Cataloguing your records

Cataloguing is the process of writing a description for the records that you are transferring. The records can be searched later using descriptions and titles within catalogues.

Departments transferring records to The National Archives must catalogue or list the selected records according to The National Archives’ defined cataloguing principles and standards.

Places of deposit have their own cataloguing standards and conventions and they may differ from those at The National Archives. Therefore bodies which transfer to places of deposit should consult the places of deposit on the most appropriate level of description and listing required.

There is a quick reference guide covering the key elements.

We have published more detailed guidance on physical preparation and planning and arranging delivery of records.

We also publish information about digital records transfer.

Guidance and forms

A guide to transferring records to The National Archives – transfer aide memoire (PDF, 0.80Mb)

The National Archives’ guidance on cataloguing conventional records (PDF, 0.24Mb)

Editorial guidelines for The National Archives’ catalogue (PDF, 0.13Mb)

Microsoft Excel cataloguing template (XLS, 0.02Mb)

RTF cataloguing template (RTF, 0.07Mb)

Guidance on using our Microsoft Excel cataloguing template (PDF, 0.53Mb)

Guidance on using our RTF cataloguing template (PDF, 0.13Mb)

AA2 e-transfer form (RTF, 0.06Mb)