Who we are
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and for England and Wales. We are the guardians of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years.
Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.
In 2011, responsibility for archives across England was transferred to The National Archives from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). We perform the Historical Manuscripts Commission's functions in relation to private records. And our expertise in the effective management, use and re-use of information makes us a valuable resource for 250 government and public sector bodies.
The National Archives is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice and a government department in its own right.
What we hold
The National Archives' collection of over 11 million historical government and public records is one of the largest in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, our collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.
As a general rule, government records that have been selected for permanent preservation are sent to The National Archives when they are 30 years old, but many are transferred to us earlier under the Freedom of Information Act.