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 16 May, 15:30
  • Thursday 27 June, 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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Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives curator tours

  • Saturday 25 May 2024, 11:00
  • Tuesday 18 June, 14:00
  • 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, which runs until 21 July 2024.

This event has now fully sold out. For priority booking on future events, please join our mailing list.

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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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Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives volunteer tours

  • Tuesday 23 April 2024, 11:00 – SOLD OUT
  • Tuesday 14 May 2024, 11:00 – SOLD OUT
  • Tuesday 25 June, 14:00

Join our volunteers for a free express 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 volunteers whose work inspired the exhibition. Tours will take place on the dates and times listed at The National Archives in west London, and will last approximately 30 minutes and time for questions.

Discover more events in our Great Escapes season, which runs until 21 July 2024.

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Mary I with Alison Weir

  • Friday 10 May 2024, 14:00

Discover bestselling novelist Alison Weir’s spellbinding story of Mary I: Queen of Sorrows.

Adored only child of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, the young Princess Mary grows up as the sole heiress to the English throne. But her father wants a son, and soon Mary’s world begins to fall apart. With her parents’ marriage – and England – in crisis, Mary is banished from the court and kept apart from the mother she adores. The King promises to restore her to favour, but first Mary must do something for which she will never forgive herself.

She seeks solace in her faith. But when her brother Edward VI dies, she finds herself fighting for the crown – and for her very life. Emerging triumphant, all seems fair for the reign of Queen Mary. And then, very quickly, things began to go badly wrong…

Alison Weir tells the story of how a princess with such promise, loved by all who knew her, became the infamous Bloody Mary.

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.

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Common questions about booking and accessing our online events.