Find out more about our key records specialists and spokespeople for The National Archives below. To obtain contact details for our spokespeople, email the Press team.
Roger Kershaw – Head of Audience Delivery
Roger Kershaw joined The National Archives in 1986 and is the Head of Audience Delivery for the Advice and Records Knowledge department.
Roger has an MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London and over 30 years’ experience in researching records at The National Archives and other archives. He has published five books: Immigrants and Aliens – a guide to sources on UK immigration and citizenship; Emigrants and expats – a guide to sources on UK emigration and residents overseas; Family history on the move; New lives for old – the story of Britain’s child migrants; and Migration records. He regularly appears at British genealogy fairs promoting the work of The National Archives and has previously presented international papers in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
William Spencer – Principal Records Specialist, Military, Maritime and Transport
William Spencer is the Principal Military Specialist at The National Archives where he has worked since 1993. He served in the Royal Navy, including operational service in the Falklands in 1982, and holds an MA in War Studies from the prestigious Department of War Studies at King’s College London.
William is the author of the bestselling books Medals: the Researcher’s Guide, Army Records, Air Force Records and Family History in the Wars.
Mark Pearsall – Records Specialist, Family History
Mark Pearsall joined The National Archives in 1983, before which he worked in Birmingham Public Libraries in the Local Studies Library and City Archives. He has worked in several departments at The National Archives, mainly in reader services and records departments. Mark has produced various guides and finding aids and a number of publications including Family History Companion, and co-authored Family History On The Move and Immigrants and Aliens. His research interests include; nationality and citizenship, parish history and administration and local government and county administration.
Audrey Collins – Records Specialist, Family History
Audrey Collins worked as a freelance researcher for 15 years before joining the staff of The National Archives. In 2001 she was engaged by the Office for National Statistics as their official Census historian for the bicentenary census in that year, and also served on the advisory panel for the 1901 census digitisation project.
Audrey is the author of three titles in the ‘Basic Facts’ series of family history guides, co-wrote The Complete Guide to Tracing Your Family History and has also contributed sections in the Family History Companion, and Census: the expert guide. She regularly gives talks at external events and conferences, in the UK, Ireland and the USA. Her research interests include; the history and operation of the General Register Office, Civil Registration and the census, Scottish and Irish records in The National Archives, newspapers and periodicals and retail history.
Stephen Twigge – Head of Collections (Modern)
Dr Stephen Twigge joined The National Archives in 1999 as head of the team responsible for selecting records from government departments and is now Head of the Collections (Modern) team within the Advice and Records Knowledge department.
Stephen recently returned to The National Archives following a four-year secondment at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he was responsible for editing two volumes of Documents on British Policy Overseas, the official record of British foreign policy. Stephen was formerly a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has published a number of books and articles on cold war history including German Unification 1989-90, Berlin in the Cold War 1948-1990, British Intelligence, Avoiding Armageddon and Planning Armageddon.
Sean Cunningham – Head of Medieval Records
Dr Sean Cunningham has worked in the public services and research departments of The National Archives for over 15 years. He is currently the Head of Medieval Records within the Advice and Records Knowledge department.Sean has extensive experience of research into late medieval and early Tudor England, and has published widely on the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, the politics and society in the north of England, and the records of late medieval government. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and co-convenor of the Late Medieval Seminar at London University’s Institute of Historical Research.
Mark Dunton – Principal Records Specialist, Contemporary Records
Mark Dunton joined The National Archives (formerly Public Record Office) in 1983 and has in-depth knowledge and experience of researching public records, specialising in post-1945 Britain.Mark has given many public talks, many of which are available to download as podcasts, and has been the lead media spokesperson on the annual release of government files under the 30-year rule since 2006. Mark has a BA in History from Exeter University, an MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London and an MA in War Studies from King’s College London. His research interests include post-1945 British political, social and economic history and the policies of the Heath government in the early 1970s.
Simon Demissie – Head of Social, Economic and Political Records
Simon Demissie joined The National Archives in June 2010, working in the Web Continuity department on the release of governmental data as part of the Transparency agenda, and archiving datasets on the UK Government Web Archive.Simon specialises in post-1945 contemporary records. He served as one of the media spokespeople on the annual release of government files under the 30 year rule, giving interviews about records from the Prime Minister’s Office in 1981. His current projects include helping improve public access to our digital records. Simon studied History at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies from 2002 to 2006, receiving BA and MA degrees.