Other Useful Publications


  •  ARA Guidance on archives and legal proceedings

This guidance was commissioned by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) via a grant from its Research, Advocacy and Development Fund to the ARA’s North West regional group. ARA North West commissioned Janice Tullock Associates to research and write this report. We are grateful to Janice Tullock for writing this report. This report is freely available for anyone to use.

pdf ARA Guidance on archives and legal proceedings (April 2020)

  • ARA Skills audit report (2018)

In March 2018 the North West Region of the Archives and Records Association commissioned an audit of the skills of those working in archives, records and information management and conservation in the region in order to assist in the strategic planning of future training.  Below is the final report.

 ARA North West Skills Audit 2018


  • British Archives - The Way Forward (NCA 2000)

This document was prepared in 1999 by the National Council on Archives as a contribution to the shaping of the agenda for the development of U.K. archive services during the five years, 1999-2004. The hope in producing it was that, in building upon recent work by the archive profession in analysing its present position and future goals, it would:

  • sharpen priorities within the archival world;
  • clarify our major concerns and problems to related professions and agencies;
  • assist potential resource providers to adjudicate between the hard choices that are inevitable in a climate of limited availability;
  • encourage debate and further, more detailed work on resolving issues and shortcomings;

pdf British Archives the way forward -  111.53 Kb


  • Changing the future of our past (NCA 2002)

In 2002, archive services in the UK stood at a crossroads in their development. Surveys had made it clearer than ever before the deficiencies of existing provision, and the growing needs of services if they were to meet the needs of their stakeholders.  The National Council on Archives produced this book to encourage the reader to share the task of changing the future of our past. 

pdf Changing the future of our past -  813.80 Kb


  • Listening to our Past, Speaking to the Future - (MLA 2004)

Proposed in the report are new ways for users to access archive content.  The aim is to unlock our vast archival heritage and also to demonstrate how the archive domain can support specific public service targets through social, educational and economic impact. At a time of pressure on public expenditure, long-term sustainability will come from engaging as many people as possible with the archival heritage whether for leisure, learning, personal development, business or community involvement.

he Task Force explored the condition of the nation's archival collections, their use and scope and their preparedness to respond to the growing importance of public accountability, burgeoning digital media and the rapidly growing number of people exploring their family histories and identities, many of them from outside the UK.

pdf Listening to our Past Report -  2.93 Mb

  • Interoperability Protocol - (NCA November 2003)

    The NCA has advocated the development of a UK Archival Network, comprised of internet resources or strands having a common data structure, which aims ultimately to be searchable through a single interface. The aim of this protocol is to facilitate interoperability between these strands of the archival network in the UK.

pdf National Council on Archives Interoperability Working Group (2003) Interoperability Protocol - 252.71 Kb

  • NCA Archives On-Line: The Establishment of a United Kingdom Archival Network - (NCA 1998)

This report was the first step towards a UK archival network, and is therefore able only to approach the concept at a very general level; section 7 sets out the next steps the Council believes at that time should be taken.

pdf National Council on Archives. (1998). Archives On-Line: The Establishment of a United Kingdom Archival Network. - 377.78 Kb


  • NCA Rules - Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names (1997)

These Rules are designed for the consistent construction of proper names in the description, cataloguing and indexing of British archives. 

pdf NCA Naming Rules -  752.39 Kb


  • Our Past, Your Future, Local Government Archives (2009)

All over England, people are enjoying archives.This leaflet aims to help elected members and non-specialist staff in local authorities to capitalise
on their archival assets. It highlights the ways that archives can enrich the lives of local residents, and how archivists are already developing exciting new
ways to help people use them.

pdf Our past, Your future - Local Government Archives 1.29 Mb


  • PSQG: Towards Generic and Universal PIs for Archives (2003)

Phase 1: Performance Indicators for Access and Usage. These measures are set out in more detail than is required for the Audit Commission (AC) template, but some of the information will be transferable to the ACPI Library format when the measures are developed into indicators.

pdf Performance Indicators for Access and Usage -  337.19 Kb


  • PSQG Standard for Access to Archives 

The Standard for Access to Archives was first published in 1999 as a consultation document. The 2008 edition has been edited and compacted down to ensure that the elements that make up the Standard are clearly defined.  This Standard is intended to guide archive services in the management of access and may also be used by archive services, users and third parties as a means of assessing the quality of a service.

pdf PSQG Standard for Access to Archives 2008 -  360.38 Kb

doc PSQG Standard for Access Action Plan Template 86.00 Kb


  • Report on the potential for a sustainability/resilience indicator for UK and Irish local authority archive services

In 2016 ARA commissioned Elizabeth Oxborrow Cowan to undertake a study to scope the potential for a sustainability standard against which the impact of budget reductions to local authority archive services can be assessed. This is the resulting report- 

pdf Report to ARA board on the Sustainability indicator June 2017.pdf


  • Taking Part - An audit of social inclusion work in archives (2001)

The first ever survey of the extent of social inclusion work in archives.

pdf Taking Part 2001 (An Audit Report) -  1.85 Mb


  •  Your Data At Risk - Why you should be worried about preserving electronic records.

This report aims to provide, in layman's terms:

• A clear guide to what digital preservation is
• A clear and simple description of the issues surrounding digital preservation
• A demystification of the idea that the challenges and solutions are purely technological rather than being about strategies and processes developed by people
• Recommendations for action by the intended audiences
• Sources of further advice.

pdf Your Data At Risk (NCA Sept 2005) -  381.00 Kb