‘The 1920s: Beyond the Roar’ is The National Archives’ latest exhibition, which close on 11 June 2022. With the 1921 Census of England and Wales as its keystone, the exhibition looked to recreate the fascinating world of the 1920s through the lens of our vast and diverse collection. The exhibition may be closed, but you can view our curators’ video highlights here: Exhibition tour.
Visitors encountered key moments, people and ideas from the decade, getting a sense of the period as a time of change, crisis and defiance.
Drawing on records as diverse as international peace treaties, textile samples and lonely hearts adverts, exhibition visitors went beyond the popular image of the ‘roaring twenties’ to discover how people from all sections of society experienced the decade.
The exhibition featured a split into two main areas. Visitors first experienced a daytime urban street, including a polling station, post office and draper’s shop, before moving into a recreation of the famed 43 Club in Soho. Both areas featured key original documents from our collections alongside audio, film, graphics and interactive elements to help bring the 1920s to life.