Online exhibitions

  • 1901: Living at the time of the census

    Open a door onto life in 1901 and learn about the census and how to discover more about the people and places in it.

  • 20th-century leaders and controversies

    Learn more about some of the most controversial events in the 20th century and the role that leaders played in them from original documents photos and films.

  • Abolition of slavery

    Understand how slavery shaped the history of Britain, Africa and the former British Empire, and consider its consequences for modern-day British, African and Caribbean societies.

  • Africa through a lens

    Africa through a lens is a set of thousands of images taken from a broader photographic collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office images, held at The National Archives.

  • ‘All change!’ on Britain’s railways

    Since the 19th century, railways have brought great changes to peoples’ lives. Find out how they have changed the environment, standardised time and revolutionised holiday habits.

  • Americas through a lens

    These images, taken from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, capture scenes from Canada to Belize, Trinidad to the South Shetland Isles, and span more than 100 years.

  • Asia through a lens

    This full collection of images from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office photographic collection includes scenes from across the Asian continent, including China, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.

  • Australasia through a lens

    Explore remarkable photographs and drawings from Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands dating as far back as the mid-19th century. Find the full collection on Flickr.

  • Battle of Agincourt

    On 25 October 1415, King Henry V led his army to victory on the field of Agincourt. Get an insight into the campaign, battle, and soldiers who fought in the English army.

  • Black British history on record

    A portal that gathers together resources produced by The National Archives on black British history.

  • British battles: from Crimea to Korea

    From Crimea (1854) to Korea (1951) – a selection of four British battles. This exhibition uses our documents, images and text to describe how and why Britain was at war.

  • Britain 1906-18

    The First World War, votes for women, the growth of the welfare state – find out more about Britain at a time of great upheaval and change.

  • British Empire

    Trace the extraordinary role of the British Empire in the history of Britain and the world using this resource for schools. How and why did the Empire make Britain so important?

  • By me William Shakespeare

    Discover the stories behind key moments in Shakespeare’s life, from the birth of the Globe theatre in London to his last days in Stratford-upon-Avon 400 years ago.

  • Cabinet Office 100

    A selection of historical moments through Cabinet records, assembled to mark 100 years of Cabinet meeting minutes.

  • Cabinet papers

    Take a look at newly digitised cabinet papers from 1915-1978. The papers are organised into a range of topics, including the economy, society and the Welfare State.

  • Caribbean through a lens – explored!

    Discover some of the extraordinary outreach projects conducted with Caribbean community groups and inspired by images from the Foreign and Commonwealth collection.

  • Caribbean histories revealed

    Explore the history of the British Caribbean through government documents, photographs and maps dating from the 17th century to the 1920s.

  • Citizenship

    Explore what it has meant to be a citizen throughout a millennium of British history with a selection of fascinating documents from The National Archives and Parliamentary Archives.

  • Civil war

    The seventeenth century was an extraordinary time for England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Find out more about the civil wars and the people who lived through them – in their own words.

  • Cold War

    Discover the causes and effects of the Cold War, with an extensive range of original source material including original documents and film footage from the time.

  • Crime and punishment

    Investigate crime in Britain, prevention and punishment from the 13th century to the present day with case studies using our documents.

  • Dambusters

    On the night of 16 May 1943, the specially formed 617 Squadron flew modified Lancaster bombers to Germany, on a mission that became one of the most famous episodes of the Second World War.

  • Design registers

    An online exhibition featuring a selection of 300 designs registered by designers, individuals and companies from the mid-Victorian period.

  • Domesday Book

    Discover the story behind one of our most famous historical records, the Domesday Book. Find out how it was made and take a closer look.

  • First World War military service tribunals

    The case papers within MH 47 provide a unique insight into the tensions created between Government and society during the First World War, which saw casualties and fatalities reach previously unimaginable levels.

  • First World War 100

    As the holder of official UK government records for the First World War, we are delivering an extensive programme to mark the centenary – explore it here.

  • First World War telecommunications

    A long-form article on the telecommunication technologies – new and existing – harnessed to fit the needs of the British war effort.

  • First World War

    The sources for the First World War held by The National Archives and the Imperial War Museum offer richly varied insights into all aspects of what H G Wells called ‘the war that will end war’.

  • Focus on the census

    Travel back in time to 1891 to use some original Census material from Chelsea, London at this time and conduct your own real investigation of the area.

  • Focus on Domesday

    Discover the story behind one of Britain’s oldest and most famous documents, Domesday Book. Find out how it was made and take a closer look.

  • Focus on film

    Explore film as a historical source and consider its advantages and disadvantages as evidence for the past. How far do films present an accurate record of an event?

  • Focus on Isaac Rosenberg

    Isaac Rosenberg is one of the lesser known of the war poets, though he is considered to be one of the finest. See how family and military records provide an insight into his life.

  • Great Fire of London

    Meet the Londoners who helped fight the fire and rebuild London during the aftermath. Find out where and how the Great Fire started, with the help of engaging activities and games.

  • Henry VIII: Power, passion, parchment

    The story of Britain’s most notorious King, through his own records. Interact with the documents and learn how they have survived long after his reign.

  • Human rights

    A historical background to some of the rights we take for granted today. Explore the struggle for and development of rights and see images of original documents held here.

  • Magna Carta

    Magna Carta is said to be the most important document in history. But where did it come from, why did people die for it, and how is it still relevant today?

  • Maps

    We have one of the world’s richest holdings of historical mapping. There are believed to be more than six million maps and plans, with more added every year.

  • Nelson, Trafalgar, and those who served

    Explore the background of Britain’s involvement in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars amidst fears of invasion by France.

  • Panjab 1947: a heart divided

    Listen to the stories of Panjabi elders uprooted from their homeland during the Partition of British India in 1947, who tell of the hardship and loss that they endured, as well as acts of kindness.

  • Portillo’s State Secrets

    This BBC Two TV series was the first documentary of its kind to explore the many historic documents held at The National Archives. Find out more about the records featured in the show.

  • Power, politics and protest

    How did political rights change in 19th century Britain? Explore British political history during 1800-1914 and focus on political changes, the role of individuals and the broad patterns of change.

  • Prisoner 4099: a Victorian child criminal

    Learn about the experiences of William Towers, a 12 year old imprisoned in 1872 for stealing two rabbits, through resources and a radio play produced by students in collaboration with The National Archives.

  • Public information films

    View public information films from the 20th century. The selection of films from 1945-1951 features some fascinating events from Britain’s post-war history.

  • Secrets and spies

    This resource features individual spies and examples of codes and ciphers, and looks at their significance in British history in the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Sepia

    This exhibition of photographs from The National Archives was produced in 2000 as part of a larger exhibition put together by partners in the Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access (SEPIA).

  • Surgeons at sea: Royal Navy Medical Officers’ journals

    Explore the 18th and 19th century journals of medical officers serving in the Royal Navy. These records detail the health, treatment and survival rates of the surgeons’ charges, and contain colourful tales of ship life.

  • The Great War, 1914-1918

    Investigate the First World War, a topic that still excites huge interest among young students and the general public, and continues to provoke debate among academic historians.

  • The Home Front

    What was life like on the Home Front during the Second World War? We look at preparations for war, the bombing of Britain, spies, the role of women and much more.

  • The Olympic and Paralympic record

    We have made records on the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games and Cultural Olympiad available online for the first time, providing unique access to sporting and cultural history.

  • The art of war: British propaganda 1939-45

    View our fascinating and colourful collections of illustrations, propaganda, cartoons, films and art created during the Second World War.

  • The Victorians

    A resource for children to learn about the Victorian period through objects, images and documents from the collections of the V&A and The National Archives.

  • Titanic: 100th anniversary

    Look back on how we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking, with an insight into passenger and crew lists, videos, podcasts and a timeline of events.

  • Treasures from The National Archives

    See some of the treasures of The National Archives, collected over 1000 years of British history, from Domesday to the present day. Part of the former National Grid for Learning.

  • Tudor Hackney (in partnership with Hackney Archives)

    Hear the remarkable story of Hackney and the Daniell family who lived there in Tudor times – with video drama and a virtual reality reconstruction.

  • Tutorial: Latin

    A step-by-step online tutorial to teach medieval Latin. Practice what you learn with activities and extracts from original documents held here.

  • Tutorial: Latin palaeography

    If you already know medieval Latin, this online tutorial will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents between 1086 and 1500.

  • Tutorial: Palaeography

    Learn how to read and transcribe old handwriting. This interactive guide will help you decipher handwriting dating from the reign of Henry VIII to 1800.

  • Uniting the kingdoms? 1066-1603

    An insight into the events and forces that influenced ideas of identity, loyalty and nationhood of people living in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England’s French territories.

  • Victorian Britain: fair or foul?

    What was life really like in Victorian Britain? Find out through the podcasts, video conferences, workshops and lessons contained within this resource.

  • Women in uniform

    How did women support the war effort? This project provides an insight into women’s roles during the 100-year period that covered the Crimean War and World War II.

  • World War Two

    Learn about the Second World War using our animated maps and investigations containing original documents, film, photographs and audio.

  • World through a lens

    Explore extraordinary images, taken from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office photographic collection, which span the globe and more than 100 years of history.