Records of all formats are at risk if their future preservation, accessibility and security is uncertain. This can include records held outside of a recognised collecting archive institution as well as archives at risk from the institutional failure of the record creator or the current custodian.
The Records at Risk Steering Group is an independent advisory body for England and Wales that will consider and co-create with The National Archives appropriate steps to better manage the risks and challenges faced by vulnerable archive collections. The group comprises researchers and other archive users, custodians of records, archivists and records managers. Project Director Georgina Brewis is a founding member of the Steering Group which was formed in 2018 and which meets quarterly and organises occasional events.
Records at Risk Fund
In 2021, a new Records at Risk Fund was created to provide support for urgent, short-notice interventions to secure the acquisition of vulnerable historical records, in both physical and digital formats, that face immediate peril across the United Kingdom. The fund focuses on categories of records unprotected by legislation such as the archives of businesses, charities and private individuals, acknowledging that archive services and custodians may have limited resources to respond to collections at immediate risk. This funding is a response to the increased risks of vulnerable collections being lost or dispersed in the wake of the pandemic and builds on our experience of delivering the COVID-19 Archives Fund in 2020.