My original title deliberately contained several layers of ambiguity. First, my paper is official and ‘on the record’. Secondly, it refers incidentally to RCHM'S ‘track record’ and makes a few observations about the Commission's achievements and failures. Thirdly, and most importantly, it discusses the nature and future of that part of the national record of England's cultural heritage for which the Commission has the prime responsibility. That responsibility, implicit in the original 1908 Royal Warrant, and made explicit in its revised Warrant of 1963, involves the acquisition, storage and dissemination of information about the country's historic monuments and constructions in the widest sense of the phrase. The development of such a national record was envisaged by those who, in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, agitated for the setting up of a Commission-type body. The record was to be the basis on which such a body could carry out its most pressing function, that is to assess the nation's monumental heritage in order to advise on what is worthy of preservation. A whole history could be written on how and why things turned out differently, but what I want to do here is to adumbrate the new framework for the changing emphases in the role of the Commission in the later twentieth century.