Selecting and transferring records

These pages provide guidance on the selection and transfer of records. Bodies transferring records to The National Archives or to places of deposit under the Public Records Act 1958 should follow this process.

This process applies to records in all formats and media, including paper and digital records.

Check whether your organisation needs to transfer records either to The National Archives or to a place of deposit by reading Public records bodies: Determination and change of status (PDF, 0.22MB)

Alternatively contact us for more information.

Records can possess different types or degrees of value to a public records body, and these values affect how records are managed and how long they need to be kept.

Under the Public Records Act 1958, those responsible for public records must make arrangements for the selection of those records which ought to be permanently preserved.

Departments should have effective arrangements to determine which records should be retained in the department, designated as open on transfer or transferred as closed for a period of time.

This is the process of preparing records for permanent preservation.

The process of transporting the records from the department to The National Archives is also known as 'uplift'.

Accessioning is the work that The National Archives does once records have been delivered, so that we can make the records available.

The forms and guidance provided below are for government departments that want to borrow accessioned records from The National Archives.

The laws of England and Wales place obligations upon departments and The National Archives for the collection, disposal and preservation of records.

If you wish to transfer digital records to The National Archives, please get in touch with your Information Management Consultant (IMC) or email our Information Management Team.