On the 21 June History & Policy organised a special online round table discussion on Digital History and Government Recordkeeping. An expert panel considered a range of questions including: 

  1. What opportunities do digital history techniques - from tailored search interfaces to data visualisations - offer historians interested in government records?   
  2. To what extent are digital recordkeeping practices - such as the guidance from the National Archives and the Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice – informing recordkeeping and shaping the archives of the future? 
  3. How far can automation and AI be relied upon to identify, file and preserve public records more effectively than human members of staff? 
  4. Will the shift towards the born-digital and ephemeral in the materials generated by the government change the ways in which official histories are researched and written? 
  5. How might public access to government records be transformed by digital humanities techniques?  
  6. What are the security, data protection and Freedom of Information implications of the shift to digital records in contemporary government, and how might this affect the work of historians?


  • Prof Ulrich Tiedau (Professor of European History and Associate Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities)
  • Tom Storrar (Head of Web Archiving at the National Archives)
  • Jason Webber (Web Archive Engagement Manager at the British Library and the UK Web Archive)
  • Prof Jane Winters (Professor of Digital Humanities and Director of the Digital Humanities Research Hub at the School of Advanced Study)
  • Sir Alex Allen (Advisory board member at the Oxford Internet Institute, formerly served as the first UK Government e-Envoy) 

Chair: Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy)