Access to Archives

A2A (Access to Archives) ( is part of the growing national archives network in the UK, together with sister projects in Scotland and Wales and for British universities and colleges.

A2A aims to provide access to archives through the catalogues drawn up by archivists across England. These catalogues are the key to the archives they describe, but many of them are not available elsewhere on the Internet. Typically, A2A catalogues have previously been available only at the relevant archives repository, in paper form or on a local electronic system.

The A2A programme partners are the British Library and the National Archives (TNA), with further funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Invest to Save Budget. Currently nearly 4000 other institutions also participate. A2A allows you to search and browse for information about archives in England, dating from the 900s to the present day. These archives are cared for in local record offices and libraries, universities, museums and national and specialist institutions across England, where they are made available to the public.

To find out whether archives are of interest to you, it is necessary to consult a catalogue or other finding aid. A2A allows you to search across detailed catalogues from nearly 200 repositories in England beyond the Public Record Office, and to arrange to see or to obtain copies of specific, useful, real archive documents with a few mouse clicks.