What’s on? Plenty!

A photograph showing Barbara Hepworth working on a sculpture.

Barbara Hepworth working on her sculpture for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Document ref: WORK 25/201/2350

Here at The National Archives we’ve been working hard on an overhaul of our events and exhibitions. Our new-look What’s On programme now offers a bigger variety of events and exhibitions for a wider audience, both onsite and online. This will continue to grow over the coming years and we look forward to welcoming you to new initiatives in the near future.

Events and exhibitions are an important way for people to engage with archives and we hope to be able to attract a wide range of audiences through our programme, proving that archives really do have something for everyone!

A photograph showing our 'Tommy' re-enactor at our Archives at Night event in May this year

Our ‘Tommy’ re-enactor at our Archives at Night event in May this year

Recently we held our first ‘Archives at Night’ event as part of the nationwide ‘Museums at Night’ campaign, welcoming visitors after hours to explore some of our First World War collections, hear speakers Stephen McGann and Richard van Emden talk about their passion for archives, and get a glimpse behind the scenes of what we do.

Last quarter we also celebrated Magna Carta in all its glory, with our 1225 Magna Carta reissue on display in our Keeper’s Gallery.

We also hosted a debate with leading Magna Carta scholars and a ‘Liberteas’ event as part of a nationwide campaign to encourage discussion about our rights and liberties.

This quarter we have opened with a wonderful afternoon event celebrating the life and works of Barbara Hepworth earlier this week, to mark 40 years since her death. We ran this in collaboration with Tate Britain to coincide with their new exhibition on Barbara Hepworth.

We have more events coming up, with an online webinar on the Festival of Britain in August, to which Hepworth contributed, and a family event creating sculptures inspired by her work.

Later this quarter we mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Jacobite rebellions with a talk and document display by Professor Daniel Szechi and a webinar on how to trace Jacobites in The National Archives’ collection. Further events will mark the years of the rebellions culminating in March 2016.

We are also hosting a ‘local history’ focus in late August and September, in conjunction with the ‘Know your place’ festival in Richmond upon Thames. Using local examples, we aim to demonstrate for family, local and social historians how to use archival records to assist in research. Again, this will take the form of a webinar and evening talk so both online and onsite visitors can participate, as well as a temporary exhibition in our reading rooms.

An image from our collection showing Kew Bridge from the north-east, 1903.

Kew Bridge from the north-east, 1903. Document ref: COPY 1/461.

You can find details of all our events and exhibitions on our website, where you can book tickets and find out more about what is coming up in future. Many of our events are free and are held at a variety of times to appeal to as many people as possible. We also have booklets with further information which can be picked up around The National Archives when you visit.

Our new What's On booklet covering events and exhibitions from July to September.

Our new What’s On booklet covering events and exhibitions from July to September.

Our next quarter begins in October, so look out for another blog highlighting some of our events and exhibitions to look forward to during the autumn and keep an eye on our website for more details.

We look forward to seeing you soon!




  1. David Matthew says:


    Could I also mention the Users’ Forum on 20th August when Jeff James (the CEO at TNA) will be attending. The Forum is where researchers can ask questions on issues at TNA that affect researchers and is usually held monthly.


  2. Jenni says:

    Thanks very much David. Yes, the User Forum and all the other events and exhibitions happening up until the end of September can be found in the new What’s On booklet. More information about the regular User Forum can be found on our website here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/get-involved/user-forum.htm


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