Accessions to Repositories

Every year we ask archive services in the UK and Ireland to send us a comprehensive list of accessions of manuscripts and records they have taken in during the previous 12 months as part of the Accessions to Repositories survey.

This information is published annually online and is also available within Discovery.

Accessions to Repositories 2015

The deadline for submitting Accessions to Repositories 2015 returns has now passed. If you have been invited to but have not yet submitted a return to us, please get in touch.

This year we are using Accessions to support changes introduced by the 20-year rule and so some regular contributors may find that we have asked them to provide additional information in their returns.

Who takes part?

We invite repositories which are known to be actively collecting beyond their own institutional records.

If you do not normally receive an invitation but wish to take part in this year’s survey, please email us. You can read the guidance notes to find out what criteria we use to select archives for inclusion in the survey.

Why do we conduct this survey and how do we use this information?

The information provides a vital knowledge base for The National Archives’ work with the wider sector, and allows us to trace the location of archives and manuscripts, as well as to monitor the transfer of public records and manorial documents. It also provides repositories a great opportunity to showcase their new archive acquisitions.

Information gathered during the accessions survey is used to update records and record creator information within Discovery and is published on our Accessions page.

As well as being published on our website, we use the data to produce a number of thematic digests which are made available online and published in academic and specialist journals. These digests help us to monitor collecting activity on particular themes and highlight collections of interest for researchers around specific events or research interests. For example, for the last few years we have published a World War One related digest.

The 2014 survey surfaced a number of interesting collections including papers, correspondence and related artwork of a Yorkshire feminist art collective, and drafts of ‘Adrian Mole: The Prostrate years‘. To find out more about the collections discovered through last year’s survey read our blog.

For more information about how we make your collections information available, please visit our Discovery and Finding Archives project page.

20-year rule and local authority Places of Deposit

These are the key points for Accessions in 2015:

  • all archives were asked to send in returns by the end of January 2016. Please contact us if you were invited but are yet to submit a return.
  • we have asked local authority places of deposit to submit additional information about public records, including information about the transferring body and quantity in linear metres.
  • local authority places of deposit identified as being affected by the 20-year rule should note that we cannot guarantee payments of New Burdens funding for returns received after the end of January. If you have not submitted a return, please get in contact so that we can discuss your situation.

For more information about this, please read our guidance. Note that this year there are separate guidance notes for local authority places of deposit. We will be contacting you if you are eligible for new burdens payments but you can contact us to check your status if you are unsure.

More information

For further information about accessions or to discuss submitting a return after the deadline, please email us.

You can download guidance and accessions return templates for the 2015 survey below.

Please note that this year, we have produced a specific template and guidance for local authority Places of Deposit reporting certain public records. These archives will have been contacted directly and informed that they should use this specific guidance and template.

Please contact us with any queries, if you are unsure of your status.

Accessions to repositories guidance and FAQs (PDF, 0.24MB)

General accessions return template 2015 (XLS, 0.04MB)

Accessions to repositories guidance and FAQs for local authority Places of Deposit (PDF, 0.27MB)

Accessions to Repositories return template 2015 – for local authority Places of Deposit (XLS, 0.04MB)