Postgraduate archival skills training (PAST)

Being able to use archives and original documents is a key aspect of academic research across a number of disciplines, but it can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task.

The National Archives runs a programme called postgraduate archival skills training (PAST) to help you get started in the archives and gain the skills and knowledge needed to take your research further.

All sessions are delivered by our records specialists and are based on working with original documents from our collections.

The PAST training programme consists of three core levels:

  1. Introduction to archival research days
  2. Skills and Methodology workshops
  3. Records workshops

Click on the links below to find out more about each level and to see upcoming scheduled dates.
If you have further questions about the PAST programme, please email past@nationalarchives.gov.uk. If you'd like to receive information about upcoming PAST sessions through our research newsletter, email research@nationalarchives.gov.uk.

Introduction to archival research days (Level 1)

Aimed at third-year undergraduate and postgraduate students, these one-day workshops are designed to show you how to get started in the archives, find original documents for your research and make the most of your time on site. Find out when they're taking place and how to book.

Skills and methodology workshops (Level 2)

Aimed at taught postgraduate and PhD students (although other researchers are welcome to attend), these workshops cover the essential skills needed to use the archives and records in their field. Find out when they're taking place and how to book.

Records workshops (Level 3)

Aimed at PhD students, postdocs and early-career researchers, and open to professionals from the archive, heritage and research sectors, these workshops provide detailed research guidance on key document collections held by The National Archives. Find out when they're taking place and how to book.