The National Archives prepares for the introduction of 20-year rule

By Jon Bauckham, 29 November 2012 - 11:08am

The organisation has outlined how it will store data in preparation for the ‘20-year rule’, which will come into effect from next year
 

Thursday 29 November, 2012
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The National Archives (TNA) has published its new records collection policy, outlining changes to the ways in which it will collect and store the data given to them by public records bodies. 

In addition to stating the types of information the repository does and does not collect, the report also contains important updates on the 20-year rule that was first announced by the Government in 2010.

Whereas TNA has previously had to wait 30 years between receiving records and releasing them to the public, this waiting period will be reduced to 20 years from the start of 2013.

This means that two years' worth of data instead of the normal one years' worth will be released each year until 2023 in order to close the gap. As a result, an extra 45,000 records will be transferred and be made available for researchers annually.

By 2016 all records from the 1980s will have been revealed, potentially including papers relating to the 1985 discovery of the Titanic, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Based in Kew, TNA holds a wealth of materials spanning over a thousand years of British history.

A wide variety of documents are now also available via the organisation's Discovery service, making it a valuable web-based tool for family historians.

 
 
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► Learn more about the new records collection policy (PDF)

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