Archives and archivists

Whether you’re an archivist, researcher or interested in the field, experts from The National Archives and elsewhere offer insights into archival history, records and the challenges archives face.

  • Audio contentThe Reformation as Disruption

    Reformation on the Record: Suzannah Lipscomb on Henry VIII and the break with Rome

    Reformation on the Record was a two-day conference which brought together research using original records of Church and State from our collection to explore this period of religious, social and economic turmoil. In this talk, historian, broadcaster and award-winning academic…

  • Audio contentThe Reformation as Disruption

    Reformation on the Record: Richard Rex’s keynote address

    Reformation on the Record was a two-day conference which brought together research using original records of Church and State from our collection to explore this period of religious, social and economic turmoil. In this talk, Professor Richard Rex – a…

  • Audio content

    Big Ideas Series: ‘In Their Own Write: Welfare, Discipline and Pauper Agency in the Nineteenth Century’

    In this seminar, Dr Paul Carter introduces his new research project which he is undertaking in collaboration with Professor Steven King, University of Leicester, after receiving a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Paul examines the correspondence between paupers…

  • Audio content

    Big Ideas Series: Surfacing the Page

    This Big Ideas seminar consists of three short presentations exploring the theme ‘surfacing the page’. In the first talk, Professor Maryanne Dever looks at how the presence of digital technologies for the reproduction and circulation of archival artefacts have placed…

  • Audio contentA photograph of performers from Tamasha Theatre

    ‘Smile’: a play about Indian soldiers at the Brighton Pavilion Hospital during the First World War

    Three Indian soldiers recover at the iconic Brighton Pavilion hospital. Every detail is provided for but something isn’t quite right. The soldiers question why the plentiful food and high quality care is served in the shadow of guards and bars…

  • Audio content

    Mapping Women’s Suffrage

    The women’s suffrage campaign in Britain was a particularly long and difficult struggle. It was fought by women and men in cities, towns and villages right across the country. This talk, featuring suffrage experts Tara Morton, Sarah Richardson and Elizabeth…

  • Audio contentA podcast about the court case that banned Radclyffe Hall's book 'The Well of Loneliness', a 1920s lesbian novel.

    Unfolding the court case that banned a 1920s lesbian novel

    In 1928 Radclyffe Hall wrote ‘The Well of Loneliness’, a novel that featured female characters in same-sex relationships. Shortly after it was published, the Sunday Express called for the book to be suppressed and urged the Home Office to censor it. Despite…

  • Audio contentA podcast about Catherine Howard's last letter to Thomas Culpeper

    A tormented Tudor queen’s treasonous ‘love letter’

    In this episode, Neil Johnston and Christopher Day discuss a letter written by Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Thomas Culpeper, a groom of the King’s Privy chamber. The document was part of a body of evidence collected against Catherine…

  • Audio contentA podcast about a letter seized from an LGBT-friendly club in 1930s Soho

    Sexuality under scrutiny in 1930s Soho

    In 1934, homosexual acts between men – in public and in private – were illegal in the UK. Police surveilled a number of social spaces across London suspected of permitting what the state then considered to be ‘immoral activity’ and in August conducted…

  • Audio contentA photograph of a note addressed to Oscar Wilde. Catalogue reference: CRIM 1/41/6/1895

    Oscar Wilde’s trial and imprisonment – a short play

    This short play explores the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. In 1895 the celebrated author and playwright was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to two years imprisonment, with hard labour. The words are taken directly from records…

  • Audio contentA podcast about medieval treason and magic

    Medieval treason and magic

    In this podcast, two of our records specialists tell us about treason and necromancy in The National Archives’ medieval records. The first part, narrated by Paul Dryburgh, tells the story of a band of men from Coventry who planned to kill King Edward II…

  • Audio contentA podcast about Whitehall's official government cats

    Bureau-cats: A short history of Whitehall’s official felines

    Public interest in the cats of Whitehall began long before Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone graced our front pages and Twitter feeds. In this podcast, records specialist Christopher Day reveals his favourite anecdotes from the ‘Home Office Cat’ files, including the story behind the…

  • Audio contentPrivate-Lives-of-the-Tudors-small

    Tracy Borman on ‘The Private Lives of the Tudors’

    Tracy Borman reveals how the Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers, even in their most private moments. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges,…

  • Audio contentPhotograph from 25 Fitzroy Square, London, 1927 (Catalogue reference: CRIM1-387)

    Talks from the National LGBT History Festival: E-J Scott on collecting for the Museum of Transology

    On the 11 February 2017, The National Archives hosted a range of talks for ‘OUTing the Past: the National LGBT History Festival’  on topics including the role of lesbians in the fight for Votes for Women, the lives of trans…

  • Audio contentPhotograph from 25 Fitzroy Square, London, 1927 (Catalogue reference: CRIM1-387)

    Talks from the National LGBT History Festival: Emma Vickers on trans veterans of the British Armed Forces

    On the 11 February 2017, The National Archives hosted a range of talks for ‘OUTing the Past: the National LGBT History Festival’  on topics including the role of lesbians in the fight for Votes for Women, the lives of trans…

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