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TNA: charging for access

Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:39 pm

The recent release of a file at The National Archives by the Lord Chancellor's Office (LCO 67/95) about a plan to charge researchers for access to records in the 1990s. Charges had been abolished in 1961 and suggestions by the Treasury to institute charges as part of an efficiency review. It was suggested that readers' tickets could be charged at £10 or £50 a year of £3 a day and up to £200 per year. The charges were put off whilst the records were transferred from the Public Record Office's building in Chancery Lane in the City of London to Kew and to be reviewed in 1993/94. However there was a provision in the Public Records Act 1958 to charge but also the Lord Chancellor should allow reasonable access. It was pointed out that the records were public records of the Nation and it went against Open Government. TNA can still charge for access if they wish, but the reactions of the historical community would raise up their voices, least we forget the events at the Northamptonshire Archives. Needless to say TNA's own records on the subject have not been transferred!.
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