- Before you visit
- Where to find us
- When you arrive
- Disabled access
- Group visits
- What's on?
- Opening times
Before you visit
See what we hold for information on the documents held at The National Archives, and where to find those that aren't held by us. We do not issue copies of birth, marriage or death certificates. Visit the Directgov website to order these certificates.
What to bring with you
Please read our advice on what to bring with you when you visit The National Archives.
Searching, ordering and viewing documents
Search our Catalogue for the records we hold that can be viewed at The National Archives in Kew. You may order up to six documents before you visit, to save time when you arrive, if you hold a valid reader's ticket.
Copies of many of our most popular documents can be accessed online or in the reading rooms on microfiche and microfilm. To read original documents only, you will need to obtain a reader's ticket by bringing two forms of identification with you when you visit.
Talks for first-time visitors
We 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.
Children under 16 are only allowed in the reading rooms at the discretion of the production service manager and must be supervised at all times by an adult. Very young children and babies are not normally allowed in the reading rooms as they may disturb other visitors.
Guidelines for handling documents
You may find that you need to consult several different types of document during your visit, such as books, parchment and maps. Read our advice on how to handle documents, and see examples of best practice.
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.
Certificates of attendance
If you need a certificate of attendance you will have to sign the attendance diary at the welcome desk for every day you study with us. At the end of your visit the staff on the welcome desk will issue a certificate for the days you have signed.
For detailed rules and regulations at The National Archives, please see the document below:
• Rules of The National Archives (PDF, 91.45kb)
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