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.
two knights battle

Tudor takeover day

  • 21 July 2018 10am-4:30pm

Our Tudor takeover day is jam-packed full of breath-taking performances, fascinating talks and displays, and fun activities for everyone.
Dress up as a knight in shining armour, fly majestic birds of prey in an astonishing falconry demonstration, and experience the tension of the battlefield with live combat displays.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Any age

Admission

£7.50, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tudor-takeover-day-tickets-46847559311?aff=culture24

Shakespeare

Before Shakespeare

  • 1 August 2018 2-3pm

‘Before Shakespeare‘ is a research project, based at the University of Roehampton and King’s College London, that explores the earliest commercial playhouses of Elizabethan England. These were pioneering, unusual and sometimes shocking spaces. They also hosted a range of extraordinary and innovative plays, which warrant greater presence in contemporary performance. In this talk, the project team will ask the fundamental question, ‘what is a playhouse?’, and explore surviving documents that tell us what we know about these spaces, and rethink the builders, managers, and audiences who brought them into being. Speakers include Dr Andy Kesson, reader at University of Roehampton, Dr Lucy Munro, reader in Early Modern Literature at King's College London, Dr Callan Davies, research fellow at University of Roehampton.

Admission

£5, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/before-shakespeare-tickets-47213785704?aff=culture24

couple on their wedding day

The making and breaking of marriages, 1700-1900

  • 2 August 2018 2-3pm

How, when, and where did our ancestors marry, and what happened if those marriages didn’t work out? In this illustrated talk, based on her books Marriage Law for Genealogists and Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved, Professor Rebecca Probert explains the laws regulating marriage and divorce. Drawing on cohort studies of thousands of couples, she shows how individuals navigated and occasionally flouted these legal requirements. Family historians just starting out will find advice on where ‘missing’ marriages are most likely to be found, while those more advanced will be able to interpret their discoveries to better understand their ancestors’ motivations in this most personal and universal of areas, and whether their choices made them exceptional or normal for their day.

Admission

Free, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-making-and-breaking-of-marriages-1700-1900-tickets-47215509861?aff=culture24

children in activity workshop

The Time Travel Club – Archive animals (4-6)

  • 7 August 2018 10:30-11:30am

Join us for a morning of exploring creatures big and small, with fun craft activities, where you can design, make and decorate animals inspired by the archives. This session is designed for children aged 4 to 6. Adults do not need to book for themselves. Younger siblings are welcome at this event, children under 4 go free. Please book a free ticket for younger children.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

£7.50 per child, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-archive-animals-4-6-tickets-47256050118?aff=culture24

Children at workshop

The Time Travel Club - Archive animals (7-11)

  • 9 August 2018 10:30am-12pm

The National Archives is full of animals! From the Home Office cat and wartime carrier pigeons, to train tickets for dogs. Explore our records first-hand, then have a go at making your own puppets inspired by their extraordinary stories. This session is designed for children aged 7 to 11. Adults do not need to book for themselves. Younger siblings are welcome at this event, children under 6 go free. Please book a free ticket for younger children.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

£7.50 per child, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-archive-animals-7-11-tickets-47218029397?aff=culture24

Thomas Lord Fairfax

Thomas, Lord Fairfax and the Second Civil War

  • 23 August 2018 2-3pm

This talk will assess the role played by Lord Fairfax, the commander-in-chief of the New Model Army, in securing victory for Parliament in the South-East of England during the Second Civil War. The talk will include a discussion of Fairfax’s controversial role in the bloody siege of Colchester, encompassing why parliamentarian retribution was more severe in Essex than in Kent. It will also reflect on the political consequences of this military campaign in creating conditions favourable towards placing Charles I on trial for his life. There will also be an original document display.
Dr Andrew Hopper (University of Leicester) is the author of Black Tom: Sir Thomas Fairfax and the English Revolution, and co-editor of England’s Fortress: New Perspectives on Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax.

Admission

Free, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thomas-lord-fairfax-and-the-second-civil-war-tickets-47219501801?aff=culture24

Treasure in the archives workshop

The Time Travel Club - Treasure in the archives (4-6)

  • 28 August 2018 10:30-11:30am

What do we look after at The National Archives? Find out about some of the special ‘treasures’ that we keep, including documents that are more than 1000 years old! Decorate your very own treasure chest, take part in a treasure hunt and see if you can find the hidden word to claim your own piece of treasure to take home! This session is designed for children aged 4 to 6. Adults do not need to book for themselves. Younger siblings are welcome at this event, children under 4 go free. Please book a free ticket for younger children.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

£7.50 per child, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-treasure-in-the-archives-4-6-tickets-47220449636?aff=culture24

workshop

The Time Travel Club - TV, toys and technology: Being a child in the 1960s

  • 30 August 2018 10:30am-12pm

What were children in the 1960s watching on television, and what games were they playing? Take part in a space mission and discover inventions from the 60s that changed people’s lives. Design your own toy, inspired by fascinating documents relating to iconic toys of the decade - some of which are still around today! This session is designed for children aged 7 to 11. Adults do not need to book for themselves. Younger siblings are welcome at this event, children under 6 go free. Please book a free ticket for younger children.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

£7.50 per child, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-time-travel-club-tv-toys-and-technology-being-a-child-in-the-1960s-7-11-tickets-47256222634?aff=culture24

Heritage Open Day

Heritage Open Day

  • 7 September 2018 10am-4pm

As part of Heritage Open Days, we are opening the doors to our repositories and offering you the chance to go behind the scenes in a special tour. After the tour, experts from The National Archives will guide you around our new exhibition Suffragettes vs. the State which uncovers the complex relationship that the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) had with the state, through documents in our collection. These tours are bookable in advance and will take place at the following times: 10:00-11:00, 11:00-12:00, 14:00-15:00, 15:00-16:00

Admission

Free, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heritage-open-day-tickets-47257272775?aff=culture24

Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte and her legacy

  • 14 September 2018 10am-5pm

Discover the fascinating life of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of George III, in the 200th anniversary year of her death at Kew Palace. The day will begin at The National Archives, with a lecture delivered by Clarissa Campbell Orr (St Mary’s University, Twickenham), followed by a panel discussion. Following a provided lunch, delegates will have curator-led tours of Kew Palace in nearby Kew Gardens, where this year’s displays are devoted to Queen Charlotte’s life and achievements. This event has been jointly organised by The National Archives and Historic Royal Palaces.

Admission

£30, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/queen-charlotte-and-her-legacy-tickets-47257699050?aff=culture24

The working class suffragette

The working class suffragette

  • 18 September 2018 2-3pm

A shoe machinist by trade, mother of six and radical socialist, Alice Hawkins joined the suffragette movement in 1907, following her arrest outside Parliament and subsequent imprisonment in Holloway Prison. Alice formed the Leicester branch of the WSPU and went on to be imprisoned a further four times in her campaign for the vote. Alice’s suffragette memorabilia is still kept by her family, and is considered to be one of the most complete collections in the UK today. Her great-grandson Peter Barratt will give an account of Alice’s life, highlighted with illustrations from the impressive collection. Actor Ruth Pownall will also add a performative element to this talk.

Admission

£5, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-working-class-suffragette-tickets-47259401141?aff=culture24

Origins to equality

Women's suffrage: Origins to equality

  • 25 September 2018 10:30am-1pm

Come to this workshop to learn more about the ways that women, and men who supported the fight for votes for women, interacted with the state. With tuition from experts from The National Archives, you will be given the opportunity to practise archival skills, investigating primary sources to gain historical insight. Following the session with original documents, you will have the chance to tour our new exhibition, Suffragettes vs. the State.

Admission

£15, book ahead

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-suffrage-origins-to-equality-tickets-47259837446?aff=culture24

DCDC Conference

Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC)

  • 19 — 21 November 2018

The theme of this year’s conference is Memory and transformation, with panels exploring themes ranging from memory institutions and material narratives to digital memories and public reminiscence. The conference includes practical workshops and exciting networking opportunities. This year’s conference meal will be in the stunning surroundings of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

DCDC brings together colleagues from across the archive, library, museum and academic sectors to explore shared opportunities, collective challenges, and to discuss how each sector can work more effectively with one another.

You can view the conference programme and register for your place here: http://dcdcconference.com/. We strongly recommend that you read the DCDC18 FAQ page before registering: http://dcdcconference.com/faq/.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dcdc18-conference-tickets-46938226499?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.
advertisement