provide advice, when called for, on the allocation of such funds.
  • To pursue the definition of minimum standards for archive repositories, to investigate means of achieving them, and to encourage their attainment where appropriate.
  • To examine current archive acquisition policies and activities and to draw attention to such gaps or shortcomings as may be perceived.
  • To encourage collaborative or regional initiatives to improve or advance the cause of archive services.

Some of the objectives of the NCA are delivered through its research arm, The Public Services Quality Group (PSQG) and The Community Archives Development Group (CADG) both formally affliliated to the NCA .


The NCA is a membership organisation. It became a company limited by guarantee on 13th December 2000 and a registered charity on 16th August 2001.

Important Merger Announcement

The National Council on Archives, the Society of Archivists (SoA), and the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (ACALG) have voted in favour of merging to form the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland).

The new body will provide the sector with a louder voice to stakeholders and policy makers, position the sector to build on its existing strengths and move forward to face future challenges.

To read a press release issued by NCA, SoA and ACALG please click here.

The Council, Vandaleur Estate, Co. Clare, c.1888. Courtesy of the National Photographic Archive, Ireland.

Press cutting about The Great Smog, 1952. Courtesy of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Science.

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