Researching here

Our document reading room and map and large document reading room are now open for pre-booked visits only, offering a limited service to visitors who need access to our collection of original documents for their research. We currently have extremely limited capacity to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, and all visits must be booked in advance.

We will continue to provide free access to our digital collection on our website, as we are initially only able to re-open for a very limited number of researchers.


You must book an appointment to visit our reading rooms and order your documents in advance:

Book your visit now

All visitors must now book an appointment and order their documents in advance.

We have introduced a number of safety measures to keep our visitors and staff safe.

If you need to consult our documents and are planning to book a visit, you will need a reader’s ticket.

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

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

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

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

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