Independent research

Student in front of computer

Do you need help with your independent research?

This independent research session prepares students for searching, ordering, handling and analysing original documents. It also gives students an insight into the role of archives and the challenges of preserving historical records.

In this session, students discuss how to analyse and interpret archival material through examining an original document. They also explore the catalogue and learn how to reserve a seat in the reading room. The session concludes with a guided tour of the public reading room areas. This session is recommended as a morning workshop, so that students and teachers can remain at The National Archives in the afternoon to order and examine original documents independently in the public areas.

See what other teachers have said about the Independent research session:

The opportunity to access The National Archives through a Personal Study session is just brilliant for A-Level students… Our students really valued the opportunity to handle, read and explore the original documentation. I think I will stay longer in the future to ensure that we have plenty of time to get the most from the documents.

A-level teacher

The students were given a superb insight into the work of The National Archives and very clear assistance about how to make use of the facility. Persuading the students to leave at the end of the day was difficult.

A-level teacher

Session options

This session is delivered as a:


at The National Archives

2 hour intro

Available: All year

Cost: Free to UK schools

Group Size: Maximum 35

Suitability: Key stage 5

Request a booking

Contact us

All activities must be booked in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 5365

Fax: +44 (0)20 8487 9202

Contact the education team