Catalogue description Records of The National Archives

Details of RW
Reference: RW
Title: Records of The National Archives

Records added to the former collection of the Public Record Office from 1 April 2003 when the former body became The National Archives. Also includes Historical Manuscripts Collection (HMC) records relocated to The National Archives and private papers deposited with The National Archives from 2003 onwards (in accordance with the 1958 Public Records Act)

For series created for regularly archived websites, please see the separate Websites Division.

Date: 1790-2020
Related material:

Records of the Public Record Office are in: PRO

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Records unless otherwise stated
Language: English

The National Archives, 2003-

Physical description: 51 series
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

The National Archives

Custodial history: The records were created in The National Archives business departments or through the transfer of the records of the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) - both of which bodies comprise The National Archives. Most of the records were created at the The National Archives HQ in Kew but some HMC records were created, collected or stored at their former HQ at Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London. Further records were created and stored at The National Archives Family Records Centre, Islington, London, until the closure in March 2008.
Administrative / biographical background:

On 1 April 2003 the Public Record Office at Kew, Surrey, and The Family Records Centre at 1 Myddelton Street, Islington, London became known under its new title 'The National Archives' (TNA). In December 2003, the Historical Manuscript Commission (HMC) physically relocated its staff and records from Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London to join this new organisation at The National Archives in Kew. From 1 April 2003 the Keeper of Public Records also took over the role of Historical Manuscripts Commissioner.

From 1 April 2003 the organisation of The National Archives was divided between four main divisions. These were: National Advisory & Public Services Group; Strategy, Finance & Resources Group; Government & Technology Group; and Online Services & Strategic Marketing Group.

Under the National Advisory & Public Services Group were the following business units: National Advisory Services (encompassing the HMC and the Records Management Advisory Service); Reader Information Services (including the Family Records Centre, Public Services Development, Archive Production Services and Record Copying units); and finally, the Research, Knowledge and Academic Services unit.

The Strategy, Finance and Resources Group contained the following business units: Financial Services; Corporate Planning & Business Change; Human Resources; Information Policy & Legislation; Internal Audit; and Estates & Security.

Government and Technology Group contained the following business units: Records Management; Archiving Services (including Digital Preservation Department and the Collections Care Department); Information & Communication Technology; and Systems Development.

The National Archives Online Services Group was created in 2003. In 2004 it became known as The National Archives Online Services and Strategic Marketing and contained the following business units: Online Content and Partnership Development (OCPD), including Enterprises; Education & Interpretation; and Marketing.

The Chief Executive / Keeper of Public Records had overall control and management of the four business groups. A small Chief Executive's Group exists at the apex of The National Archives organisation to co-ordinate and manage overall control of The National Archives services. This Group also included the Performance and Communications Unit and The National Archives Press Office.

From February 2006, a major review of the National Archive's organisational structure was conducted and changes implemented. The Strategy Finance and Resource Directorate was retitled as the Finance and Corporate Services Directorate. Human Resources (HR) department was separated from this Directorate to form a new group entitled the Human Resources and Organisational Development Directorate which was to report directly to the Chief Executive. The Business Change Unit continued under this new Directorate.

A new Collections and Technology Directorate was also formed comprising The National Advisory Service, Research, Knowledge and Academic Services (RKAS) department, and Records Management Department (RMD), which subsumed the cataloguing function of the Online Content and Partnership Development (OCPD) department. The Information Strategy Department was created under this new Directorate which included a new Head of IT Strategy to which Systems Development and Digital Preservation Department were to report to. The Information and Communication Technology Department and Collections Care Department were to report directly to the Head of the new Directorate. Finally, the Information Policy and Legislation Unit was transfered to this new Directorate from the old Strategy, Finance and Resources Group.

Also from February 2006, the Strategic Marketing Group and the Public Services Group were conjoined under a new Public Services and Marketing Directorate. This comprised: a new Head of Strategic Development; the abolition of the Online Content and Partnership Development (OCPD) department; the move of the Contact Centre to Reader and Information Services (RISD) department; Online Services and Education; the move of Archival Production Services (APS) and Record Copying Department (RCD) to a new Document Services Department; Enterprises to report to the Director; Business Development Unit with an expanded remit; the merging of the Social Inclusion and Outreach posts under this new Directorate.

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