Each summer, The National Archives’ on site education team at Kew, London, offer young people in schools and colleges the chance to take part in a unique project that explores some of the hidden stories in our documents. Students carry out research, with support from our education team and record experts and work creatively with artists, writers or film makers as well as other students.
It’s a great opportunity to work with original sources; it’s also a chance to learn new skills, increase your subject knowledge in history and find out more about the role of The National Archives and the records we hold. The topics and the project outcomes are wide ranging, they have included film making, script writing, story boarding, painting and drawing so far.
Places are free, but are usually limited to a set number and involve an application process. Watch this space to see what is coming up and find out about past projects.
Are you interested in the following? Sharpening your creative writing skills Exploring the real stories of people contained in original historical documents Delving into the historical background of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Entering The National Archives first ever creative writing competition for school pupils at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 What do I have to do? To enter our creative competition, you will need to write a short story which describes life in a Victorian workhouse or an experience of the Poor Law drawing your inspiration from the real people who wrote the letters in our new online collection: Workhouse Voices: What did paupers say about the Poor Law? In the words of those who wrote these letters it was a harsh, difficult, inhumane experience: ‘They put soap in the provisions that dogs will not eat’ ‘If any of our parents bring anything, we are not allowed to have it’ ‘Take me out of this workhouse, I do not like to be in here’ What makes a good entry? Realistic characters, good background detail on the workhouse system to make your story believable, a sense of location, interesting language, description and dialogue which reflects the time.
You can now find the finished eBook of this project here: Writing War, Writing Peace Are you interested in creative writing and history? Would you like to work with record experts and explore original documents held at The National Archives? If so, our creative writing project ‘Writing War, Writing Peace’ is for you.