The National Archives

Front entrance of The National Archives
Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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.

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
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.
Book cover

Elizabeth’s rival

  • 22 February 2018 2-3pm *on now

Elizabeth’s Rival, written by British historian Nicola Tallis, is the first ever biography of the extraordinary Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester. Born into a prestigious family, Lettice had a life of dizzying highs and pitiful lows. Nicola will talk about the religious turmoil of the time – the plots and intrigues of Mary, Queen of Scots, attempted coups, and bloody Irish conflicts – through this biographical encounter with Elizabeth I’s kinswoman.

Admission

£7.50

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/elizabeths-rival-tickets-40906346985?aff=culture24

Image of a repository

Behind the scenes tour

  • 23 February 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.

Admission

£10

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/behind-the-scenes-tour-tickets-41139353915?aff=culture24

Image of data servers

Digital archives of the future

  • 1 March 2018 2-3pm

To mark 40 years since The National Archives moved to Kew, our Digital Director John Sheridan will look ahead to some of the digital challenges that archives will face in the coming 40 years. John is currently leading efforts to transfer our digital offer, so that we become an archive which is digital by instinct and design.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-archives-of-the-future-tickets-40906662930?aff=culture24

Image of workshop

The Time Travel Club - Victorian child criminals

  • 3 March 2018 10:30am-12pm

Discover the world of Victorian crime, viewed through the eyes of a child. Find out what crimes children were convicted of and the sentences they served. Create your own ‘Wanted’ poster and learn about the experiences of different child criminals. This session is designed for children aged 7 to 11 (younger siblings welcome). Adults do not need to book for themselves.

Suitable for

  • 7-10

Admission

£7.50 per child, adults go free

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-victorian-child-criminals-tickets-40935047830?aff=culture24

Drawing of UFO

UFO files at The National Archives

  • 8 March 2018 6-7pm

Originally set up after a request from Winston Churchill, the Ministry of Defence’s UFO Desk ran for over 60 years, collating mysterious sightings and records of strange objects in the sky. Dr David Clarke, Principal Lecturer in Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, will talk about the remarkable stories behind some of the images from his book, UFO Drawings From The National Archives.

Admission

£7.50

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ufo-files-at-the-national-archives-tickets-40935218340?aff=culture24

Parishioners

The parish: records and administration

  • 13 March 2018 2-3pm

For hundreds of years the parish was the most important unit of local government. This talk covers the historical administration of the parish, its officials and their records, as well as showing you how to use these records to trace your ancestors and find out more about their local community. From the historical parish and the ecclesiastical parish, to what became the civil parish, this talk will cover up to the creation of the modern civil parish in 1894.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-parish-records-and-administration-tickets-40935310616?aff=culture24

Suffragette

Rise Up Women! The remarkable lives of the suffragettes

  • 15 March 2018 2-3pm

On 6 February 1918, after 50 years of campaigning, British women were finally granted the vote. History was further made when, in 1919, Lady Nancy Astor became the first female MP in the House of Commons. A century on, Diane Atkinson will reflect on the daring, often violent struggle women undertook to break into an exclusively male political system. Her forthcoming book, Rise Up Women!, celebrates the women that campaigned and paved the way for generations to come.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rise-up-women-the-remarkable-lives-of-the-suffragettes-tickets-40935405901?aff=culture24

Parishioners

Finding and using family history records

  • 16 March 2018 2-3pm

Most family history research is based on the major record sources: birth, marriage and death records, census, parish registers and wills. However, it is easy to become focused on finding information from a specific document and lose sight of the fact that it is not that particular piece of paper that is required, rather the information it contains. This talk will look at alternative approaches to finding information when the usual methods fail and consider the various records that could lead to the same ends.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/finding-and-using-family-history-records-tickets-40935117037?aff=culture24

Female SOE agent

Female agents of the Second World War

  • 20 March 2018 2-3pm

Women of the Special Operations Executive French Section underwent a rigorous training regime for work in enemy-occupied France, during the Second World War. They were taught all manner of extraordinary things – from silent killing and close combat to mock interrogations and weapons training – in preparation for a life working behind the lines. Dr Kate Vigurs is a Special Operations Executive historian with a special interest in the women of the SOE French Section.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/female-agents-of-the-second-world-war-tickets-40935544315?aff=culture24

Disabled veterans

Disabled British Army Great War veterans across the empire, 1918-1939

  • 22 March 2018 2-3pm

Over one million British men were disabled by disease or injury during the First World War. The post-war experiences of those who returned to Britain have been well documented in historiography – but what about those disabled British Army veterans who did not return to Britain? Dr Michael Robinson will delve into The National Archives’ pension records and give us an insight into what happened to veterans who resided outside of Britain, providing us with a fresh understanding of war-induced disability in the aftermath of war.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disabled-british-army-great-war-veterans-across-the-empire-1918-1939-tickets-40903997959?aff=culture24

an adult and child lean over a table and take part in a craft activity

The Time Travel Club - Second World War spies

  • 24 March 2018 10:30am-12pm

Investigate the life and experiences of Second World War spy Karl Richter. Learn about secret messages, cunning disguises, and design your own toolkit for subterfuge and adventure. This session is designed for children aged 7 to 11 (younger siblings welcome). Adults do not need to book for themselves.

Suitable for

  • 7-10

Admission

£7.50 per child, adults go free

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-second-world-war-spies-tickets-40935705798?aff=culture24

Suffragette

Locating London’s suffrage legacy

  • 28 March 2018 2-3pm

Spaces relating to suffrage in London are varied and, in some cases, no longer standing. Yet, they are key in understanding the city’s deep and strong relationship with women’s suffrage. The suffrage movement took place up and down the country. Yet, as the centre of political power, London was a hub for both militant and constitutional campaigning. In this talk and document display, experts from The National Archives will explore the people and places of the capital’s campaign.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/locating-londons-suffrage-legacy-tickets-40935774002?aff=culture24

Image of a repository

Behind the scenes tour

  • 30 March 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.

Admission

£10

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/behind-the-scenes-tour-tickets-41139365951?aff=culture24

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
Kew
Surrey
TW9 4DU
England

Website

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

E-mail

enquiry@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Telephone

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.
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