Academic student group visits

Bringing a group of university students to The National Archives is a great way to introduce them to using archival collections and original source material as part of their research. Visits can be arranged for a wide range of disciplines from history, politics, and archaeology to literature, art and media.

We ask that you contact the Research team at least 10 to 12 weeks before you would like to visit. We can then provide more information regarding the costs of each session and secure an appropriate date and time for your students.

We offer a number of different options for groups of students, from those who are using archives for the first time to the more advanced researchers looking to develop their skills and knowledge in specific areas of our collections.

These options include:

  • A 45-minute tailored introduction to The National Archives’ collections delivered by a specialist in your field. It includes an introduction to archives and archival research and advice on how to use catalogues and finding aids to access relevant documents. It does not include any work with original documents.
  • A two-hour records-based session with a specialist in your field. This includes all the information in the 45-minute tailored introduction plus a document workshop either focusing on records related to the course students are studying or a general ‘dissertation inspiration’ taster selection of our collection.
  • A half-day archival skills workshop. This is an in-depth workshop focusing on records on a particular topic or from a particular series, including how to use relevant finding aids and work on the format and formulae of the records, using original documents.
  • In addition to any of these sessions, we offer a 60-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the archives.

Each of the options above can be tailored to suit the needs and specific interests of your group, and we endeavour to find the appropriate Records Specialist to host your session.

Please consider the following when planning a group visit, and we will try our best to accommodate your requirements:

  • What are the aims of your visit?
  • How might this session relate to what your students are currently learning?
  • What particular themes, topics or documents would you like the session to include?
  • What are your preferred dates and times?

At the earliest convenience, please make us aware of any access needs we should be mindful of when planning your visit.

If you would like to organise a different type of visit to the options presented here, please contact us to discuss your request in more detail. We are also able to tailor a group visit for your students to participate online. All sessions are subject to availabilitty. Please contact the Research Team for more information.

We also run a programme of Postgraduate Archival Skills Training (PAST). These sessions are available for students to sign up to individually and are currently running both online and in person.

For groups of students on archives and records management courses, please contact asd@nationalarchives.gov.uk.

For sessions for schools, PGCE/Initial Teacher Training groups and teacher professional development, please see our Education pages.