Our exciting programme of online talks is for everyone and delivered by our experts, specialists and special guest speakers. When you book an event, you are invited to pay what you can – this is optional and entirely at the discretion of attendees. Some of our events remain completely free, as are our online research and academic events. Browse our latest programme below or see our FAQ page to find out more about registering and accessing an event.
The National Archives also hosts a range of onsite events. To browse these, please see our Events at Kew page.
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April – June 2023 programme
Webinar ┃Researching your family history: 20th Century sources
Join our experts as they introduce you to the key 20th century sources for family history, including the 1939 Register, and the 1921 and 1911 Census. You will learn how to maximise your use of these popular sources, setting you on your way to discover more about your family tree.
This webinar is presented by Jessamy Carlson, Family and Local history engagement lead.
Tuesday 16 May at 14:00
Everyday Life in Victorian London
Join author and historian Helen Amy for an exploration of Victorian London – the beating heart of an empire at its peak.
Discover the wide and varied people who made up Victorian London, a city filled with extremes and contrasts. From wealthy aristocrats to the working poor, Helen will showcase the vibrant lives of its inhabitants and explore the city’s institutions and infrastructure.
Wednesday 31 May at 19:30
Sensation, scandal and shock: 1963
1963 was an exceptional year characterised by a series of momentous events…
The Profumo affair, the defection of ‘the third man’ Kim Philby, the Great Train Robbery, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Beatles breakthrough – to name just a few.
Contemporary Specialist Mark Dunton draws on our rich archival sources to take you through the year, 60 years ago, when the Sixties truly started to swing.
Friday 2 June at 14:00
Small Inventions that made a big difference
Paperclips, biscuits and pockets – join Helen Pilcher in celebrating the joy of the small yet mighty inventions that make our world go round.
Whether it’s the stitches that hold our clothes together or the syringes that deliver life-saving vaccines, small things really do make a big difference. Yet these modest but essential components of everyday life are often overlooked.
Join science and comedy writer Helen Pilcher as she dives into the unexpected stories of the humble innovations that have shaped our world.
Wednesday 7 June at 19:30
Secrets of The National Archives
Colour and Light in miniature: Illuminated medieval documents
This talk explores the finest examples of medieval illumination found in the collections at The National Archives.
There are a surprising range of fine medieval miniature painting and drawing to be found within treaties, charters, cartularies and manuscript compilation books.
Looking at key examples, the talk will explore some of the techniques used and explain why illuminated illustrations were added to often routine documents in the period before c.1530.
Friday 9 June at 14:00
Secrets of The National Archives is a new monthly series showcasing some of the most notable documents and tales from our collection. Each month, delve into the fascinating stories behind the documents and learn straight from the experts. From iconic documents such as Magna Carta and Domesday, to our hidden gems, discover The National Archives’ unique and rich collection and explore history as it really happened.
Webinar ┃From Strangers to Citizens: Immigration and citizenship records
Join us for a fascinating webinar introducing you to and explaining records relating to UK immigration and naturalisation from the 1800s to the 1970s. This informative talk will give you vital tools to take away and apply to your own research.
This webinar is presented by Roger Kershaw, Head of Strategic Operations and Volunteers at The National Archives.
Tuesday 13 June at 14:00
The story of Empire Windrush in ten documents
On the 22nd June 1948, the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury.
This talk will explore ten documents from the archives that relate to the Empire Windrush: from Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s letter about the migrants, to the passenger list itself, featuring such names as Sam King, who would go on to become the first Black mayor of Southwark.
Friday 16 June at 14:00
Command: How the Allies Learned to Win the Second World War with Al Murray
Join acclaimed comedian and military history enthusiast Al Murray as he discusses his book, Command – an enthralling and accessible account of World War II’s key Allied commanders.
Command highlights the performance and careers of some of the protagonists who commanded armies, as well as the lesser-known officers who led divisions, regiments and even battalions for the British, Commonwealth and US armies.
Monday 19 June at 19:30
Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I: the mother and daughter who changed history
Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I.
Two of the most famous women in British history.And yet, Anne and Elizabeth’s stories have never been told together. Piecing together evidence from original documents and artefacts uncovered while researching her new book, historian and broadcaster Tracy Borman reveals Anne Boleyn’s relationship with, and influence over her daughter Elizabeth. In so doing, she sheds new light on an extraordinary mother and daughter who changed the course of British history forever.
Wednesday 21 June at 19:30
Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World (in a Big Way)
The nail, spring, wheel, lens, magnet, string, and pump.
In this talk, award-winning engineer and broadcaster Roma Agrawal traces the surprising journeys of these inventions through the millennia, revealing how handmade Roman nails led to modern skyscrapers, how the potter’s wheel enabled space exploration, and how humble lenses helped her conceive a child against the odds.
The nuts and bolts that make up our world may be tiny, but they’ve changed our lives in huge ways.
Friday 30 June at 14:00
Secrets of The National Archives
Secrets of The National Archives is a new monthly series showcasing some of the most notable documents and tales from our collection. Each month, delve into the fascinating stories behind the documents and learn straight from the experts.
From iconic documents such as Magna Carta and Domesday, to our hidden gems, discover The National Archives’ unique and rich collection and explore history as it really happened.
We are excited to announce our programme for the year ahead, available to book now:
Bag of Secrets: Pretenders to the Throne, Friday 14 July
Proclaiming Cromwell, Friday 22 September
Registered Designs – 1839-1991, Friday 6 October
The First World War Peace Treaties, Friday 10 November
Censuses, Friday 12 January 2024
The First Cabinet Minutes, Friday 16 February 2024
The Index of Suffragettes Arrested, Friday 15 March
Missed an event or can’t watch a talk live?
All events are viewable for 48 hours after the published date and time, which means that attendees who registered but were unable view the live event can catch up at their leisure.
You can also replay most of our talks on our Archives Media Player, where our curated playlists will help you find talks of similar interest. Please be aware that it can take up to three months for past events to appear on our media player.