The National Archives

The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU

(020) 8876 3444


The Research and Enquiries Room, including the Library colleciton, is on the first floor.

Hours of opening:

Mondays 0900 - 1700
Tuesdays 0900 - 1900
Wednesdays 1000 - 1700
Thursdays 0900 - 1900
Fridays 0900 - 1700
Saturdays 0930 - 1700
Closed during Bank Holiday weekends.


A Reader’s Ticket is required to see original documents in the Document Reading Room or Map and Large Document Reading Room. Two forms of identification are needed for a Reader’s Ticket, proof of identity and proof of address. See the National Archives website for examples of identification at

A Reader’s Ticket is not required to look at copies of documents in the Research and Enquiries Room, either online or in microform, nor to use the Library

Reader places:               


Librarian in charge:

Helen Pye-Smith

Staff availability:

The enquiry points are always staffed during public open hours.


The online catalogues for the archives and for library materials are available onsite and via the internet at


The archives are arranged by an in-house scheme by government department. The published materials in the Library are classified by the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme.


Archives – over 100 miles of archives

Library – ca. 65,000 volumes.

Special collections or strengths:

The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom holds the records of central government and the courts of law. The records span an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day.

The Library holds published works that complement the archives and facilitate access to the original records. Strengths include histories of UK government departments; histories of British foreign policy and policy making bodies, imperial and colonial histories, histories of individual countries and regions; the intelligence agencies, works on the armed forces, the history and working of the English law courts, social and economic history, directories and biographical materials; guides to genealogical and family history; topography and local history especially the English counties.

Additional facilities:

Free information leaflets. Self-service photocopying and photography. Microform readers and printers. Networked electronic resources and printing. Internet café. Public restaurant. Museum where treasures of The National Archives can be seen including Domesday Book. Bookshop. Daily orientation talks during the week at 11.30 am. Tours for groups of librarians and archivists are available by appointment with Regular talks and other events. Free internet newsletter – see