Skip to main content

Archives: Publicity

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking in conjunction with the National Archives to improve (a) standards in and (b) awareness of the archive sector, including local and private archives. (240273)

The National Archives has a key role within Government to support all parts of the archives sector in the United Kingdom by providing both strategic and practical advice on all aspects of records and archives management.

It is taking forward a range of activities to help raise standards including:

Facilitating an annual self-assessment exercise for local authority funded archives to help raise the standards of the services they provide to the public;

Issuing a range of written guidance, available on The National Archives' website ( on all matters relating to the creation, management, care, and use of records and archives and all strategic issues arising from this;

Offering bespoke strategic and operational advice to archive service on many aspects of archives administration and information management;

Administering £335,000 worth of grants to help archives tackle their backlogs in cataloguing records.

The National Archives is also taking steps to raise awareness of the archives sector. It is working closely, for example, with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to fund the Archives Awareness Campaign, run by The National Council on Archives, which aims to improve awareness of archives among the general public and to improve engagement with younger people and black and ethnic minority communities.

To ensure its long-term sustainability, they are also working together to enable the sector to raise its capability, channel its resources more effectively and share best practice.