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  • The Right to Vote - Birmingham Archives and Heritage and Parliamentary Archives. Reproduced with the permission of Birmingham Libraries and Archives.

    The Right to Vote - Birmingham Archives and Heritage and Parliamentary Archives

  • Bristol Record Office: The Atlantic Rollers - regular players at the Bamboo Club. Image reproduced with permission of Bristol Record Office, from the Tony Bullimore collection (BRO 43845/Ph/2/1)

    Bristol Record Office: The Atlantic Rollers - regular players at the Bamboo Club

  • Launch of BFI Mediatheque at the Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear. Image reproduced with the permission of BFI.

    Launch of BFI Mediatheque at the Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear

Archives matter to everyone – they are our collective memory. They promote accountability, make access to history possible and support good governance.

We want to build an effective network of archives that benefit and inspire more people of all ages and backgrounds. The National Archives is the sector leader for archives in England. We will inform policy development and support services to strengthen, develop and adapt.

See our approach: Together, better

Together, better - our approach

The National Archives formally took on the role of sector leader in October 2011. Our approach to leading archives summarises the responsibilities we have agreed with government, the tools we have at our disposal to support the sector and our goals for our work. Over the next six months we will continue engaging with archives as we start to implement our new role and develop our website to meet the needs of the sector and reflect new ways of working.

To join in the discussion, contact us at

Case studies

  • New models of delivery

    Hull History Centre project

    Explore the Hull History Centre which brings together the material held by the City Archives and Local studies Library with those held by the University of Hull.

  • Community engagement

    Manchester Chinese Archive - PDF opens in a new window

    Find out about the Manchester Chinese Archive, which won the National Archive Volunteering Project Award for 2011.

  • Learning

    Berwick-Upon-Tweed Record Office - PDF opens in a new window

    Read about how Berwick-Upon-Tweed Record Office worked with Early Years Providers in the Berwick area to develop topics and resources, based on archives.

  • 2012

    Paralympic Region project

    Discover the ‘Paralympic Region’ project and how Stoke Mandeville's historic archives are involved.

Case studies are a valuable resource. To help us keep these up to date with the best practice, please send us your stories so we can celebrate your work and enable others to benefit from your learning. Further case studies can be found at: MLA research website; Archive Pace Setters; Archive Sector Update

  • Statistics

    • 2,174
      archives exist in England and Wales (ARCHON)
    • 94.9%
      of archive users rate the service good or very good (2009 PSQG)
    • The impact of archive services ranges from the corporate to the personal: 'Thank you so much for … firing up so many of us to return and engage on our personal journeys of exploration and discovery through the material you hold.'
  • Find your local archives

    ARCHON directory The National Register of Archives contains information about the location and nature of historical records that have been created by some 52,000 individuals, 9,000 families, 32,000 businesses and 108,000 organisations.

    ARCHON lists the contact details for the repositories in which they are held.

Keep in touch

Sign up for our free enewsletter

We produce Archive Sector Update, our quarterly enewsletter, which informs on developments and matters of current interest to the archives sector.

Sign up for our free enewsletter by emailing

See previous issues

Who to contact for more information:

Emails take the format: firstname.lastname

Telephone: +44 (0) 208 876 3444

Or reach the team at

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