The National Archives

Front entrance of The National Archives
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The National Archives is the official archives and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. We work to bring together and secure the future of the public record, both digital and physical, for future generations.

The National Archives is open to all, offering a range of activities and spaces to enjoy, as well as our reading rooms for research. Many of our most popular records are also available online.

Twitter: @UKNatArchives
Facebook: The National Archives

Venue Type:

Archive, Museum, Heritage site

Opening hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 19:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission charges

Free. Some events paid for.

Getting there

10 minutes walk from Kew Gardens underground station (District line)
15 minutes walk from Kew Bridge mainline station (South West trains)
R68 bus route

Archives of the British government covering over a thousand years of world history and all seven continents from Arctic explorers and Middle Eastern embassies to papal bulls and the photographic collections of Colonial administrations.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Social History, Photography, Maritime, Law and Order, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Domesday Book
  • Magna Carta
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Valor Ecclesiasticus
  • Victorian photographs
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Close up on a document that reads 'if you cannot protest yourself support those who do.' On the next line it reads: Men's political union for Women's enfranchisement

Suffragettes in trousers: Male support for women’s suffrage in Britain

  • 26 April 2018 2-3:30pm

The campaign for the vote in Britain conjures up powerful images of women’s struggles against an exclusively male political establishment. And yet, it is important to also recognise that a significant number of men were similarly convinced of the arguments in favour of women’s suffrage. In this talk, Claire Eustance, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Greenwich, will share the stories of some of the men who went to great lengths to support the campaign.


Free, book ahead


Photo of an archive repository, with shelving stacks and cardboard boxes lining the shelves.

Behind the scenes tour

  • 27 April 2018 11am-12:30pm

We are opening the doors of The National Archives' repositories to offer you the chance to go behind the scenes. Discover how we keep and maintain the record for future generations and explore some of the hidden gems in our collections.


£10, book ahead


Colourful 'Rosie Riveter' image with women in blue shirt and red headband flexing arm muscle - with caption that reads, we can edit!

Wikipedia edit-a-thon: dissidents, suffragists and freedom fighters

  • 28 April 2018 1-5pm

Wikipedia is a unique information resource and the world’s fifth largest website - but it doesn’t know everything! Join us in The National Archives’ library as we literally rewrite history and improve the free encyclopaedia’s coverage of campaigners and activists through the ages. Starting with a crash course in editing for beginners, we will use the library’s collections to produce new articles on neglected heroines and heroes from around the world. This is a drop-in event. Booking is not essential, but please register if you intend to come so we can gauge numbers. Coats and bags are not be permitted at this event, and must be left in our free lockers on the ground floor.


Free, book ahead


Image of Emmeline Pankhurst next to Archives at Night and Suffrage 100 logos

Suffrage 100 - Archives at night: Law breakers, law makers

  • 18 May 2018 6-10pm

On 6 February 1918, 8.4 million women gained the right to vote. The Representation of People Act (1918) was an unprecedented step towards gender equality in Britain. But it hardly came about peacefully.

For our Archives at Night event in May, we are pulling stories from our collection that chart the course of the suffrage movement in the early 20th century: protest, militancy, and the outbreak of war on a global scale.

As with every Archives at Night, this will be an evening of incredible activities, fascinating talks, and some astonishing original records:

•In conversation with Jessica Hynes – discussing her inspirations for and approach to writing and researching BBC suffrage sitcom Up the Women
•A truly unmissable combination of history and martial arts – performer, writer and researcher Naomi Paxton discusses the fight for women’s votes via the unconvential medium of jiu jitsu
•Early access to our upcoming Suffrage 100 exhibition
•Curator talks and experts on-hand to talk you through our records
•A display of original documents relating to women’s rights throughout the 20th century
•Live period music
•Suffrage-themed photobooths
•Food and drink to purchase, including a themed cocktail bar


•Our friends at FindMyPast will also be on hand to help you research your suffrage ancestors

Your ticket includes a free cocktail on arrival!*

*free drink token can also be exchanged for a beer, wine or soft drink

This event is strictly adults only (18+).

Programme is subject to change.

Entrance to the talks are limited by capacity and will be determined on the night, on a first come, first served basis.


Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£22 per person, book ahead


Black and white photo of man standing in a room on a raised platform speaking to a crowd, with paintings behind him on the walls. Caption reads: 'exhibition of paitning by Brazilian artists at Burlington House, London - Sir Malcolm Robertson, Chairman od the British Council, speaking at the opening ceremony'

Brazilian Modernism painted for war

  • 6 June 2018 2-3pm

Join us for a discussion with Dr Adrian Locke, Senior Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, and record specialists from The National Archives. They will share their unique perspectives on Exhibition of Modern Brazilian Painting, the first exhibition of Brazilian art in the United Kingdom, shown at the Royal Academy in 1944, and The Art of Diplomacy: Brazilian Modernism painted for War, which will be showing from 6 April to 22 June 2018 at the Embassy of Brazil in London.


£5, book ahead


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Getting there

10 minutes walk from Kew Gardens underground station (District line)
15 minutes walk from Kew Bridge mainline station (South West trains)
R68 bus route

The National Archives




020 8876 3444

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.