The NCUACS was founded in Oxford in 1973 as the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, moving to the University of Bath with its present title in 1987. Thus 2003 marked our 30th anniversary: a time to celebrate achievement, take stock and prepare for future challenges. Our mission is to locate, catalogue and find permanent homes for the archives of contemporary British scientists and engineers, and thus preserve and make accessible the original source materials for the history of science. We are not an archive repository but a highly cost–effective processing centre. As specialists in scientific archives we act as intermediaries between the scientists or the scientist's families who own the archives and hand them over to the Unit for cataloguing, and the archive repositories that will look after them permanently and provide access to researchers who wish to consult them.