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.
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.




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.




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


£7.50 per child, adults go free



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.


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.




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


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.