Late night opening – Thursdays in May and June 2018

We are pleased to announce that, during May and June 2018, we will be extending our Thursday opening hours. We will open until 21:00 every Thursday during that period.

Most of our public spaces will be open until 21:00, including our reading rooms, Keeper’s Gallery exhibition (opens 8 May), shop, and library. Our visitors’ car park will also be open until 21:00. Our coffee bar will be open until 20:30.

Please read on for further information on the specific reading room services that will be available on these Thursday evenings. This is particularly important if you want to order and view original documents.

Further information

Late Night opening – Thursdays in May and June 2018 – overview

What are the exact details of the extended hours?

We will be open to the public every Thursday in May and June 2018 until 21:00. We are normally open until 19:00 on Thursdays.

We have no plans to extend opening hours on any other day in May and June 2018.

Why we are opening later in May and June 2018

Following feedback on our opening hours, we have decided to stay open later on Thursdays in May and June 2018. Our aim is to establish the following:

  • Whether opening until 21:00 will allow visitors to conduct more meaningful research after a standard working day and to attract new visitors
  • What impact these extended hours have on attendance at our evening events. These currently start at around 18:00. We would like to monitor visitor response to the later start time

Future opening hour plans

There are currently no plans to extend the late opening hours beyond May and June 2018.

Areas of the building that will be open until 21:00 on Thursdays

Many public areas will be open, this includes:

  • Reading room (please see the extra information on the services that will be available in the reading room)
  • The National Archives’ Reference Library
  • The National Archives’ shop – selling a wide range of history-inspired books, gifts, cards and more
  • The Keeper’s Gallery – the exhibition in May and June is ‘Suffragettes vs. The State’. Please note: this exhibition will open on 8 May 2018
  • Events spaces – if an event is taking place on that evening
  • Visitors’ car park
  • Our downstairs coffee bar – serving a full range of speciality hot drinks, cakes and snacks – will open until 20:30

Reading room services on Thursdays in May and June 2018

What services will be available until 21:00?

The reading room services currently available until 19:00 on Thursdays will be extended to 21:00.

Do you already have a reader’s ticket?

If you have a current reader’s ticket, you will be able to view original documents ordered in advance up until 21:00. You can also order original documents up until 16:00. You will be able to use the terminals in the reading room for exploring records on Discovery and for accessing our digitised records.

Document ordering of original documents will not be extended. Last orders must still be placed by 16:00.

Are you new to The National Archives?

If you are new to The National Archives, you will need to register for a reader’s ticket before you can order and view any original documents.

You can pre-register for your reader’s ticket online. Once you have completed this online registration, you can place an advance order for original documents. On arrival at The National Archives, you should complete the final part of the registration process (verification of two forms of ID) in the reader registration area so that you can view the documents you have ordered.

Please note: If you have not pre-registered for your reader’s ticket, you will not be able to register in person on Thursday evenings. The standard closing time for registering as a reader closes at 16:00. Only those who have pre-registered will be able to complete the process after 16:00 on Thursdays.

Without a reader’s ticket, you will not be able to order and view original documents, however you can still use the terminals in the reading room for exploring records on Discovery (our online catalogue) and for accessing our digitised records.

Useful links

Still have questions?

Please direct any questions on our late night openings on Thursdays in May and June 2018 to our live chat service.

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