The Hayes repository occupies a site built as a Royal Ordnance Factory in 1941. The site was taken over by the Public Record Office in the early 1950s, and the two main buildings were equipped with racking to provide approximately 215¼ linear miles of record storage. The Public Record Office allocates racking to government departments for the storage of their records.
The records stored at Hayes are of two main kinds. The first consists of those which have to be kept for a fixed number of years for legal or other reasons. The second consists of those which have been identified at a first review (usually five years after they have gone out of current use) as records which may be worthy of permanent preservation and are sent to Hayes to await a final decision when they are 25 years old.
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