The British Records Association, a charity established in 1932, exists to encourage and assist the preservation, care, use and publication of historical records.
We publish guidance leaflets as well as a newsletter and a journal and hold an Annual Conference. We also maintain a Records Preservation Section, which arranges for the transfer of historical records to suitable archive repositories.
Records hold the nation’s memory; they reveal how we became what we are and they are our best guide to the future. The British Records Association seeks to add to our understanding of records, to advise on their custody and care and to direct ‘homeless’ documents to the most appropriate repository
Our main function is to rescue documents in danger of loss or destruction. We are open to anyone interested in records, including amateur users as well as professionals, owners of collections large and small and archivists, librarians and others with records in their care.
Records Preservation Section
A clearing house and rescue body for archives, the Records Preservation Section works to ensure that material of historical interest is deposited with appropriate record offices.
A network of local authority, specialist and business archive repositories covers the UK.
For anyone with archives which they would like to place in safe-keeping, deciding where to deposit items can be difficult.
The problem of what to do with archival material is a particularly acute one for solicitors, who often find themselves storing title deeds and other materials for old clients who can no longer be traced. Solicitors cannot sell or destroy these items (which belong to the client) so the only ethical way of disposal of non-sensitive material is by depositing it with an appropriate record office on indefinite loan. This means that the material can be recalled should the original owner reappear and request its return.
The RPS can help solicitors and others by advising on or carrying out, the transfer of such material to record repositories. It can also visit firms and advise on the care of records not earmarked for transfer in this way.