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What Bedfordshire Archives Service Does

Bedfordshire Archives Service exists to collect, preserve and make available to everyone records relating to Bedfordshire and its people. It exercises statutory functions in respect of certain classes of public and ecclesiastical records and also accepts and preserves private and business archives relating to Bedfordshire. In brief, Bedfordshire Archives Service collects two main category of record:

  • documents relating to the topography, ownership, occupation and use of land in Bedfordshire;
  • documents recording or illustrating all aspects of human activity in Bedfordshire.

What we collect

  • Documents of sufficient evidential and/or informational value to merit permanent preservation.
  • Documents of any date
  • Documents in any physical form or media for which Bedfordshire Archives Service has suitable facilities for storage and access.
  • Local topographical prints, drawings, photographs etc.
  • Facsimile copies of Bedfordshire material held in private ownership.

What we do not collect

  • Three dimensional artefacts and specimens falling within the collecting policies of local museums.
  • Frames, tin trunks, deed chests and other containers, which will be returned to the owner or destroyed.
  • Film and analogue sound archives, since we do not currently have suitable storage or access facilities.
  • Literary manuscripts unless associated with other archive material falling within our collecting criteria.
  • Works of art of primarily visual interest and appeal.
  • Printed or published books, pamphlets or documents falling more within the scope of the public library service, unless the material is suitable for our searchroom reference library.
  • Duplicates of documents already held unless they are in better condition, or gifts that duplicate material on loan, or which are important as evidence due to their context within a particular archive collection.

Digital material

The service does collect material in digital form, however there are particular issues with the preservation of material in digital form which currently limits our ability to cope with formats that are not supported by our ICT department. For further information see: Digital Deposits and Digital Preservation Policy