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Repeal application of the DPA to public archives

Comment 5th July 2010

Documents deposited in public archives should be available for the public to see, and not subject to the DPA – sometimes cited quite unjustifiably by over-zealous archivists.  Records which for decades have been freely accessible can now apparently be subject to100 year closure, at the whim of an archivist.

Why does this matter?

The whole point of having archives offices is to enable public records to be preserved and made available to the general public.  The DPA may have its uses in respect of contemporary records – eg health or personnel records –  but it is surplus to requirements as regards historical documents deposited in a public archive, and can be used to impede legitimate research.

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