The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts was first appointed by royal warrant of 2 April 18691. By royal warrant of 1 April 2003 the responsibilities of the Commission were transferred to be exercised by a sole Historical Manuscripts Commissioner2. The commissioner must:
(1) make inquiry as to the existence and location of manuscripts, including records or archives of all kinds, of value for the study of history, other than records which are for the time being public records by virtue of the Public Records Acts3;
(2) with the consent of the owners or custodians inspect and report on them;
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