All time periods

Our taught sessions and online resources cover a variety of time periods and places. Many contain structured investigations for use directly in the classroom. Others are more suited for research and preparation. They all allow access into our unique collections.

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Classroom resource

1833 Factory Act

Did it solve the problems of children in factories?
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1834 Poor Law

What did people think of the new Poor Law?
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1919 race riots

How significant a factor was race in the riots of 1919?
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19th century mining disaster

What happened at the Trimdon Grange Mining Disaster?
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19th century people

What can we tell from this photograph?
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19th century prison ships

What do these documents reveal about attitudes to crime and punishment?
Session we teach

4099 is my name (SEND)

How can we share the experiences of someone who lived in the past?

A Great Christmas Inconvenience

What can we learn from the documents about how some Victorians celebrated Christmas?

A Significant Person

Why is this person from the past remembered?
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A Victorian prison

Why were Victorian Prisons so tough?
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Adolf Hitler

Was Hitler a 'passionate lunatic'?
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African nurses

What part did they play in British health services?
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All on board!

What can we learn from old board games?
Session we teach

All pals together

Would you like to meet our tommy, Henry Fairhurst?

All Work and No Play

What does this document reveal about work in the past?

Animals in the Archives

What jobs have animals done in times of war and peace?

Archaeology in the Archives

What kinds of documents can tell us about the work of archaeologists?

Archives Ahoy!

What can we learn about pirates from our collection?
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Belsen concentration camp 1945

What did the British find when they entered Belsen concentration camp?
Session we teach

Black Victorians

How much can documents reveal about the lives of Black people in Victorian Britain?
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Bound for Britain

Experiences of immigration to the UK
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British Response to V1 and V2

How did Britain respond to the threat of attack by missiles in 1943?
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Bussa’s rebellion

How and why did the enslaved Africans of Barbados rebel in 1816?
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Cats and mice

What tactics were used by suffragettes, police and government?

Census Detectives

What does the census reveal about families in the past?
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What was Chertsey like in the Middle Ages?
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Child migration

Why were children sent to Canada in 1869-1913?
Session we teach

Choosing for the Archives (SEND)

How can we find out about someone from the past, using documents, images and objects?
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Christmas is cancelled!

What were Cromwell’s main political and religious aims for the Commonwealth 1650-1660?
Session we teach

Civil rights and racial segregation

What was the response to racial segregation in the US?
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Civil Rights in America

Follow the progress of the struggle through the archives

Codes and Secret Messages

What do the documents reveal about codes and secret messages?
Session we teach

Cold War

How concerned were the British in the early stages of the Cold War?
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Criminal petitions

What do they reveal about the justice system?
Session we teach

Crisis in the reign of Mary I

How far can Mary I’s reign be considered a time of crisis?


What is this curious object?

Dear Herbert

What can personal documents reveal about people’s lives?

Disaster at Sea

How can we find out about significant events in the past?
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Discover the Dissolution

How did the Dissolution change my local area?
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Domesday Book

What can we learn about England in the 11th century?
Session we teach

Domesday Book: medieval treasure

What can we learn about people’s lives in 1086?
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Dr James Barry

Why was he significant in 19th century medicine?
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Eden’s last stand

Why did Anthony Eden resign in 1938?
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Edward the Confessor

What does the Domesday Abbreviato tells us about Edward the Confessor?
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Elizabethan propaganda

How did England try to show Spain planned to invade in 1588?
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English Reformation c1527-1590

How did state and people respond to religious change?
Session we teach

Enquiring into Elizabeth

What can we learn about Elizabeth I’s ruling style from her letters and speeches?
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Evacuation to Shropshire

What happened to children who were sent away?
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Fifties Britain

Never so good? Or too good to be true?
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Foundling Hospital

What were conditions like for children in the care of the Foundling Hospital?
Session we teach

Four days’ hard labour

What was life like for a Victorian child criminal?
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Framlingham Castle

What was the primary function of Framlingham Castle in the ‘Middle Ages’?
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French Revolution

How did the British react to July 1789?
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From Outbreak to Archive: Tales of Public Health

What do the documents reveal about how government and society dealt with public health in the past?
Session we teach

From the Front

How typical was Albert Edwin Rippington’s experience of war?

Fun in the Files

What can our documents reveal about how people had fun in the past?
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General Haig

Butcher of the Somme or hero of Amiens?
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God blew and they were scattered

Did God really help the English defeat the Spanish Armada?
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Gordon Ford’s story

What was it like to be an airman in the Second World War?
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Government posters

How did Britain encourage people at home to help win the war?
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Gunpowder Plot

Can you uncover the plans of the plotters?
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Henry VIII court rules

How did Henry VIII get up in the morning?
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Henry VIII: image of a king

Was appearance everything for a ruler in the 16th century?
Session we teach

Henry’s royal rules (SEND)

What were the rules of daily life for a king in Tudor times?
Session we teach

Hidden Love: LGBTQ+ lives in the 1930s

What can our documents reveal about LGBTQ+ lives in the 1930s?
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Hitler assassination plan

How did the British plan to kill Hitler?

Holidays are Here!

What can our documents reveal about how families enjoyed summer holidays during the Second World War?
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Hong Kong and the Opium Wars

How did Hong Kong become part of the British Empire?
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How we were taught

What was school like 100 years ago?
Session we teach

Introduction to document research

What can archives reveal about the past and how history is constructed?
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Irish Partition

Why was Ireland divided in 1921?
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Jacobite propaganda

What was the point of Jacobite propaganda?
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Jews in England 1066

Why did Jews settle in England after 1066?
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Jews in England 1216-72

What was the relationship between Christians and Jews from 1216-72?
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Jews in England 1290

Why did Edward I expel the Jews in 1290?
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Jutland: Death at sea

Were lives wasted when the Indefatigable sank?
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Kenilworth Castle (part two)

What do the medieval records reveal?
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Life aboard the Titanic

Who travelled on the fateful maiden voyage?
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Life in 1950s Britain

What can we find out about life in 1950s Britain using documents from the time?
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Life in 1960s Britain

What can we find out about life in 1960s Britain using documents from the time?

Living under canvas

What can this document tell us about the experience of a group of refugee children?
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Loyalty and dissent

How did Indian soldiers respond to the First World War?
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Mangrove Nine protest

What does this reveal about police brutality and racism in '70s Britain?
Session we teach

Medicine on the Western Front

How can we find out about medical treatment in the First World War?
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Medieval castles

What was their purpose and significance?
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Medieval seals

What can seals tell us about medieval times?
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Mental Health on Record

What do the documents reveal about the understanding of mental health in the past?
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Migrants to Britain

What can government documents reveal about the experience of Indian seafarers?
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Native North Americans

What was early contact like between English colonists and Native Americans?
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Partition of British India

What can The National Archives documents reveal about the partition of British India?
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Past pleasures

How did the Victorians have fun?


How can art be used to convey a message?
Session we teach

Propaganda and the art of war

How did the British government encourage people to support the war?
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Queen Anne

How can we find out about her?
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Rebels in the records

What can we learn from documents that show how people ‘rebelled’ in the past?
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Richard II

Were the troubles facing England in the 1370s and 1380s due to Richard II’s age and inexperience?
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Rob Roy

A Victorian railway accident
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Role of a Queen – Mary I and Anne

What can we find out about the roles of Queen Mary I and Queen Anne?

Samuel Pepys

What does his will reveal?
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Seafarers’ Stories

How can we tell the stories of the Mirpuri, Bengali and Panjabi seafarers who travelled to Britain in the 1920s-30s?
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Selling the Victorians

Victorians for sale! Has advertising changed from Victorian times?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

What can an object reveal about its owner and life in Medieval England?
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Sixties Britain

A social and cultural revolution?
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How did the Abolition Acts of 1807 and 1833 affect the slave trade?
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Suffragettes through government eyes

What do government records reveal about the suffrage movement?
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What can original documents tell us about the history of sugar?

The Beautiful Game

What can our documents reveal about an incredible sports match?
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The Boxers of Whitechapel

What do the documents reveal about the inhabitants?
Session we teach

The Holocaust

What can British government documents tell us about what happened in the Holocaust?
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The Holocaust

Key documents from The National Archives
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The Home Front

How did people prepare for the war at home?
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The Independence of Bangladesh in 1971

What can British documents tell us about the creation of Bangladesh?
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The King, the Crown and the Colonel

How did Thomas Blood try to steal the Crown Jewels in 1671?
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The Mangrove Nine

How much can documents from The National Archives reveal about the Mangrove Nine?
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The Search for ‘Terra Australis’

What did Captain Cook’s secret mission involve?
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The Sinking of the Titanic

Why were so many lives lost in the disaster?
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The South African War

How did the British conduct war in 1899-1902?
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James I & VI: How was tobacco viewed, consumed, and traded in the Stuart period?
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Travel smart through time (SEND)

How and why have people travelled around in the past and how have they done it safely?
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What was it like living in a late 19th century mining town?

TTTV: Refugee Week 2021

What can we learn from documents about Basque children’s experiences in refugee camps?
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Tudor Entertainment

What was the effect of the early playhouses?