Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington
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Governance and policy
Information about the legislation, management and policies that govern the archive service at Durham County Record Office.
Durham County Record Office collects, conserves, secures and makes accessible historical records relating to County Durham and Darlington to enable learning and education, business operations, local accountability, and personal enrichment.
Durham County Record Office is part of the Communications and Information Management division of Transformation and Partnerships at Durham County Council.
Management of the Record Office transferred from the former Adults, Wellbeing and Health service to the Assistant Chief Executive's Office (ACE) in 2012. ACE was renamed Transformation and Partnerships in June 2016.
For more information see the Council structure page on the Durham County Council website.
Public Records Act 1958
Durham County Record Office is appointed as a place of deposit for public records and is inspected by The National Archives to ensure compliance.
Local Government (Records) Act 1962
This Act confers discretionary powers for local authorities to provide an archives service.
Local Government Act 1972
This Act requires local authorities to 'make proper arrangements with respect to any documents that belong to or are in the custody of the Council or any of their officers'. In 1999, the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions issued guidance as to what was meant by 'proper arrangements'.
Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978
This measure governs the inspection and care of parish records. The Diocese of Durham has appointed Durham County Record Office as the place of deposit for parish records.
An inspection of all parishes in the Diocese of Durham is carried out every five years under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978.
The National Archives self-assessment programme
Durham County Record Office is rated a three star service by The National Archives under its self-assessment performance measurement programme for local authority archive services. An application for Archive Service Accreditation from The National Archives is in progress.
These policies describe how we manage our archive collections, our organisational responsibilities and our commitment to archive service users.
How we provide access to our archive collections.
Agreement for the deposit of records
About the conditions of loan, storage, access and use of records deposited in the archives.
How we ensure that we preserve permanently as archives only records of evidential and historical value to County Durham and Darlington, and what criteria and standards we use.
About the records we collect and the conditions, legislation and guidance for their acceptance.
Collections care and conservation policy
About the strategic approach to caring for and conserving our archive collections, and the principles guiding conservation activities necessary for long-term preservation and security.
Collections development policy
How we liaise with existing archive owners and donors, external organisations and communities to ensure that existing collections grow, and we acquire new collections that are representative and worth preserving.
Collections information policy
About our accession register, cataloguing, finding aids and document locations information.
Collections management policy
How and why we acquire, preserve, develop and facilitate access to the collections in our care.
About the principles guiding permission to copy and permission to publish archives in our collections.
Customer care standards
What to expect when you visit us, contact us, visit our website, ask us to do research for you, order copies, attend one of our events or ask us to participate in an event run by you.
How we appraise and dispose of unwanted records.
Digital preservation policy
How we ensure that our born-digital archives remain authentic and accessible in the medium and long-term.
How our digitisation programme helps to preserve archives, widen access, especially online, enhance our learning offer and, where possible and appropriate, generate income to help care for the archives.
Learning and outreach policy
How we aim to provide innovative and effective learning and outreach activities for a wide and diverse audience, onsite, off-site and online, supporting schools and communities and forming effective partnerships.
How we work with volunteers.