18 APRIL 1952, Page 16


Old Deeds

SIR,—May I assure your correspondent, Mr. Jones-Davies, that there is no official desire to remove deeds and similar documents from the custody of their owners, as long as the owners want to keep them and have room for them. Such a list as he refers to exists in the National Register of Archives, now being undertaken by the Historical Manuscripts Commission: but what is wanted for that is information as to the survival, nature and extent of such documents, not the docu- ments themselves. It she uld be emphasised that this information is wanted by the Commission, which is housed in the Public Record Office, not by the Record Office itself, which is concerned and fatly occupied with the official archives accumulating in the courts of law and depart- ments of State.

Where, however, private owners have to leave their homes or have no adequate storage space, the Commission is always glad to make arrangements for documents to be deposited in a repository to which students have access, such as a County Record Office. If the deposit, as usually recommended, takes the form of a long-term loan, the rights of the owners or his heirs remain unimpaired. The records-preservation section of the British Records Association (which may be addressed at The Charterhouse, E.C.1.) is also prepared to advise owners or to assist them in finding a home for documents which need it: the section (a voluntary organisation) was in fact established for this purpose.— I am, Sir, your obedient servant, R. L. ATKINSON. Secretary, Historical Manuscripts Commission. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, W.C2.