The National Archives

Front entrance of The National Archives
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The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, guaranteeing public access to over 1000 years of history with records ranging from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites. We are also at the heart of government information policy, to ensure the survival of today´s information for the future.

Venue Type:

Archive

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

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.

Artist in the Archive: create a sculpture inspired by Barbara Hepworth

  • 4 August 2015

Join us this summer for a series of special activities marking the 40th anniversary of Barbara Hepworth's death, coinciding with Tate Britain’s Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World exhibition.

Explore the life and work of Barbara Hepworth through our collection of original documents. Be inspired to create your own mini-sculpture in this open-air workshop.

Suitable for ages 5 to 10. Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult at all times during the workshop.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Samuel Holland’s map

  • 6 August 2015

Samuel Holland's 1765 map of Prince Edward Island was the first accurate map created of the island, situated just off the Nova Scotia coast. This summer this enormous map is being loaned to the island and it will feature in a major exhibition at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown.

This fascinating talk by one of our conservation experts will use photos and film clips to show the painstaking process of conserving this huge map, the challenges associated with preparing such an object for an exhibition and its transatlantic journey to get there.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Tour: The Keeper's Gallery

  • 6 August 2015
  • 16 August 2015
  • 19 August 2015
  • 3 September 2015

The Keeper's Gallery is offering free highlights tours of the gallery twice a month, led by volunteers.

Please meet at the welcome desk five minutes before the tour start time. Each tour group will take a maximum of 12 people on a first come, first served basis.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

First Lady: the life and wars of Clementine Churchill

  • 11 August 2015 2-3pm

Discover the fascinating story of Clementine Churchill, the power behind Britain's wartime leader.

Through the Churchills’ ‘wilderness years’ in the 1930s, to Clementine’s desperate efforts to preserve her husband’s health during the struggle against Hitler, Sonia Purnell presents the inspiring but often ignored story of one of the most important women in modern history – the original ‘First Lady’.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Writer of the month: Peter Doggett - Electric Shock

  • 19 August 2015 2-3pm

Ambitious and ground-breaking, Electric Shock tells the story of popular music, from the birth of recording in the 1890s to the digital age, from the first pop superstars of the 20th century to the omnipresence of music in our lives, in hit singles, ringtones and on Spotify.

Over that time, popular music has transformed the world in which we live. Its rhythms have influenced how we walk down the street, how we face ourselves in the mirror, and how we handle the outside world in our daily conversations and encounters. It has influenced our morals and social mores
it has transformed our attitudes towards race and gender, religion and politics.

Peter Doggett has been writing professionally about popular music and cultural history for more than 30 years. A former full-time music journalist, his 750-page history of popular music and its impact on everyday life from 1890 to the present day, Electric Shock: How Popular Music Made the World Modern, will be published this summer.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Tickets £6 (£4.80 friends)

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/writer-of-month/#peter-doggett-electric-shock

Webinar - Archives and the arts: the Festival of Britain

  • 21 August 2015 2-3pm

The 1951 Festival of Britain showcased Britain’s contribution to civilisation past, present and future, in the arts, science and industrial design and signalled Britain’s revival after the Second World War. A huge number of designers, artists and architects, including Barbara Hepworth, took part in the festival.

This webinar will explore records and research tips to help access records relating to the Festival of Britain held at The National Archives.

Webinars: are interactive, online seminars, designed to support and develop research skills. You access this event from the comfort of your own home, by logging in on you pc, tablet, smart phone or other such device. Being online, you will be able to take advantage of the expertise of The National Archives' staff from your own computer or tablet, without having to travel to Kew. During the online session (which will last no more than an hour), you will be able to interact with staff members and fellow researchers taking part in the webinar, as well as listening to, and viewing, the staff presentation on screen.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

It's free to register, and you take part in the webinar at home using your PC, tablet or smart phone.

Website

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-archives-and-the-arts-the-festival-of-britain-tickets-17423980595

Webinar - Missing from the census?

  • 25 August 2015 6-7pm

Census records are invaluable sources of information for all family historians. But what if you can’t find your ancestor on the census?

This webinar will look at useful search tips that will help you to locate hard-to-find people, as well as exploring possible reasons for their absence and providing pointers for where else you could look.



Webinars: are interactive, online seminars, designed to support and develop research skills. You access this event from the comfort of your own home, by logging in on you pc, tablet, smart phone or other such device. Being online, you will be able to take advantage of the expertise of The National Archives' staff from your own computer or tablet, without having to travel to Kew. During the online session (which will last no more than an hour), you will be able to interact with staff members and fellow researchers taking part in the webinar, as well as listening to, and viewing, the staff presentation on screen.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

It's free to register, and you take part in the webinar at home using your PC, tablet or smart phone.

Website

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-missing-from-the-census-tickets-17425713779

Kew Lives: reconstructing the past

  • 3 September 2015 6-7pm

This talk by two of our records specialists explains how to research the local history of an area, using the Mortlake Terrace shops in Kew as a case study.

The talk will show how records held by The National Archives can be used to research local history, as well as records held by other archives and local studies centres.

This talk is taking place as part of the Know Your Place festival, a celebration of the heritage of Richmond upon Thames.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Talk and display: 1715: The great Jacobite rebellion

  • 4 September 2015 2-3:30pm

The Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 posed a significant threat to the British state, with protesters attempting to return the Stuarts to the throne after James II’s deposition during the 1688 Revolution.

We are marking the anniversaries of the Jacobite risings with a season of events and activities between September 2015 and April 2016, beginning with the 300th anniversary of the raising of the Jacobite standard at Braemar, and closing with the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden.

Lacking the romantic imagery of the 1745 uprising of supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 has received far less attention from scholars. Yet just eight years after the union of England and Scotland, it was arguably a more significant threat to the British state.

To mark the 300th anniversary of the rebellion, Professor Daniel Szechi reveals the surprising significance of their widely supported but ultimately doomed rebellion.

The accompanying original document display will show examples of records that have informed Dr Szechi’s research and give an insight into the holdings relating to the Jacobites at The National Archives.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

‘Over the Top a foul, a blurry foul’: the first football charge of the First World War

  • 8 September 2015 2-3pm

Our collection of First World War records is one of the largest in the world. It includes, amongst many other documents, service records, letters, diaries, maps and photographs.

During the centenary we are opening up this collection and hosting a variety of events and exhibitions engaging in key debates and topics from the war.

Part of Britain's folk memory of the First World War is of long lines of Tommies bravely going over the top, resolutely kicking and passing a football as they walked into a hail of machine gun fire.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Webinar - Tracing Jacobites at The National Archives

  • 10 September 2015 4-5pm

The Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 posed a significant threat to the British state, with protesters attempting toreturn the Stuarts to the throne after James II’s deposition during the 1688 Revolution.

We are marking the anniversaries of the Jacobite risings witha season of events and activities between September 2015and April 2016, beginning with the 300th anniversary of the raising of the Jacobite standard at Braemar, and closing with the 270th anniversary of the Battleof Culloden.

This webinar will identify relevant record series at The National Archives and help you trace individuals from this period.

We will also show you some key primary sources available to help you with research around this topic.



Webinars: are interactive, online seminars, designed to support and develop research skills. You access this event from the comfort of your own home, by logging in on you pc, tablet, smart phone or other such device. Being online, you will be able to take advantage of the expertise of The National Archives' staff from your own computer or tablet, without having to travel to Kew. During the online session (which will last no more than an hour), you will be able to interact with staff members and fellow researchers taking part in the webinar, as well as listening to, and viewing, the staff presentation on screen.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

It's free to register, and you take part in the webinar at home using your PC, tablet or smart phone.

Website

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-tracing-jacobites-at-the-national-archives-tickets-17425541263

Webinar - How to find your First World War military ancestors

  • 14 September 2015 12-1pm

Our collection of First World War records is one of the largest in the world. It includes, amongst many other documents, service records, letters, diaries, maps and photographs.

During the centenary we are opening up this collection and hosting a variety of events and exhibitions engaging in key debates and topics from the war.

This webinar will explore how to start tracing individual men who served in the British army, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and the Royal Flying Corps (later RAF), using records held at The National Archives.



Webinars: are interactive, online seminars, designed to support and develop research skills. You access this event from the comfort of your own home, by logging in on you pc, tablet, smart phone or other such device. Being online, you will be able to take advantage of the expertise of The National Archives' staff from your own computer or tablet, without having to travel to Kew. During the online session (which will last no more than an hour), you will be able to interact with staff members and fellow researchers taking part in the webinar, as well as listening to, and viewing, the staff presentation on screen.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

It's free to register, and you take part in the webinar at home using your PC, tablet or smart phone.

Website

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-how-to-find-your-first-world-war-military-ancestors-tickets-17426019694

The battle of Britain: sources in The National Archives

  • 17 September 2015 2-3pm

The ‘air battle for England’ was waged by the Luftwaffe forces against Britain exactly 75 years ago.

The National Archives holds key records and sources that can reveal how the British government planned for and dealt with this famous campaign of the Second World War.

This talk pulls together information about the key sources relating to the Battle of Britain, especially those released since the 70th anniversary in 2010, and shows how to use them to discover more about this important battle and the people who were involved in it.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/events.htm?utm_source=The+National+Archives&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5868086_What's+On+July+2015&utm_content=events

Writer of the month: Suzannah Lipscomb - A journey through Tudor England

  • 23 September 2015 2-3pm

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb talks about writing her latest book A Journey Through Tudor England, and recounts her experiences of presenting a BBC documentary on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s love affair.

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is an historian, broadcaster and award-winning academic. She has presented historical documentaries on BBC4, ITV, Channel 5 and National Geographic Channel, and writes a regular column for History Today. Her books include 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII, A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England and The King is Dead! The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Tickets £6 (£4.80 friends)

Website

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/writer-of-month/#peter-doggett-electric-shock

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.

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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