The National Archives: Understanding Collections at Risk

Caroline Williams, Independent Archival CoThe National Archives Logonsultant, has undertaken a project commissioned by The National Archives entitled ‘Understanding Collections at Risk’. This post from Caroline outlines the aims of the project and how Collections Trust users can get involved.

If you have any comments about the issue of archives at risk (or would like any more information about this project), please contact Caroline by Friday 17th March by emailing

The National Archives has commissioned a project ‘Understanding Collections at Risk’. Its aims are to:

  • Investigate whether there is a growing volume of archival material in the UK without a suitable, permanent home, and if this is the case, the extent to which this unpreserved material presents a risk to the national record and the archival sector.
  • Consider how to ensure the national archival collection can be properly representative, particularly where there are constituencies at risk of exclusion (e.g. some faith groups, cultural bodies, unconventional communities).

I understand that Collections Trust users are not primarily concerned with archives, but I am interested to hear from you whether:

  1. You have access to information about archival material you think may be at risk?
  2. If so, what types of archives might these be? (For example, archives of organisations, individuals, or communities? We are especially interested in archives worthy of permanent preservation but which are not generally represented in archives e.g. of minorities).


You can email Caroline with your comments or questions about the project at