The Early 20th century

During the early 20th century, two important developments occurred in the preservation of Parliamentary records.

The first concerned the records of the House of Commons. In 1927, the Clerk of the House of Commons decided to transfer an extensive post-1834 series of Private Bill records to the Victoria Tower, though still retaining ultimate ownership of them for the House.

This precedent has since been followed by succeeding Clerks of the Commons. In 1957, the core records of the House of Commons, the original manuscript Journals (dating from 1547 to 1800) were deposited in the Victoria Tower by the authority of the Speaker of the House.

Creation of the House of Lords Record Office

The second key development occurred in 1937, when the then Clerk of the Parliaments, Sir Henry Badeley, initiated a survey of the entire Lords' collection.

The resulting report by V M R Goodman (subsequently Sir Victor Goodman, Clerk of the Parliaments) revealed the necessity of a full-time staff (which the archive did not then have) to undertake boxing, repair and production of the manuscripts.

Although this was interrupted by the Second World War, a House of Lords Record Office was eventually established in 1946 to provide suitable storage for the documents and facilities for visitors. This office was managed by a Clerk of Records who also acted as the deputy of the Clerk of the Parliaments in all record matters.