National Archives
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Coronavirus update

The National Archives closed its doors to staff and visitors since mid-March. While some of our services have been suspended throughout the closure, as they rely on staff having access to our building and collections, many remain unaffected and available through our website, including free access to our digital collection.

We are currently working on plans to re-open our building to visitors, ensuring that we have the appropriate procedures and staffing levels in place for us to follow government guidelines on social distancing for our staff and visitors while delivering a limited research service. We will not open until we are confident that we can ensure everyone’s safety while they are on site.

Further updates will be provided here and on our social media channels.

Unaffected services:

Suspended services:

  • Reader’s ticket requests
  • Advance/bulk document orders
  • Paid search
  • Record copying
  • Event, tours, group and school visits to the end of June 2020
  • Library book reservations
  • Online shop

Services experiencing delays:

  • Freedom of Information (FOI) requests
  • Naturalisation certificate requests

We have also decided to delay the implementation of the document ordering trial until further notice.

Can I still get research advice while you are closed?

We will be able to respond to email and Live Chat enquiries during this time, but unable to respond to phone or postal enquiries.

Will I get a refund if an event is cancelled?

Yes, everyone who has booked a ticket for an event scheduled before the end of June will be contacted and a full refund will automatically be issued.

We have now launched an online events programme, featuring a variety of talks and webinars.

Are school visits to The National Archives still going ahead?

All on site school visits are suspended until the end of June. Schools can still access our online resources and book online sessions with our education team, and future school visits (beyond the end of June 2020) can be booked with our education team.

We’ve launched a new learning resource for families. Time Travel TV provides free teacher-led sessions based on some of the gems from our collection, accompanied by fun follow-up activities.

Can I move my existing advance document order to another day?

We are suspending this service for the foreseeable future. All advance orders placed for the next few weeks will be cancelled.

I placed an order for copies of records, can I still expect to receive it?

We worked hard to complete as many copying orders as we could before our building closed to staff, but unfortunately had to cancel some outstanding requests and notified customers accordingly. We are not accepting new orders until further notice.

Can I still submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request?

We are continuing to accept FOI requests, but – depending on the nature of the enquiry – our response may be delayed, possibly until The National Archives re-opens to visitors. This particularly applies to enquiries relating to our collection, which will not be accessible until our reading rooms are open again.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have published a statement about how coronavirus is impacting the FOI process, which you may find useful.

If you would still like to submit a request, please use our corporate FOI enquiry form. If your enquiry relates to a document in our collection, please ensure that you include the catalogue reference(s).

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