Why collaborate with us?

The benefits of working with The National Archives as a research organisation include our:

Unique position

We have a unique position as an Independent Research Organisation, a government department, the leader of the archives sector in England, and a major cultural institution in our own right. More about our role.


We are at the crossroads between different audience groups: the academic community, government, the archives sector, the public, and the digital audience. We see research as vital to support our work with all of these audiences.

Our research collaborations help us carry out the strategic priorities in our business plan, Archives for Everyone 2019–23. For example, we use research in our public engagement activities like events and exhibitions, and in our education offer to schools, teachers and students.

Independent Research Organisation status

The quality of our research and staff expertise is reflected in the fact that we are recognised as an Independent Research Organisation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This means that we are eligible to apply to any of the UK’s seven research councils for funding.


We have a strong reputation for academic excellence in disciplines ranging from history, heritage science, and digital humanities to information management, legal informatics, and education.

We work closely with individual academics and independent scholars, as well as other research organisations and specialist interest groups.


We have a variety of specialists across The National Archives with a wide range of research interests.

Our staff regularly contributes to and lead pioneering inter-disciplinary research projects, publish in peer-reviewed journals, speak at academic conferences, and participate in postgraduate teaching and supervision. More information about our specialists.

Digital research

We are shaping an ambitious programme of digital research in order to address the challenges we face as a digital archive. Our Digital Research Roadmap (PDF, 0.2MB) reflects the themes of our Digital Strategy.


We have an incredible collection of records spanning over 1,000 years of history. Ranging from the Domesday Book to the Leveson Inquiry, it includes paper and parchment, digital records and websites, videos, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.

We also maintain information about many other archival collections. Discovery, our catalogue, has more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country.

We are committed to opening up our collections through groundbreaking research and innovative engagement. Details of our research strategies and priorities.