The National Archives is the official archive of the UK central government. We also have a leadership role for the archive sector in England. We conduct research that supports our strategic aims both as keeper of the national record, and as archives sector lead.

Our business plan Archives for Everyone states our mission to be an inclusive, entrepreneurial, and disruptive archive. As a major part of this, we aim to use our collections and expertise to generate cutting-edge research opportunities, and lead in pioneering archival practice, digital preservation and access to the record.

Our research ranges widely over disciplines, from history and heritage science to digital preservation and Big Data. We have developed a set of research priorities which tie into our wider strategic plans. Find out more about our current research projects.


We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with academic partners on research that speaks to our core challenges. We are committed to viewing our challenges through interdisciplinary lenses and we look for academic partnerships that will expand our perspectives and push the boundaries of our understanding. 

Our research and academic partners include Research Libraries UK and Jisc, which are underpinned by Memoranda of Understanding; and the Institute of Historical Research and Royal Historical Society, with whom we deliver the annual Gerald Aylmer Seminar.

We also work hard, in our role as archive sector leader, to encourage collaboration between universities, academics and archival institutions. We have done this through convening the Higher Education Archives Programme, and through our joint conference with RLUK and Jisc, Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities.  

We welcome suggestions to collaborate with us on research.