Partition

A man points to a document on the table, surrounded by a group of people watching the document.

Iqbal Singh from the Outreach team shows documents to visitors to The National Archives. Image by Elliot Baxter Photography)

To mark the 70th anniversary of Partition this project worked with a number of partners to creatively respond to this important commemoration. We wanted to highlight existing records from our collection which can help add to people’s understanding of this momentous event in world history.

We undertook an Outreach programme that included teaming up with Bhuchar Boulevard and its touring theatre production of Sudha Bhuchar’s play ‘Child of the Divide’. We also worked with Let’s Go Yorkshire to engage regional audiences by co-hosting a creative writing workshop inspired by Partition records held at The National Archives.

Blog posts

A sketch showing a line of buildings with a large keyhole shape covering one. Underneath a black fence that divides the page is a string of keys.

Sketch by Iqbal Singh’s mother: reflection on Partition after seeing, many years later, the keys to the home she had left in Rawalpindi (now Pakistan).

Remembering Partition: official records and community voices

Last year we marked the 70th anniversary of the Partition of British India by highlighting existing resources and records from our collection which can help add to people’s understanding of this momentous event in world history.

We also undertook an Outreach programme that included teaming up with Bhuchar Boulevard and its touring theatre production of Sudha Bhuchar’s play ‘Child of the Divide’. In addition we worked with Let’s Go Yorkshire to engage regional audiences by co-hosting a creative writing workshop inspired by Partition records held at The National Archives.

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The Partition of British India: engaging new, diverse audiences 

To help commemorate the Partition of British India, 70 years ago this year, The National Archives has teamed up with Bhuchar Boulevard and its touring theatre production of Sudha Bhuchar’s play ‘Child of the Divide‘. 

At the heart of this commemoration is a series of creative projects that build a bridge between our extraordinary collection of Partition-related documents and our role as a national institution committed to engaging new and diverse audiences across the country. 

Read the blog post

Related resources

Two Bengali women viewed from behind, carrying large ceramic pots balanced on their hips.

Bengali woman fetching water from well in earthenware pots, 1944. Catalogue ref: INF 14/435

Hidden Women: uncovering the veil of silence during the partition of Punjab, India 1947 

Dr Pippa Virdee of De Montfort University uncovers the hidden voices of Muslim women during the partition of the Punjab, India in 1947. Using first-hand accounts, Dr Virdee reveals how women, often sheltered from private and public spaces, created their own space during this complex and traumatising time.