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.

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.
Riots

Riots, rebellions, murders and militias: exploring 19th century Home Office records

  • 18 January 2018 6-7pm *on now

The National Archives holds 539 series of Home Office records, which collectively touch on almost every aspect of life in Britain. However, many of these records do not have detailed catalogue entries, so the treasures within go unseen. This webinar will explain how researchers can effectively search 19th century Home Office records, and showcase material found within them – from drunken militiamen and rioting Cornish fishermen, to England’s last proper revolution and the records which inspired the book, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Where

This is an online only event

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/riots-and-rebellions-murders-and-militias-exploring-19th-century-home-office-records-tickets-40904636870?aff=culture24

Behind the scenes tour

Behind the scenes tour

  • 26 January 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-41138886517?aff=culture24

Surviving the Holocaust

Surviving the Holocaust

  • 26 January 2018 2-3:30pm

Following capture by the SS in May 1943, Lady Zahava Kohn and her family spent almost two years in Nazi concentration camps. In spite of the appalling conditions they faced, Zahava and her parents survived and were released in 1945. Over 70 years after her liberation, we are honoured to invite Lady Zahava Kohn to talk about her experience in the camps. In addition to her own unique and personal account, Zahava’s daughter, Hephzibah Rudofsky, will also speak at the event, providing a second generation perspective. There will be a display of Zahava’s remarkable trove of documents, letters and photographs, alongside records from our collection.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/surviving-the-holocaust-tickets-40904827440?aff=culture24

The history of public information films

The history of public information films

  • 30 January 2018 2-3pm

In this talk, Patrick Russell from the British Film Institute (BFI) will explore the history of public information films, using clips and films to show the development of government filmmaking. Patrick heads up the non-fiction team at the BFI National Archive and specialises in the history of industrialised and sponsored film. He has also co-edited books, including Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Post-war Britain and authored 100 British Documentaries.

Admission

£6

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-history-of-public-information-films-tickets-40904896647?aff=

Emigrants: why the English sailed to the New World

Emigrants: why the English sailed to the New World

  • 31 January 2018 2-3pm

James Evans’ Emigrants tells the story of America’s earliest settlers from England. Hear the author bring to life the stories of English emigrants and their colonisation of the New World. James is a historian and television producer who, having completed his doctorate at Oriel College, Oxford, has since worked producing historical documentaries for television, together with the accompanying books.

Admission

£7.50

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emigrants-why-the-english-sailed-to-the-new-world-tickets-40905053115?aff=culture24

Image of The National Archives building in Kew

The changing face of Kew

  • 6 February 2018 2-3pm

Paul Davies, Operations Director for The National Archives and a resident of Kew, will talk about the history of The National Archives’ site. Previously known as Kew Meadows, it played an important role in both world wars before the arrival of the Public Record Office almost 40 years ago. Paul will talk about the 1990s extension of what has now become The National Archives and the internal remodelling of some of the public access areas, and will bring us up to date with what has been happening with the neighbouring former Inland Revenue site.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-changing-face-of-kew-tickets-40905268760?aff=culture24

Image of hospital ward

Spanish Flu: the global pandemic

  • 8 February 2018 2-3:30pm

As the First World War raged across Europe, the globe was struck by another, quieter, but equally deadly affliction – influenza. The Spanish Flu, as it was known in Britain, appeared in early 1918, and spread rapidly around the globe. Using documents from The National Archives, this event will explore the origins of Spanish Flu and how it came to affect people in every corner of the world. Speaker Hannah Mawdsley is a PhD researcher studying the global impact of influenza in 1918-19. The talk will be followed by a document display, highlighting the depth and range of our collections in this area.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spanish-flu-the-global-pandemic-tickets-40905353012?aff=culture24

Image of Suffragettes

Suffragette

  • 9 February 2018 6-9pm

Hollywood blockbuster Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, received wide critical acclaim for its handling of a subject not often portrayed on the big screen – the fight for womens’ right to vote. We invite you to a special screening of Suffragette, with a chance to explore some of the fascinating original documents related to the film. The document display will be open from 17:30. The screening, with introduction, will start at 18:45 (film duration: 1 hour, 46 minutes).

Admission

£8

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/suffragette-tickets-40906460324?aff=culture24

Image of workshop

The Time Travel Club - Pirates in the arrrchives

  • 13 February 2018 10:30am-12pm

Come and join us for some swashbuckling fun, with records about real-life pirates of the Caribbean! Take part in our pirate treasure hunt and create your own pirate hats, pirate faces and paper plate ships! This session is designed for children aged 3 to 5 (younger siblings welcome). Adults do not need to book for themselves.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

£7.50 per child, adults go free

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-pirates-in-the-arrrchives-tickets-40905856518?aff=culture24

Image of workshop

The Time Travel Club - Badges, buttons and ‘behaving badly’

  • 15 February 2018 10:30am-12pm

Uncover the fascinating stories of women who were prepared to risk everything to win the vote. Become a creative campaigner by making your very own suffrage badges inspired by our records. 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-badges-buttons-and-behaving-badly-tickets-40906147388?aff=culture24

Militant suffragette

Did militancy help or hinder the fight for the franchise

  • 20 February 2018 6-7:30pm

By 1912, militancy associated with the Suffragette movement hit its peak, with regular arson attacks, window-smashing campaigns and targeting of MPs’ houses. In retrospect, these tactics are often what the movement is famed for. But did they help or hinder the cause? Join us for this lively evening debate with Dr. Fern Riddell (BBC’s Suffragettes Forever! and Kitty Marion: Singer, Suffragette, Firestarter), Elizabeth Crawford (author, The Women’s Suffrage Movement) and Professor Krista Cowman (University of Lincoln).

Admission

£10

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/did-militancy-help-or-hinder-the-fight-for-the-franchise-tickets-40906262733?aff=culture24

Book cover

Elizabeth’s rival

  • 22 February 2018 2-3pm

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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