parchment

Henry VIII's documents have not only survived for 500 years but, in some cases, look as though they were written or drawn only yesterday.

Traditionally kings considered records highly valuable, and in early medieval times they would have been transported with the king in special chests. By Henry's reign the position of Master of the Rolls had been established to look after the Crown's documents. Records would have been kept in a number of places in London, including Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.

Here we'll introduce you to some key pieces of information about these records and the materials that were used to make them. We'll also explain how we preserve them and other national treasures to make sure that they're around for centuries to come.