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Deposit of Records - Archives

(Revised 2020)

The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service is responsible for the location, collection and preservation of archive collections relating to past life within the administrative County of Staffordshire and the City of Stoke on Trent and for making these collections available for use by the public.  The Archive Service is willing to receive deposits of records on loan for an indefinite period and to receive records by gift or bequest under the following terms.

1. Statutory Powers

The Archive Service is:

  1. the authorised archive service for the custody of the official records of Staffordshire County Council and Stoke on Trent City Council and their predecessor authorities and the District and Parish Councils within the County of Stafford and the City of Stoke on Trent under the provisions of the Local Government Acts, 1972 and 1992.
  2. designated by the Lord Chancellor as the local place of deposit for specified classes of records of central government and its local agencies, called Public Records, under the provisions of the Public Records Acts, 1958 and 1967.
  3. designated by the Diocese of Lichfield as the diocesan archive service for parochial records within the archdeaconries of Stoke-upon-Trent, Lichfield and Walsall under the terms of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure, 1978, as amended in 1992.
  4. the authorised place of deposit for the deposit of tithe records under the provisions of the Tithe Redemption Act, 1936 and of manorial records under the Manorial Document Rules, 1959.
  5. empowered under the provisions of the Local Government (Records) Act, 1962, to purchase records, to accept gifts and bequests of records and to accept records on loan from any source not covered by (i) - (iv) above.

2. Definition of Terms

Depositor: The person/organisation or their heirs in law or their successors in title or office who is the owner of the records and who places them in the custody of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service.

Council: the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Joint Archives Committee as established by an Agreement dated 26 March 1997 as updated, amended and renewed from time to time.

Archive Service: the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service, comprising Staffordshire Record Office and Stoke on Trent City Archives.

Head of Archive Services: means such person(s) as appointed by the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Joint Archives Committee on behalf of Staffordshire County Council

Data Controller: means such person who determines the purposes and processes by which personal data is processed during the period when the records remain on deposit.

Records: the property of the Depositor listed in the final catalogue produced by the Archive Service or, in the absence of a full catalogue, as described in any receipt or accession summary.

Data Protection Legislation: means the Data Protection Act 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679) and all other applicable laws and regulations relating to the processing of personal data, sensitive personal data and privacy, including where applicable the guidance and codes of practice issued by the Information Commissioner (as amended or re-enacted from time to time).

3. Deposit

  1. The terms of this Agreement shall apply to all Records deposited with the Archive Service on or after 6 February 2020, and the Depositor is deemed to agree to these terms when leaving Records on deposit with the Archive Service. Any variation to these terms must be agreed with the Head of Archive Services at the time of deposit and any such variations will be recorded in writing.
  2. In the case of parish records belonging to and deposited by the Parochial Church Council of an ecclesiastical parish within the Diocese of Lichfield, the Records will be held in accordance with the terms specified in the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, amended 1992, and nothing in these terms of agreement shall override or countermand the terms of that measure.
  3. The Records shall remain deposited in the custody of the Council for such a period sufficient to justify the Council's expenditure on storage, cataloguing and conservation.  In normal circumstances, this would be for a minimum of thirty years.
  4. The Council reserves the right either to return to the Depositor any records which the Head of Archive Services considers to be of no historical or administrative value, or to destroy them with the consent of the Depositor. Records relating to other counties may be transferred to a more appropriate place of deposit with the consent of the Depositor.
  5. Where a large amount of material is included which falls outside our collecting policy, a contribution towards the time taken in appraisal and weeding will be charged to the Depositor at the current hourly rate.
  6. The Council shall be the Joint Data Controller of the Records with the Depositor in compliance with Data Protection Legislation. The Council shall reserve the right not to take records on deposit which may still be needed by the Depositor to support decisions concerning individuals.  Where the Depositor is aware of personal data within the Records, they must notify the Archive Service at the point of deposit.
  7. The Council shall keep and maintain the name and address of the Depositor, both in hard copy and by electronic database, for the purpose of archiving in the public interest, and to demonstrate the provenance of the collections. Contact information will not be released to third parties without the express written permission of the Depositor. This also applies to donors of records.
  8. Any change in the name or address of the Depositor of the Records, or any change of ownership, must be notified to the Head of Archive Services.  The Council will not accept responsibility for any consequences which may arise from the failure to notify such changes by the Depositor
  9. It shall be the responsibility of the Depositor to ensure that there will be no breach of any copyright in providing the deposited Records to the Archive Service.

4. Gifts and Bequests

  • Records may be given or bequeathed to the Archive Service and in such cases the Records shall become the absolute property of Staffordshire County Council, Stoke on Trent City Council or their successor authorities, to be preserved by the Archive Service, subject to the Archive Service accepting any condition of receiving such gift or bequest, which will be recorded in writing.

5. Storage, Conservation and Preservation

  1. The Archive Service will store the Records in secure and appropriate environmental conditions, will package the Records where required, and will take all reasonable precautions to preserve the Records from damage, loss or theft, but shall not otherwise be liable to the Depositor for any damage to or loss or theft of any Records arising from events beyond the control of the Archive Service during the deposit period. 
  2. It shall be the responsibility of the Depositor to ensure that appropriate insurance arrangements are made for any deposited Records at its own expense. Any privately-owned archive collections that have been deposited will be covered by the Archive Service’s insurance for the cost of physical repair and conservation arising from any damage from whatever cause while in the custody of the Archive Service. However, the documents will not be insured for compensation in the event of the total loss of Records.
  3. The Archive Service shall be entitled in its absolute discretion to take any of the following conservation and preservation actions in respect of the deposited Records: 


    1. To photograph, microfilm or otherwise copy them.
    2. To number them in a non-permanent manner with a finding reference for their identification and safe-keeping.
    3. To carry out such work in regard to the conservation of the Records as the Head of Archive Services may from time to time consider desirable and practicable, in order to prevent deterioration in accordance with the overall conservation programme of the Archive Service.
    4. To withhold public access to Records which are in a fragile condition until all necessary conservation work on them has been completed.
    5. To make copies for preservation reasons of digital archives. Multiple copies are required to enable secure storage, migration to newer formats, and creation of access copies

6. Cataloguing

  1. The Records will be catalogued by the Archive Service as part of its programme of cataloguing all collections in its custody and in accordance with the best current practice.  The Council will include catalogue entries for the Records in its online catalogue, and a copy of the final full catalogue will be provided to the Depositor upon request.
  2. The ownership of and copyright in the final catalogue or any copy of it and in any other finding aids shall vest in the Council.
  3. The Archive Service places lists of accessions on its own web site annually and makes summary details of accessions of Records available to The National Archives.

7. Access

  1. The Records will be made available to the public for purposes of research, free of charge in the supervised reading rooms of the Archive Service during advertised opening hours and in accordance with the Archive Service's registration requirements and procedures, subject to:
    1. any exception agreed between the Council and the Depositor under paragraph 3.1 above;
    2. any access restrictions and/or any requirements under legislation, including Freedom of Information;
    3. any personal information contained in the Records being subject to Data Protection Legislation.
  2. The Depositor understands and agrees that the Records shall be available for access in accordance with paragraph 7.1 and shall not impose any unwarranted or indefinite restriction to access such Records on the Archive Service.
  3. Where the Depositor has stipulated at the time of deposit that their Records may not be used for a legal purpose or for legal proceedings without their prior consent, the Archive Service will notify the Depositor when requests for access for legal purposes are made. In such cases, Records will not be made available without the express permission of the Depositor unless a court orders their production. The Council shall not accept any liability for the use of Records for legal purposes if it has not been made aware of such use by any member of the public using the Records for that purpose.
  4. All users of the Archive Service will be made aware, where appropriate, of the requirement to comply with Data Protection Legislation. Researchers who do not comply with the Data Protection Legislation will be personally liable for any infringement.
  5. Copies of Records will only be supplied to the public in accordance with current copyright legislation and on payment of an appropriate charge. No further reproduction of Records shall be allowed without the consent of the Head of Archive Services. The Council will take all reasonable measures to inform the public of their responsibilities under copyright legislation but shall not accept liability for any infringement by a member of the public.
  6. Copies will not be provided if it is considered that the copying process will lead to the damage or destruction of the original document.  If in the opinion of the Head of Archive Services the scale and circumstances of the proposed copying are such as to affect the Depositor's interests, the Depositor will be consulted before the copying is approved.

8 Publication and Other Additional Reproduction

  1. Unless otherwise agreed at the time of deposit, the publication of images of deposited Records shall be allowed at the discretion of the Head of Archive Services, subject to due acknowledgement to the Archive Service.
  2. The Archive Service reserves the right to publish images or text of records in hard copy or in electronic form in its own publications to illustrate the work of the Archive Service without the further permission of the Depositor.

9 Exhibitions

  1. The temporary removal of deposited Records for a period not exceeding six months from any of the repositories which comprise the Archive Service for exhibition may be allowed, subject to obtaining the prior consent of the Depositor and subject to the Council being satisfied that appropriate provision has been made for the security and insurance of the deposited Records during transit and display.  In such circumstances the Head of Archive Services shall ensure that the Council is indemnified against loss or damage and that appropriate insurance is arranged for that purpose by the borrowing institution, a copy of the insurance policy being produced to the Head of Archive Services if requested. In the case of the exhibition of Records outside the United Kingdom, the Head of Archive Services shall ensure that the borrowing institution follows all required export procedures.
  2. Deposited Records may be displayed in original or copy form by the Archive Service on the Council’s premises or under the supervision of Archive Service staff. 

10. Withdrawals

  1. A Depositor is entitled to remove their Records temporarily or permanently in accordance with paragraph 10.2 and 10.3.  A Depositor, or their agent, who is preparing to withdraw the deposited Records, whether temporarily or permanently, must prove their entitlement to receive the Records to the satisfaction of the Archive Service.

10.2 Temporary Withdrawal

The Depositor may withdraw their Records temporarily after giving a minimum of one week’s prior notice to the Archive Service.  The Depositor is asked to make proper provision for the security of the Records during the period of withdrawal.  If the Records are to be put on display, the Archive Service will advise the Depositor on the suitability of the Depositor's proposed arrangements for the security and physical keeping of the Records. In the case of parish registers or other significant parish records, the provisions of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, amended 1992, require storage of such items in the church safe when not in use.

10.3 Permanent

  1. The Depositor may withdraw the deposited Records at any time, after giving not less than twelve calendar months' notice of the intention to do so, or such shorter period of notice at the discretion of the Head of Archive Services.
  2. During the period of notice the Archive Service will be entitled to copy the Records by such method as is deemed appropriate by the Head of Archive Services and to retain the copy as the property of the Archive Service after the removal of the Records.  The Archive Service will continue to make such copies accessible to the public, subject to the conditions and limitations set out in paragraphs 7 and 8 above, save only that publication, in whole or in part, will not be allowed without the consent of the Depositor.
  3. In the event of permanent withdrawal, the Council reserves the right to claim from the Depositor a contribution for the costs invested by the Council in the storage, cataloguing and conservation of the records, to be calculated by the Head of Archive Services on the basis of the type of records deposited and the amount of such work carried out by the Archive Service.
  4. Where a collection is withdrawn for sale, the Archive Service shall have the first option to purchase the collection, less the cost calculated under paragraph 10.3(iii).

February 2020

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