i would like to know the following:
1) From what date was it exercised that members of the public would have to electronically register in order to view original documents.
2) Who authorised said registration.
3) Is there an option to opt out of registration.
Thank you for your enquiry of 7 December, in which you asked for information about the Reader Registration process at The National Archives. Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and we are pleased to be able to provide the information you have requested below.
- From what date was it exercised that members of the public would have to electronically register in order to view original documents?
Members of the public wishing to consult original documents at The National Archives, or its predecessor, the Public Record Office, have been required to register their details at a computer terminal since the late 1990s. This formed an early version of the electronic registration process in use today. In August 2010, mandatory document handling training was introduced for anyone wishing to view original documents in our reading rooms.
- Who authorised said registration?
Authorization was provided by the then Public Record Office Management Board.
- Is there an option to opt out of registration?
There is no option to opt out of this registration, which ensures the continued safety and security of our collections. However, registration is not required for those wishing to order copies of documents. Equally, many of our most popular records, particularly those of interest to family historians, are available online, or in surrogate form. You do not need a reader’s ticket to consult these records.
Please follow this link for more information about the Reader Registration process at The National Archives.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives
Please mark your complaint clearly. You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint. However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.