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 contentbig-idea-time

    Big Ideas: The shape of time

    Visualisation is widely believed to bring many benefits, assisting us in making sense of all kinds of information. To try to make diagrams of history – using timelines or some other kind of chronographics – may seem a simple task. […]

  • Audio contentTate Gallery, ground floor plan, 1893 (catalogue reference WORK 33/1718)

    Big Ideas: The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Value Project

    The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project was set up late in 2012 to address the dissatisfaction with the ways in which we understand and articulate the benefits of arts and culture. These tended to concentrate on the […]

  • Audio content"Berlin leaving". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_leaving.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Berlin_leaving.jpg

    Writer of the month: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall

    Hester Vaizey discusses her latest book, Born in the GDR: Living in the Shadow of the Wall, which reveals the everyday lives of citizens of the former German Democratic Republic The National Archives is again hosting a series of monthly […]

  • Audio contentChesham War Memorial, Buckinghamshire

    Putting it all together: using archives to discover your community’s involvement in the First World War

    The names of the First World War dead are there for all to see, on war memorials all over the country. Many individuals and groups are researching the stories behind the names, but what about delving even deeper? There is […]

  • Audio contentHMSO, Underwood Street, interior of office, 1916-1917 (catalogue reference STAT 20/391)

    The civil service in the First World War

    The First World War affected every sector of society, as the nation’s resources were harnessed for the war effort. Like other employers, the civil service lost staff to the armed forces and had to replace them while they were away. […]

  • Video contentInventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls (Thames & Hudson, 2014)

    Inventions that didn’t change the world: a history of Victorian curiosities

    In an era when Britain led the world in technological innovation, a host of lesser inventors were also hard at work. Registering designs for copyright was quicker and cheaper than the convoluted patenting process; anyone with what they thought was […]

  • Audio contentInventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls (Thames & Hudson, 2014)

    Inventions that didn’t change the world: a history of Victorian curiosities – audio

    In an era when Britain led the world in technological innovation, a host of lesser inventors were also hard at work. Registering designs for copyright was quicker and cheaper than the convoluted patenting process; anyone with what they thought was […]

  • Audio contentIlluminated page from volume of indentures between Henry VII and abbot John Islip, 1504 (catalogue reference E 33/1/1290

    Writer of the month: Philippa Gregory

    Philippa Gregory in conversation with Caroline Kimbell, discussing how she uses original records and introducing her new novel, The King’s Curse. Philippa Gregory was already an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote […]

  • Audio contentMaps Their Untold Stories (Rose Mitchell & Andrew Janes, Bloomsbury 2014)

    Maps: their untold stories

    Drawn from seven centuries of maps of places around the globe held in The National Archives, Maps: their untold stories offers a fascinating and unusual journey through the world of maps. Hear from the authors as they explain who made […]

  • Audio contentTwo models meeting and partly turning, Muybridge, 1887 (catalogue reference COPY 1/383)

    Big Ideas: Understanding patterns of behaviour for users of public records

    When Google launched in 1998, a prime ingredient in their not-so-secret sauce was the question: if a user randomly clicked links where on the web might they end up? They called the answer PageRank. This involved treating the web as […]

  • Video contentHong Kong (catalogue reference CO 1069/457)

    From British bobby to Hong Kong copper

    This year marks the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Police. This talk traces the history of the organisation through the stories of a few very ordinary British constables from the 1840s up to the First World […]

  • Audio contentYacht Marguerite 1884 (catalogue reference COPY 1/370)

    The naval policy of the Free Church of Scotland

    In 1843 the established Church of Scotland suffered a large secession of members who formed the Free Church of Scotland. In the early years of its existence the new church had to overcome a shortage of buildings and clergy, as […]

  • Audio contentPipe Roll 10 Henry II (catalogue reference E 372/10)

    Annual lecture of the Pipe Roll Society (2014): Formal record and courtroom reality in 13th and 14th century England

    Please note: Professor Brand quotes direct dialogue from original plea rolls and some listeners might find the language offensive. The Annual Lecture of the Pipe Roll Society 2014 was given by Professor Paul Brand, All Souls College Oxford. Professor Brand is one […]

  • Audio contentKostas Ntanos

    Big Ideas: Sharing knowledge and expertise with business

    The National Archives is engaged in its first Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The scheme aims to support UK businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing knowledge and expertise in UK academic institutions. The scheme partners companies with academic […]

  • Audio contentThe Remembrance Image Project (c. Simon Gregor used by kind permission)

    The Remembrance Image Project

    Simon Gregor talks about some of the images he has taken in the research phase of the Remembrance Image Project and the stories behind them, as well as sharing some of the ways in which primary source materials at The […]

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