New learning spaces for the historians of tomorrow
We will shortly begin construction of two major new learning spaces within our first floor reading rooms.
One space will be located next to the library, while the other will occupy part of the existing document reading room here at Kew.
Caroline Ottaway-Searle, Director of Public Engagement at The National Archives, said ‘This project is part of our ongoing programme to re-imagine and reconfigure our site to become a more vibrant and welcoming environment, better equipped to deliver services and events for a wider range of visitors.
‘These new spaces will provide us with improved facilities for children, young people, students and learners of all ages to engage with and learn about our collection.’
Visitors may experience some disruption over the next few weeks as we carry out preparatory works, continuing as construction begins in the autumn. We will try to keep this to a minimum, but some disturbance is inevitable. The works are due to be completed by spring 2020.
Library users may experience some disruption to services from early August while the collection is re-arranged in preparation for the construction works.
Some books, journals and resources may be temporarily relocated but will remain available upon request. Other collections, such as the National Register of Archives paper lists, will be unavailable during this period although the register remains available to search through our catalogue Discovery.
More detailed updates on the affected collections will be available on our library page throughout the project.
In the document reading room, 72 seats (nine tables) will be temporarily removed, along with some camera stands. Almost 300 seats will remain available in this area.
Several phases of the programme have already been completed, including the redevelopment of the public restaurant and the creation of a large multi-purpose events space.
If you are planning to visit our reading rooms within the next few months, please order your documents in advance to ensure that we reserve a seat for you.