The National Archives

The National Archives, as both a government department and an executive agency, plays a central role in the public records system, in particular, in the selection of records.

Their review work is undertaken across government, in accordance with the Public Records Act 1958, and is carried out under the supervision, guidance and co-ordination of the Keeper of Public Records.

This role was assigned to the Keeper in the light of the recommendations of the Grigg Committee on departmental records, which reported in 1954.

Approximately 1.5km of shelving at The National Archives is filled with records from government departments each year.

These records represent no more than 5% of the records created by these departments.

Due to their strong local or specialist nature, some of the remainder are permanently preserved as public records, in 240 approved archives across the country.

The great majority of records not selected for permanent preservation are destroyed. 

The National Archives
TW9 4DU 

Tel: 020 8876 3444
Website: The National Archives

Map location

The National Archives
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