The 1920s: Beyond the Roar

‘The 1920s: Beyond the Roar’ is The National Archives’ latest exhibition, opening on Friday 21 January 2022. With the 1921 Census of England and Wales as its keystone, the exhibition will recreate the fascinating world of the 1920s through the lens of our vast and diverse collection.

A large crowd scene from 1920s London. Huge crowds of the general public greet soldiers returning from the war.Visitors will encounter key moments, people and ideas from the decade, and a sense of the period as a time of change, crisis and defiance will emerge.

A black and white photograph from the 1920s in which we see architects at work as a construction takes shape.Drawing on records as diverse as international peace treaties, textile samples and lonely hearts adverts, exhibition visitors will go beyond the popular image of the ‘roaring twenties’ to discover how people from all sections of society experienced the decade.

The exhibition will be split into two main areas. Visitors will first experience a daytime urban street, featuring a polling station, post office and draper’s shop, before moving into a recreation of the famed 43 Club in Soho. Both areas will feature key original documents from our collections alongside audio, film, graphics and interactive elements to help bring the 1920s to life.

‘The 1920s: Beyond the Roar’ opens on Friday 21 January 2022 at The National Archives in Kew, South West London. Check out the supporting events programme from November 2021 onwards: