Researching here

Find out what type of research you can do with our collection and how to get started.



Everyone visiting The National Archives has a responsibility to preserve the documents in our care, which is more important now than ever before.

We’ve updated our rules for what you can take into our reading rooms when you visit.

Reader’s tickets are valid for three years from the date of issue.

To find out how to access documents held by The National Archives, first you will need to use Discovery.

Research here can be very rewarding, but also time-consuming. Find out more about the help and support we can provide.

You can pre-order original documents before your visit so they are ready for you when you arrive; you can also order documents on site. Some documents are available to download as digital records. You can also request digital or paper copies of many of the documents in our collection.

As the official public archive of the United Kingdom government, we hold records covering more than 1,000 years of history.

A SafePod is now installed at The National Archives, providing a secure setting for researchers to access confidential datasets.

Libraries are often the best place to start archival research. Our library is open to the public for browsing and reference only.