Plan your visit to The National Archives
From 1 September 2009 the advance and bulk document ordering services will be made available to existing readers with a valid reader's ticket only.
See Our collection for information on the documents we hold, and where to find those that we don't. Please note that The National Archives does not issue copies of birth, marriage or death certificates. Go to the Directgov website to find out about ordering certificates.
Go to our Catalogue to search for the records we hold that can be viewed at The National Archives in Kew.
To read original documents only, you will need to obtain a reader's ticket and bring two forms of identification with you. To help you make the most of your visit, up to six documents can be ordered in advance. Note: From 1 September 2009 you can only order documents in advance if you have a valid reader's ticket.
Go on our virtual tour to see how our on site services are arranged and where you need to go to find the information you are looking for.
About your visit to The National Archives
See what to bring with you for advice on specific items to bring to The National Archives.
Talks for first-time visitorsWe hold 'New to Kew' sessions daily at 11.30 to introduce first-time visitors to the range of services available at The National Archives. There's no need to book and the sessions are free of charge.
ChildrenAlthough we welcome children to the Archives, children under 14 may only be allowed in the reading rooms (where original documents are produced) at the discretion of the Enquiry Service Manager and provided they are supervised and accompanied at all times by an adult. Very young children and babies will not normally be allowed in the reading rooms because of the risk of disturbance to other users.
You can find out about local childcare from the Children's Information Service for Richmond upon Thames, Tel: +44 (0) 208 831 6298.
Guidelines for handling documents
You may find that you need to consult several different types of document during your visit. Be prepared by reading our advice on how to handle documents, and see examples of best practice.
Pens, coloured pencils or scanners are not allowed in the reading rooms and no more than one notepad - up to A4 size.
No animals, apart from assistance dogs for disabled people are allowed at The National Archives.
Smoking is not allowed in any part of the building.
Phone must be switched to silent mode, and only used for text messaging or photography
Certificates of attendance
If you need a certificate of attendance you will have to sign the attendance diary for every day you study with us. The diary is kept at the Welcome Desk. At the end of your visit the staff on the Welcome Desk will issue a certificate for the days you have signed.
For further information on visiting The National Archives, please see the document below:
- Rules of The National Archives (PDF, 182.79kb)
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