Planning a visit to our reading rooms this summer? Reserve your seat
We’re expecting a busy summer in our reading rooms and we strongly encourage you to book your visit in advance.
This will guarantee that you have a seat to view original documents. It also ensures that up to 12 documents can be ready for you when you arrive. You will be able to order more documents during your visit, and you can reserve ordered documents for another day.
We continue to welcome walk-in researchers but cannot guarantee that you will be able to have a seat on arrival without a booking at our busiest times.
For researchers using 20 or more documents from the same record series, we offer a limited number of bulk order seats that must be booked in advance. If you have already reserved a bulk order seat and no longer require it, please cancel your booking as soon as possible so that we can make the seat available to another researcher.
Latest News from
Back to school: discover our learning resources and taught sessions13/09/2023 13:15:00
Our award-winning education service provides invaluable support for teachers and students with a full range of learning resources and taught sessions covering the span of British history from the medieval period to present day. We also provide a dedicated learning programme for students with Specialist Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Additional handling procedures for some documents13/09/2023 11:15:00
Last year, we temporarily withdrew access to the record series, FCO 141 (Foreign and Commonwealth Office and predecessors: Records of Former Colonial Administrations: Migrated Archives) because we found evidence of historical preservation treatment.
Archives Revealed programme awards 10 new cataloguing grants16/08/2023 13:05:00
Archives Revealed has awarded 10 new cataloguing grants, totalling nearly £350,000, to archives across the UK.
Archives for Everyone 2023-27 published07/08/2023 11:15:00
National Archives shared the priorities in their Archives for Everyone 2023-27 strategic plan. This opens a new chapter in their transformation, outlining their vision for the next four years and looking ahead to where they want to be by 2038, when they will celebrate the bicentenary of the Public Record Office.
Archive Service Accreditation Panel latest awards25/07/2023 15:25:00
Archive Service Accreditation is the UK wide standard for archive services.
Cabinet Office Files Released24/07/2023 16:15:00
We recently (20 July 2023) released Cabinet Office files covering Tony Blair’s Labour administration (PREM 49), miscellaneous appointments to various public positions (PREM 5) including the Poet Laureate and the Office of Astronomer Royal, and office diaries from John Major’s time as prime minister (PREM 32).
Join our User Advisory Group10/07/2023 14:15:00
Would you like to represent the views of archive users and help to improve our services? If you are a regular archive user then we would love to hear from you, as we are seeking new voluntary representatives to join our User Advisory Group (UAG).
Marking the arrival of the Empire Windrush 75 years on16/06/2023 14:15:00
Thursday 22 June is Windrush Day, marking 75 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush in the UK.