Public Record Office: Presentations to Places of Deposit under the Public Records Act 1958, Section 3(6), dataset
The dataset in this series is derived from a database of public records that were not selected for permanent preservation by the Public Record Office (PRO) but donated to external academic, educational or specialist organisations in accordance with the Public Records Act 1958 (for more details see Administrative/biographical background). The types of data recorded in the dataset are as follows: the file reference for the original documentation; the creator body (the government department that created the public records to be presented); creator contact name; creator address; type and class of records presented; contact name within the presenting organisation; receiving organisation's name and address; date on which the presentation was formally approved and public access conditions applying to the records after presentation.
The following National Archives paper file series comprise the main sources where presentations were documented: CCA; CD; C25; C9; 32; GEN 33; CASE; 2/CASE; 2/GEN; RAL 13; 2/RAL 13 and 3/RAL 13.
The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.
Hardware: available to users in the PRO on networked PCs.
Operating System: The original was Windows 2000 and the application software was Microsoft Access 97.
User Interface: Users accessed the database by means of a Microsoft Access form.
Logical structure and schema: The dataset comprises a single table containing details of archives presented to other institutions.
How the data was originally captured and validated: From 1959 to 1996 documentation recording the types of public records donated to external organisations was recorded in various paper file series in the PRO. On the creation of this database in 1996 these details were added from the paper files, new entries were added directly to the system using the Access database form.
The dataset is closed in the sense that once data was entered in to the system it was not altered or overwritten.
The Public Records Act 1958, s.3(6) states that 'Public records which have been rejected as not required for permanent preservation shall be destroyed or, subject, in the case of records for which some person other than the Lord Chancellor is responsible, to the approval of the Lord Chancellor, disposed of in any other way.'
This permits the National Archives (TNA) - previously the Public Record Office (PRO) - with the Lord Chancellor's permission, to donate those records, which would otherwise be destroyed as unworthy of preservation, to recognised academic educational and specialist organisations that have a use for them - subject to decisions as to whether it is considered appropriate for these bodies to retain custody of these records. For example, records may be transferred to outside bodies that are recognised as 'places of deposit' for public records under section 4 of the Public Records Act 1958.
This dataset contains the details of records donated to other institutions in this way. The Public Records Act 1958 was enacted from 1 January 1959 and donations under section 3(6) began in that year. The details were held in paper files until 1996 when the Microsoft Access database was developed. In 1996, data from these files was used to populate the database and donations from 1996 onwards were added directly to the database.
From April 2001 data inputting into the database was terminated when presentation documentation began to be stored in the Trim Captura electronic records management system that was being piloted by the PRO's Records Management Department.
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