Keeper’s Gallery

Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed

4 April – 9 November 2019

This exhibition explores the impact of the Cold War on Britain, from the corridors of power and hidden government bunkers to daily life in the home. Discover the real evidence of what happened during this turbulent era of secrets and paranoia.

Mark Dunton, Contemporary Records Specialist at The National Archives and Curator of the exhibition, said: ‘The pervasive threat of nuclear war impacted everyday life for millions of people and this thought-provoking exhibition offers a unique look into political and ideological tensions between the East and West.’

Cat refs (left-right): INF 3/26911, CAB 130/1249 (125), KV2/1258

Catalogue references (left-right): INF 3/26911, CAB 130/1249 (125), KV 2/1258

An array of original documents are on display, including political memos, spy confessions, civil defence posters and even a letter from Winston Churchill to the Queen. These documents provide visitors with a rare glimpse into the complexities of government operations during this time of infiltration and betrayal.

Please note: one part of the exhibition contains flashing imagery.

The exhibition is accompanied by free highlights tours and a programme of high-profile events exploring the Cold War from a multitude of perspectives.

To secure priority booking and be the first to obtain details of the Cold War season, sign up to The National Archives’ mailing list at

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