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A Brief History of Record Management at the National Archives

Citation: Rock, Paul (2016) A Brief History of Record Management at the National Archives. Legal Information Management, 16 (2). pp. 60-64. ISSN 1472-6696


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

This paper is a much abridged version of a section of the opening chapter of the official history of criminal justice between 1959 and 1997 which David Downes, Tim Newburn and Paul Rock were formally commissioned to write some six and a half years ago. Their work has been based on numerous archives, secondary sources and interviews, but the principal resource, and the principal archive, the repository of government records, the ‘strong box of the Empire’, is the National Archive at Kew, and the focus of this article is on record management there.

Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article which will be published in Legal Information Management in 2016. It has been developed by the author (Paul Rock) from a paper he gave at “Sources and Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice: a national socio-legal training day” at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on Friday 20 November 2015. The workshop was jointly organised by the British Library, the British Society of Criminology, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Socio-Legal Studies Association.
Creators: Rock, Paul (0000-0002-4110-432X) and
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Subjects: Law
Keywords: Crime, criminology, criminal justice, criminal records, law and humanities, legal research, legal scholarship, legal sources, The National Archives
Divisions: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • 15 May 2016 (accepted)
  • 15 June 2016 (published)


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