The National Archives

The National Archives As the government's national archive for England, Wales and the UK government, we hold over 1,000 years of the nation's records for everyone to discover and use.
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Operating as usual

#OTD 355 years ago, the Great Fire of London started. It would last until 5 September, destroying most of the central ar...
02/09/2021

#OTD 355 years ago, the Great Fire of London started. It would last until 5 September, destroying most of the central areas of the capital and St Paul's Cathedral. Today's #ArchiveJigsaw asks you to piece together this 1662 view of London, by Jonas Moore: https://orlo.uk/GaNDS

#OTD 355 years ago, the Great Fire of London started. It would last until 5 September, destroying most of the central areas of the capital and St Paul's Cathedral. Today's #ArchiveJigsaw asks you to piece together this 1662 view of London, by Jonas Moore: https://orlo.uk/GaNDS

On 2 September 1666, a fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and quickly spread across the city of London. 13,000 homes...
01/09/2021

On 2 September 1666, a fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and quickly spread across the city of London. 13,000 homes, 87 churches, the Royal Exchange and St Paul’s Cathedral were destroyed by the #GreatFireofLondon.
How did 17th Century Londoners recover from the disaster? And how did the fire offer an opportunity to re-imagine lifestyle and the urban landscape that see today?
Philippa Hellawell reveals all: https://orlo.uk/S4GN6

On 2 September 1666, a fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and quickly spread across the city of London. 13,000 homes, 87 churches, the Royal Exchange and St Paul’s Cathedral were destroyed by the #GreatFireofLondon.
How did 17th Century Londoners recover from the disaster? And how did the fire offer an opportunity to re-imagine lifestyle and the urban landscape that see today?
Philippa Hellawell reveals all: https://orlo.uk/S4GN6

Who's been enjoying the Paralympic Games?In collaboration with our friends at Buckinghamshire Archives, we've taken a lo...
01/09/2021
From Aylesbury to Tokyo: How a WWII Refugee Pioneered the Paralympic Games - DCMS blog

Who's been enjoying the Paralympic Games?

In collaboration with our friends at Buckinghamshire Archives, we've taken a look back at the story of how the Paralympic Games was pioneered right here in the UK.

Enjoy:

This blog was written by: Jenni Orme, Head of Collections, Engagement and Expertise at The National Archives and Katherine Gwyn, Community Outreach and Projects Archivist, Buckinghamshire Archives The Paralympics are here! Once again we’ve been watching extraordinary feats on the field and triumph...

The 3rd issue of History Matters is now live. The journal includes articles which draw on our records as well as documen...
01/09/2021

The 3rd issue of History Matters is now live.

The journal includes articles which draw on our records as well as documents from other sources to explore the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain: https://orlo.uk/Oe01T

📷 : INF3-614

#HistMatters21

The 3rd issue of History Matters is now live.

The journal includes articles which draw on our records as well as documents from other sources to explore the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain: https://orlo.uk/Oe01T

📷 : INF3-614

#HistMatters21

Keep Britain Tidy encouraged people to take an interest in maintaining a clean environment. This poster, produced in 196...
01/09/2021

Keep Britain Tidy encouraged people to take an interest in maintaining a clean environment. This poster, produced in 1962, was one of the first designs for the campaign. The lion and the union flag were used to appeal to people's national pride:https://orlo.uk/pLN3o

Keep Britain Tidy encouraged people to take an interest in maintaining a clean environment. This poster, produced in 1962, was one of the first designs for the campaign. The lion and the union flag were used to appeal to people's national pride:https://orlo.uk/pLN3o

31/08/2021

Have you listened to the latest episode of our podcast, On the Record?

Sit back, relax, and be taken on a journey through 65 years of public information films and the history of the Central Office of Information: https://pod.link/1460242815

#COI75

An August Bank Holiday isn't quite the same without the Notting Hill Carnival in London. It's iconic. A moment when mill...
29/08/2021

An August Bank Holiday isn't quite the same without the Notting Hill Carnival in London.

It's iconic. A moment when millions descend on Kensington to celebrate Caribbean culture, dance and have fun.

Read more about its origins here: https://orlo.uk/52EKb

📷 : MEPO 2/10891

An August Bank Holiday isn't quite the same without the Notting Hill Carnival in London.

It's iconic. A moment when millions descend on Kensington to celebrate Caribbean culture, dance and have fun.

Read more about its origins here: https://orlo.uk/52EKb

📷 : MEPO 2/10891

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 190...
27/08/2021

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 1903.

COPY 1/205 f199

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 1903.

COPY 1/205 f199

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 190...
27/08/2021

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 1903.

COPY 1/205 f199

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Courtesy of the Great Western Railway marketing team in 1903.

COPY 1/205 f199

Today is #InternationalDogDay so we thought we'd celebrate our four-legged research assistants.We couldn't think of a mo...
26/08/2021

Today is #InternationalDogDay so we thought we'd celebrate our four-legged research assistants.

We couldn't think of a more appropriate image than this photo of a dog wearing a mortar board, dating from 1889.

📷 : COPY 1/395 (313)

Today is #InternationalDogDay so we thought we'd celebrate our four-legged research assistants.

We couldn't think of a more appropriate image than this photo of a dog wearing a mortar board, dating from 1889.

📷 : COPY 1/395 (313)

#OTD 345 years ago, Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, was born. He remains the longest holder of this offi...
26/08/2021

#OTD 345 years ago, Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, was born. He remains the longest holder of this office, serving 21 years.

Learn more in this fascinating blog: https://orlo.uk/yLxR4

📷 : NPG 70 © National Portrait Gallery, London

#OTD 345 years ago, Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, was born. He remains the longest holder of this office, serving 21 years.

Learn more in this fascinating blog: https://orlo.uk/yLxR4

📷 : NPG 70 © National Portrait Gallery, London

23/08/2021

Have you listened to the latest episode of our podcast, On the Record?

Sit back, relax, and discover more about Public Information Films and the Central Office of Information.

Available to listen on a variety of platforms: https://pod.link/1460242815

#COI75 #CollectionsUnited

#OTD in 1931, Ramsay MacDonald announced the resignation of his Labour Government and the formation of the National Gove...
23/08/2021

#OTD in 1931, Ramsay MacDonald announced the resignation of his Labour Government and the formation of the National Government, which included members of the Conservative Party, Liberals and National Labour.

📷 : CAB23-67-0002

#OTD in 1931, Ramsay MacDonald announced the resignation of his Labour Government and the formation of the National Government, which included members of the Conservative Party, Liberals and National Labour.

📷 : CAB23-67-0002

We continue to experience intermittent issues with our website and are working hard to resolve the issue. Please accept ...
19/08/2021

We continue to experience intermittent issues with our website and are working hard to resolve the issue. Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

We continue to experience intermittent issues with our website and are working hard to resolve the issue. Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

In our most recent blog, discover how Dr Puey Ungphakorn worked with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Free...
18/08/2021
The Free Thai Movement and the SOE - The National Archives blog

In our most recent blog, discover how Dr Puey Ungphakorn worked with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Free Thai Movement to convey intelligence beyond enemy lines and played a part in bringing an end to the Second World War.

Read more here:

Siam (present day Thailand) was one of the first countries in South East Asia to have been invaded by Japanese armed forces.

Our exhibition, With Love, is now on at Kew.This carefully curated collection of letters delves into love, loss and long...
18/08/2021
With Love - The National Archives

Our exhibition, With Love, is now on at Kew.

This carefully curated collection of letters delves into love, loss and longing over hundreds of years, connecting people both past and present through love in all its forms.

Find out more:

Letters of love, loss and longing Open 20 July until 23 October 2021 In our latest exhibition, love letters offer glimpses into private worlds – from a queen’s treasonous love letter, to the generous wish of a naval hero and the forlorn poetry of a prime minister. Expect secret stories of heartb...

We have a variety of online activities to keep kids entertained this summer – Holidays through history is now live on ou...
18/08/2021

We have a variety of online activities to keep kids entertained this summer – Holidays through history is now live on our website! Pack your bags and come with us as we explore the summers of years gone by.
Through our online activities, arts and crafts ideas and things to do outside, discover through our records how people through history spent their holidays, from the Tudors to the Victorians, in Britain and abroad.

Get exploring here: https://orlo.uk/rONzs

We have a variety of online activities to keep kids entertained this summer – Holidays through history is now live on our website! Pack your bags and come with us as we explore the summers of years gone by.
Through our online activities, arts and crafts ideas and things to do outside, discover through our records how people through history spent their holidays, from the Tudors to the Victorians, in Britain and abroad.

Get exploring here: https://orlo.uk/rONzs

We are currently experiencing connectivity issues with our website. We're working to address these issues and will updat...
18/08/2021

We are currently experiencing connectivity issues with our website. We're working to address these issues and will update you once these have been resolved. Apologies for the inconvenience.

We are currently experiencing connectivity issues with our website. We're working to address these issues and will update you once these have been resolved. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Through the Central Office of Information, the  British government produced surprisingly creative and thought-provoking ...
16/08/2021

Through the Central Office of Information, the British government produced surprisingly creative and thought-provoking films to communicate public messages on racism and civil rights. In this #blog we explore South Asian Heritage through the film Insaaf: https://orlo.uk/1bwbC

Through the Central Office of Information, the British government produced surprisingly creative and thought-provoking films to communicate public messages on racism and civil rights. In this #blog we explore South Asian Heritage through the film Insaaf: https://orlo.uk/1bwbC

15/08/2021

On the 15th August 1945, the Second World War came to an end, following victory in Japan.

Hear from Padej Kumlertsakul, a Record Specialist in the Overseas and Defence team, as he explains what led to this moment.

Ahead of Leo Hollis' talk next week, why not treat yourself to a copy of the book? Copies are available in our shop and ...
14/08/2021

Ahead of Leo Hollis' talk next week, why not treat yourself to a copy of the book? Copies are available in our shop and come with a signed bookplate.:

Sign-up for Wednesday evening's talk here:

Ahead of Leo Hollis' talk next week, why not treat yourself to a copy of the book? Copies are available in our shop and come with a signed bookplate.:

Sign-up for Wednesday evening's talk here:

#OTD in 1941 The Atlantic Charter was issued, setting out British and American goals for the post-war world. Among other...
14/08/2021

#OTD in 1941 The Atlantic Charter was issued, setting out British and American goals for the post-war world.

Among other things, it called for principles of self-determination, global co-operation, and freedom from fear and want.

📸 : CAB 106-304 -2

#OTD in 1941 The Atlantic Charter was issued, setting out British and American goals for the post-war world.

Among other things, it called for principles of self-determination, global co-operation, and freedom from fear and want.

📸 : CAB 106-304 -2

60 years ago today, on 13 August 1961, construction work began on what was to become known as the Berlin Wall – the form...
13/08/2021
When the Wall went up: Britain and the Berlin Crisis, 1961 - History of government

60 years ago today, on 13 August 1961, construction work began on what was to become known as the Berlin Wall – the formidable concrete barrier which was to divide Berlin until 1989.

For almost thirty years the wall stood between West Berlin and East Germany, including East Berlin. The ‘wall’ consisted of two parallel walls, with a ‘death strip’ between them filled with guards, barbed wire, and watchtowers to prevent emigration between the two sides.

The wall’s demolition began on 13 June 1990 and ended in 1994. Remnants of the wall remain around the city today as a monument, many parts having been decorated with murals.

Read this blog about Britain’s response to the crisis in Berlin:

Articles from guest historians and civil servants about the history of UK government.

Are you looking for something to do with the children this weekend?We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog calle...
13/08/2021

Are you looking for something to do with the children this weekend?

We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog called Pickles and the 1966 World Cup trophy.

We're looking for secret agents, aged 8-12, to help solve this mission.

Book here: https://orlo.uk/U1xKP

Are you looking for something to do with the children this weekend?

We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog called Pickles and the 1966 World Cup trophy.

We're looking for secret agents, aged 8-12, to help solve this mission.

Book here: https://orlo.uk/U1xKP

Pack your bags and come with us as we explore the summers of years gone by - holidays through history is now live!Throug...
10/08/2021

Pack your bags and come with us as we explore the summers of years gone by - holidays through history is now live!
Through our online activities, arts and crafts ideas and things to do outside, discover through our records how people through history spent their holidays and had fun in the sun!

Get exploring here: https://orlo.uk/iuiBd

Pack your bags and come with us as we explore the summers of years gone by - holidays through history is now live!
Through our online activities, arts and crafts ideas and things to do outside, discover through our records how people through history spent their holidays and had fun in the sun!

Get exploring here: https://orlo.uk/iuiBd

Our exhibition, With Love, is open until the 23rd October. We know we're biased, but it's well worth a visit. Find out m...
10/08/2021

Our exhibition, With Love, is open until the 23rd October. We know we're biased, but it's well worth a visit.

Find out more about the exhibition here: https://orlo.uk/bPmVx

Our exhibition, With Love, is open until the 23rd October. We know we're biased, but it's well worth a visit.

Find out more about the exhibition here: https://orlo.uk/bPmVx

Calling all secret agents … the Ministry of Time Travel needs you!We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog called...
09/08/2021

Calling all secret agents … the Ministry of Time Travel needs you!

We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog called Pickles and the 1966 World Cup trophy.

We're looking for secret agents, aged 8-12, to help solve this mission.

Book here: https://orlo.uk/4sYxh

Calling all secret agents … the Ministry of Time Travel needs you!

We have a top-secret assignment involving a dog called Pickles and the 1966 World Cup trophy.

We're looking for secret agents, aged 8-12, to help solve this mission.

Book here: https://orlo.uk/4sYxh

#OTD in 1970 demonstrators took to the streets in response to continual raids on The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill...
09/08/2021
Rights, resistance and racism: the story of the Mangrove Nine

#OTD in 1970 demonstrators took to the streets in response to continual raids on The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill. A number were arrested and nine subsequently put on trial: The Mangrove Nine.

Learn more about the case here:

How resistance to repeated raids on a Notting Hill restaurant marked a key moment in the black British civil rights movement

Much has been written about history of the New Poor Law and workhouses, but in this talk Paul Carter will focus on how p...
06/08/2021
In Their Own Write: Punishing the Victorian Pauper Complainer

Much has been written about history of the New Poor Law and workhouses, but in this talk Paul Carter will focus on how paupers were punished by local authorities for the act of complaining to the central poor law authority in London.
Learn more & register

Online event

On this day, 6 August 1946, the Family Allowances Act 1945 came in to effect. It had originally been proposed by the Bev...
06/08/2021

On this day, 6 August 1946, the Family Allowances Act 1945 came in to effect. It had originally been proposed by the Beveridge Report in 1942 and it was the first law to provide child benefits in the United Kingdom. The allowance was universal not means tested, and applied to each second and subsequent child.

One of the significant people behind the campaigns to make this happen was women’s rights campaigner Eleanor Rathbone, who passionate believed it would help prevent child poverty. She had been campaigning on the issue since 1918.
Significantly, this allowance was to be paid directly to mothers, in part to give women more economic freedom in the home. This was very much seen as a feminist issue.

The first payments were made #OTD in 1946. The family allowance was replaced by child benefits in 1977. To mark this anniversary we had a look in our collections… and found a wonderful bound volume about Various Campaigns of the Ministry of Labour & National Insurance.

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Bessant Drive
London
TW9 4DU

Tube The nearest Tube station is Kew Gardens (zone 3) on the District Line, Richmond branch. The journey from central London takes around 40 minutes. The National Archives is 600 metres (a 10-minute walk) from Kew Gardens station. Bus The R68 bus route (from Hampton Court via Richmond) terminates by the entrance to The National Archives. Other routes stopping nearby include: 65 (Ealing to Kingston via Richmond), alight on Kew Road near Victoria Gate (15-minute walk) 237 (Shepherd's Bush to Hounslow Heath via Chiswick), alight at Kew Bridge (20-minute walk) 267 (Hammersmith to Fulwell via Brentford), alight at Kew Bridge (20-minute walk) 391 (Fulham to Richmond via Hammersmith), alight at Sandycombe Road near Kew Gardens station (10-minute walk) Train The nearest overground train station is Kew Gardens. It is served by the London Overground from Stratford in east London, passing through Highbury and Islington, Gospel Oak, West Hampstead and Willesden Junction. Other convenient railway stations are Richmond and Kew Bridge, both on the mainline into London Waterloo via Clapham Junction. Kew Bridge station is approximately a 20-minute walk from The National Archives, while Richmond station is one Tube stop away (or a 10-minute bus ride on bus R68).

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Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm

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