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Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions to provide some further information about the Archives service. This will be added to over time and if you would like to submit a question to be included, please get in touch. 

JCNA Illustrated Building with name

What is an Archive?

An Archive refers to a collection of records or documents that have enduring value as evidence of, and which contain information about, an activity or event that has occurred. The word ‘Archive’ also refers to the institution responsible for acquiring, preserving and making available archival materials, so it is synonymous with the building that houses such collections.

What are Archives for?

The purpose of the Archives is to support the long-term preservation and access to records which have enduring historical value. The Jane Cameron National Archives in the Falkland Islands preserves records which are important to the history and administration of the Islands.

Archives are tools that people use to look beyond the present moment and understand the wider context of family, a community or a society. They communicate information, helping to preserve individual and collective memories and allow us to understand who we are, where we came from, and where we are going as societies.

Where are the Archives?

The Jane Cameron National Archives are the National Archives of the Falkland Islands. They are located on Jeremy Moore Avenue, adjacent to the old Museum site (Britannia House).

The full address is: Jane Cameron National Archives, PO Box 579, Jeremy Moore Avenue, Stanley, Falkland Islands. FIQQ 1ZZ

What’s the difference between an Archive and a Museum/Library?

An Archives is a secure facility which acquires, stores, and provides access to archival records. Archival records is a piece of information captured on some fixed medium (like a piece of paper, a photograph or film that holds images of an event). The records contain documentary qualities so that distinguishes it from objects or artefacts that are typically stored in a museum.

Everyone is welcome at the Archives however, unlike a Museum which is completely accessible to the public, the Archives has restricted areas where the public cannot enter (such as the Archives store area where the records are held and the conservation workshop). Instead we have a public Reading Room where researchers can view and access archival records.

Access to records is supervised by Archive staff and usually, only one volume, one box, or a limited number of folders will be issued to each researcher. We ask that researchers book appointments and order records in advance so that we can prepare the records and ensure there is enough space to facilitate the researcher.

Unlike a library, researchers are not allowed to enter the archive storage areas to peruse the records and cannot remove, or ‘borrow’, the records from the Jane Cameron National Archives.

What is an Archivist?

The person responsible for acquiring, preserving and making available archival material on behalf of the archival facility. They are a trained and qualified professional who supports and implements the archival policies and procedures and manages the care and preservation of records in their custody.

What does an Archivist do?

The typical duties of an Archivist include: appraisal and acquisition (reviewing material to be accepted into the Archives); describing and cataloguing the collections; creating finding aids and reference lists; carrying out preservation and conservation work to protect and preserve the archival material (this includes repacking as well as physical and chemical treatments); supporting and facilitating access for researchers; responding to queries; and managing the archival facility alongside implementing professional policies and procedures. 

Do you have to pay to use the Archives?

No. It is free to visit or book an appointment to research at the Archives. There is also currently no charge for our research services for most projects, whether the subject is academic, personal interest or family history.

In unique circumstances depending on the extent of the research and resources required to facilitate a request, a small charge may be imposed but you will be advised when submitting your query.

How do I access the Archives?

The Archives are open to everyone. The Archives is open during normal government working hours to respond to general queries and research requests. The Reading Room is the dedicated, public space to access archival records and we ask that you let us know in advance of your visit.

To see our full opening times please visit:

Our online collections are available here:

Do I need to book an appointment before going to the Archives?

We encourage researchers to book their visit and order documents in advance. This allows us to ensure that best use of your time with us can be made and that there will be space and resources available to you.  It also allows us to collate all the relevant records for your research and to advise if we will be closed or unavailable to facilitate your visit on a given day (for example due to any local public holidays or meeting conflicts).

All researchers access material in the Reading Room in the Archives and are required to complete a researcher application form on the day of their appointment and to adhere to the Reading Room Regulations.

What am I not allowed to bring inside of the Archives?

As part of the Reading Room Regulations the following items are not permitted:

    • Pens, biros, felt tips or any ink utensil - they can cause irreparable damage to documents
    • Coats and bags
    • Food and drink, including chewing gum and sweets
    • No sharp objects
    • Please ensure that laptops and mobiles are on silent mode, and that you disable the flash on any camera equipment.
    • No animals – please contact Archive staff if you have a guide dog

If any of the above are brought into the building then researchers will be asked to leave them in the reception area.

Can I take photos of documents?

Yes. You can use your hand-held camera, phone, tablet or laptop to take still images of documents. Flash photography is not permitted so researchers must disable the flash on any camera equipment.

You may not use any device that scans images, or that has an integral or external stand or extension (such as a tripod or selfie stick).

No filming is allowed in the Archives.

Can I photocopy documents?

Yes, documents can be photocopied if there are no restrictions in place. Researchers are required to ask a member of staff to facilitate any requests.

How do I handle documents?

All researchers visiting the Archives has a responsibility to support the preservation of documents in our care. This means that records need to be handled carefully to ensure no damage is caused to the documents.

The below lists some general practices that are part of the Reading Room regulations and expected to be followed by everyone:

    • Documents are not to be marked, folded or re-arranged
    • Do not write on paper on top of any item or file as this can damage it
    • Turn pages with care and do not lick fingers when turning pages
    • Use the preservation aids provided to ensure that documents are fully supported and be very careful when handling large volumes
    • After use records should be returned in their original order and condition.

Am I able to take documents home with me?

No. Archival records are never to be removed from the Jane Cameron National Archives.

The Jane Cameron National Archives, like many archive facilities, is purpose built to store, manage and preserve all records in its collection.

This includes environmentally controlled conditions - to support long term preservation and reduce deterioration of records – and specific policies and procedures to manage the records in accordance with professional standards.

How do I cite or reference records held by the Archives?

Precise and consistent citation helps to demonstrate that your research is based on documentary evidence. It is also crucial to allow other researchers to identify the source, verify information or take any initial research forward.

The following will support you, as a researcher, cite the source material in any research paper or publication. Please also see our copyright guidance for more information.

A source citation contains the following information:

    • Name of Institution responsible for records (Jane Cameron National Archives)
    • Full Catalogue reference – the alphanumeric code used to identify records and the title of the record if listed
    • Internal Identifier – the details of page number or number within the piece (the box, volume, roll)
    • Link to the Archives website, and date accessed record, if sourced online

Example of full citation:

For first citation:

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). SHI/REF/1. Shipping Register - 12 January 1842 to 11 March 1879, p4.

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). H14. Government Letter Books (Inward Miscellaneous): Miscellaneous Letters, etc to Government (Governor Moore) - July 1856 to May 1858.

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). P/PNG/19#22. Penguin. 27 May 1929.

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). C5. Volume III Miscellaneous Letters to Government (Governor Rennie) - 22 January 1850 to 31 December 1851. Retrieved from the JCNA website: (accessed on 1 January 2024).

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). Falkland Islands Company Ltd Collection (FIC). FIC/IW1. FIC Store Ledger D - 1 Oct 1858 to 31 Dec 1868. Retrieved from the JCNA website: (accessed on 1 January 2024).

Jane Cameron National Archives, Falkland Islands (JCNA). Record of the meeting of the Legislative Council held 6 December 1989.

For subsequent citation:

JCNA. SHI/REF/1, p4.
JCNA. H14.
JCNA. P/PNG/19#22
JCNA. C5. Retrieved from JCNA website 1 January 2024.
JCNA. FIC/IW1. Retrieved from JCNA website 1 January 2024.
JCNA. Record of LegCo 6 December 1989.

What is the Copyright guidance?

Copies of government records may be used freely for private research and educational purposes.

If material is to be used for commercial publication, exhibition or broadcast the written permission of the Jane Cameron National Archives must first be obtained.

Whenever material from the Jane Cameron National Archives is reproduced in any form or in any medium, the user must acknowledge the Jane Cameron National Archives as the source and give all document references (see above).

For non-government records it is your responsibility as the user to ensure that copyright is not infringed and any infringement that does occur is your responsibility.

Why have not all the records in the Archives been digitised?

The Jane Cameron National Archives is undertaking work to digitise the archival records to make them more accessible to people both locally in the Falkland Islands and overseas. It is also a preservation tool, meaning the original archival records do not have to be handled, reducing risk of damage and extending the life of the record.

However, digitisation is a time consuming process to ensure it is done correctly and original documents are in a suitable condition to be digitsed. Some records may not be digitised in order to comply with copyright, privacy and publicity rights, donor restrictions and some records may be too fragile to risk being damaged by the process.

To access our online collection and those records that have been digitised, please visit:

Why are records not destroyed once they have been digitised?

Digitised records are no replacement for original archive material. The original also needs to be preserved and both the digitised and original needs to be protected against harm for the long term.

What is the oldest document you have?

One of the earliest documents we have is a letter from Louis Vernet appointing Captain Smyley as the official pilot for shipping in Port Louis, Port William and other East Falkland waters.

Consistent records and recordkeeping did not begin until 1842 with the arrival of Governor Moody and commencement of government administration.

How do I donate material?

If you would like to donate material then please contact the Jane Cameron National Archives to discuss further, either on telephone +500 27249 or on email at:

How do I get involved with the Archives?

The Archives are open to all. Share your knowledge, volunteer or simply tell us how we're doing.

    • To access the archival collections, you can either book an appointment to view records in person or you can peruse the online collection at:
    • To provide feedback through the Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure please visit:
    • To register your interest in volunteering or being added to our mailing list for regular updates and news, please email:
    • To folow us on Facebook go to:
    • To join Friends of the Falkland Islands Museum and Jane Cameron National Archives, which supports the service and our work, you can go to their website at: