Legal Records at Risk Seminar at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies


10 December 2015, 2.30-5.30, Conference Room, IALS

You are cordially invited to attend the first seminar to launch the Legal Records at Risk project. The project has been set up to investigate the findings of previous studies, including the British Records Association’s report on Records at Risk (2011), that significant records of many institutions specialised to law are at risk, especially because of recent developments in legal services, IT, economy and globalisation. Many records are now “born digital” and many more paper records are being digitised. New technology may solve some problems (eg storage), but is creating new issues (eg digital continuity).

The terms of reference of the project are:

  • To broaden the concept of “legal” records from the traditional definition of them as court records or formal documents such as deeds to records of institutions specialized to law (ISLs), including business records, mainly in the private sector.
  • To identify legal records of potential value which may be at risk through neglect, digital obsolescence, lack of interest or lack of resources.
  •  To provide generic advice and guidance to information owners.
  • To identify potential repositories for legal records of research value.
  • To facilitate the process by which information owners reach agreement to deposit with, or donate records to, those repositories.

The project will not collect records but will act as a conduit through which legal records of value (in all formats and media) are identified, preserved and made available for research.

The first seminar will comprise a small number of short presentations followed by a roundtable research workshop during which attendees will be invited to contribute experiences from their own areas of expertise, raise issues and suggest ways forward.   We hope that this seminar will establish that the project will bring mutual benefits to institutions specialised to law, researchers and archives.

If you are interested in attending please contact the Project Director, Clare Cowling ( for further details and the agenda.








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