The Parliamentary Archives, which are currently located in the Palace of Westminster’s Victoria Tower, are going to move to The National Archives in the south-west London district of Kew. The relocation is expected to take place before summer 2025.
The risk of fire, water damage, and failure of environmental controls and safety, as well as constraints on access and services, have meant that Victoria Tower is no longer considered to be a suitable place to store the Parliamentary Archives.
The benefits of relocating the Parliamentary Archives to The National Archives include:
· reduced risk to collections, staff and the public;
· enables the refurbishment and other use of the space currently occupied in Victoria Tower;
· allows increased use and access to the collections after they are moved;
· provides a secure long-term home for the collection which will be unaffected by the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal programme.
Patrick Vollmer, Head of the Archives Relocation Programme, said: “We are pleased to be able to secure a long-term future for the Parliamentary Archives.
“Moving to The National Archives will allow our collections to be protected in world class specialist facilities. We are privileged to have unique and fascinating collections that deserve to be shared and appreciated; a new location will allow us to open up to a much wider audience and make the collections accessible to all.”
Keeper of The National Archives, Jeff James, said: “The importance of the records in the Parliamentary Archives cannot be overstated – they detail our legislative history through the centuries.
“We look forward to welcoming and establishing the historical collection, staff and services to The National Archives at Kew. This is an exciting time for archives, for the first time the records of the executive, legislature and judiciary will be in one place allowing researchers to access the documents which have helped shape our society.”
The Parliamentary Archives are a nationally important collection, containing four million records, including all Acts of Parliament since 1497.
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK Government and for England and Wales. It is the guardian of over 1000 years of iconic national documents.