Archives: Collection Policy
The Archives service for Powys County Council forms part of the Archives and Information Management Service within Leisure & Recreation Services.
Powys County Archives Office operates in line with the Statement of Policy which was adopted by Powys County Council on 18 June 1991. This statement requires the County Archives to:
- acquire records relating to Powys' cultural and historical past, and keep and preserve them in accordance with the relevant legislation
- provide public access to them
Authority to collect:
Powys County Archives Office seeks to abide by all current archive legislation as it applies to local authority record offices in Wales.
It is appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a repository for locally deposited public records under section 4(1) of the Public Records Act, 1958, including:
Quarter Sessions, Petty Sessions, County Court, Coroner's, Department of Health NHS records, NCB pre-vesting date collieries, Board of Inland Revenue Area Assessment Committee, Health and Safety Executive plans of abandoned non-coal mines, Advisory Committee on General Commissioners of Income Tax.
It is recognised by:
- the Master of the Rolls as an official repository for manorial and tithe records.
- the Representative Body of the Church in Wales as a repository for parochial records in accordance with an agreement between the Representative Body and the Welsh County Record Offices.
Powys County Archives Office will observe the respective acquisition policies of the National Library of Wales (NLW) and the National Archives (TNA), and will not work in conflict with them. The Collections Development Policy of the NLW, 2016, places great emphasis on the relevance and importance of material to Wales and the Welsh People, however it states "material of local interest only is referred to appropriate regional libraries, archives and museums". The Records Collection Policy of the TNA, 2012 notes, all public records which are 20 years old and have been selected for permanent preservation shall be transferred to the National Archives or to another place of deposit. Under this criterion Powys Archives will receive public records relating to the county of Powys.
Scope of Collection:
The geographical area served by Powys County Archives Office is the former administrative counties of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire.
Subject to the overriding principle that the integrity of archival groups should normally be preserved as far as possible and practicable, the Archives will not accept records relating to or arising in areas outside the stated boundaries, unless there are special circumstances and the agreement of any other interested archive authority has been sought. In any case of dispute between the Archives and another repository over the most appropriate custodian for a particular collection the advice of a neutral arbiter will be taken.
Material accepted by the Archives shall meet the National Council on Archives' definition of "records accumulated by a natural process in the conduct of affairs of any kind, public or private, corporate or individual, which have been preserved because they have enduring administrative or historical value", (Archives Policy, 1996) and as defined by statute, including the Law of Property Act, 1922, the Tithe Act, 1936, the Public Records Act, 1958, the Local Government Act, 1972, and section 60 of the Local Government (Wales) Act, 1994. Photographs and records in modern media will be accepted if they can be regarded as a primary source for the history of Powys. Newspapers are not normally accepted but will be referred to the appropriate library; artefacts will normally be directed to the most appropriate museum; films will normally be directed to the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.
Published works may be acquired by Powys County Archives Office directly, or through Powys Library Service in order to:
supplement the archival collections held at the Archives
provide members of the public using the archival collections with guides on the use of the archives and on the undertaking of specific research work relating to the Archives' holdings
provide access to catalogues of archival collections held elsewhere which relate to the geographical area stated above, and which are not available in other formats
provide members of Archives staff with up-to-date professional information and guidance on the management, care and conservation of archives
Published works will also be acquired as an integral part of an archive.
This policy will be implemented within the context of the bilingual nature of the county and in line with Powys County Council's commitment to equality and diversity. It will also be implemented in line with the Council's Sustainable Development Strategy.
The Archives service prefers to acquire collections as gifts. Records will be accepted on loan, subject to agreement with the Terms of Deposit (approved by Committee on 15 November 2005). Funds for purchase are very limited and will be expended only on documents of outstanding importance for the history of the area and which would be otherwise lost to local researchers. Records are also received by direct transfer from Powys County Council's Information Management Service.
The majority of Powys County Archives printed holdings are purchased. The Archives will acquire printed items as donations, but they will not be accepted on loan or deposit.
It is assumed that collections offered have a clear and valid title of ownership. A receipt describing the records acquired and providing information needed to access them will be supplied to the owner/depositor. More detailed finding aids will be prepared in accordance with current office policy and practice, and copies supplied when complete.
As part of the processing of collections, either before or after transfer to the Archives, appraisal will take place to ensure that records retained are of sufficient quality for permanent preservation, and do not duplicate collections held here or elsewhere. The Archives shall have authority to transfer records to a more suitable repository if it is considered that they would benefit from relocation. Records not selected for permanent preservation will be returned to the owner unless alternative arrangements have been made at the time of transfer. The office reserves the right to conduct a periodic review of collections held and, where necessary, to recommend their disposal or destruction.
Notice of new acquisitions will be made public at the earliest opportunity. Copies of finding aids will be disseminated as soon as possible using the best available technology to reach the widest possible audience.
For review 2021