Events at Kew

Join us for fantastic in-person events at The National Archives in Kew.

We also host a full programme of online events, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. Plus, you can explore our family and children’s events.

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View of shelves in the archive repositories.

Behind the Scenes Tours

  • Thursday 25 January 2024, 15:30
  • Thursday 15 February 2024, 15:30
  • Thursday 21 March 2024, 15:30

We are opening the doors of The National Archives’ repositories to offer you the chance to go behind the scenes.

Discover how we keep and maintain the record for future generations and explore some of the hidden gems in our collections.

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Engraving of the king being tried in Parliament.

Parliament in the Civil Wars: exploring the archives

  • Friday 23 February 2024, 14:00

Join The National Archives and the History of Parliament Trust for a look at Britain’s most tumultuous years.

The Long Parliament, summoned in November 1640 by King Charles I, lasted until March 1660 when an act was passed for its dissolution. These years are some of the most dramatic in British history, as tensions between king and parliament steadily increased before Civil War broke out in England in 1642, leading to the execution of Charles I in 1649 by the House of Commons.

The talk will be followed by a display of original documents, including the journal of the trial of the King, and an informal Q&A with collection specialists from The National Archives and historians from the History of Parliament Trust, discussing some of the key figures and events from the 1640s and 1650s.

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Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives curator tours

  • Friday 5 July, 15:00

Join our curators for an exclusive tour of our latest exhibition, Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives.

During the Second World War hundreds of thousands of people were held in captivity. Service personnel captured in conflict became prisoners of war, and civilians were confined in internment camps.

Nearly all sought some kind of escape, from successfully breaking out of camps to finding solace in setting up theatre performances, writing to loved ones, secretly producing artworks, and falling in love.

Great Escapes tells the remarkable stories behind these acts of resistance and resilience of people from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth who fell into enemy hands, and of people imprisoned by the British.

Tours are led by our exhibition curators, Will Butler (21 Mar, 18 June & 5 July) and Roger Kershaw (29 Feb, 12 Apr & 25 May ). Tours will take place on the dates and times listed at The National Archives in west London, and will last approximately 40 minutes and time for questions.

Discover more events in our Great Escapes season at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/great-escapes/

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Captives: Prisoners and Internees 1939-1945

  • Friday 19 April 2024, 14:00

During the Second World War, millions of people were held in captivity. Service personnel captured in conflict became prisoners of war, and civilians were confined in internment camps. The prisoners had hugely varied experiences based on their nationality, race, where they were captured and whether they were in the services or a civilian internee. Nearly all sought some kind of escape, from successfully breaking out of camps to finding solace in setting up theatre performances, writing to loved ones, secretly producing artworks, and falling in love.

Join collection specialists Will Butler, Roger Kershaw and Ela Kaczmarksa to discover more about some remarkable individuals. The talk will be followed by an opportunity to view some of the original records featured in the book, as well as a book signing.

This event takes place at The National Archives in Kew. The event will last approximately one hour, followed by a book signing and an opportunity to view original records from The National Archives’ collection.

This event is part of our Great Escapes season. Find out more at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/great-escapes/

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