The National Archives, Richmond-upon-Thames

4.4
#14 of 92 in Things to do in Richmond-upon-Thames
Government Building · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The National Archives (TNA, Welsh: Yr Archifau Cenedlaethol) is a non-ministerial government department. Its parent department is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the official archive of the UK government and for England and Wales; and "guardian of some of the nation's most iconic documents, dating back more than 1,000 years." There are separate national archives for Scotland (the National Records of Scotland) and Northern Ireland (the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland).

TNA was formerly four separate organisations: the Public Record Office (PRO), the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO). The Public Record Office still exists as a legal entity, as the enabling legislation has not been modified, and documents held by the institution thus continue to be cited by many scholars as part of the PRO. Since 2008, TNA has also hosted the former UK Statute Law Database, now known as legislation.gov.uk.

It is institutional policy to include the definite article, with an initial capital letter, in its name (hence "The National Archives", abbreviated as TNA) but this practice is not always followed in the non-specialist media.

The department is the responsibility of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism; a minister in the Government of the United Kingdom.
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The National Archives reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
160 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Today we paid our first visit to National Archives in Kew, as you walk it the place is very airy and bright. There is a caffe and a gallery also a book shop area. On the first and second floors are... 
    Today we paid our first visit to National Archives in Kew, as you walk it the place is very airy and bright. There is a caffe and a gallery also a book shop area. On the first and second floors are...  more »
  • We were on a walk along the Thames and stopped off here for lunch. The lunch was very good at their cafe, with good friendly service despite being quite busy. We had the special, chicken gyros... 
    We were on a walk along the Thames and stopped off here for lunch. The lunch was very good at their cafe, with good friendly service despite being quite busy. We had the special, chicken gyros...  more »
Google
  • Always an interesting place to visit. You never know what you will find out. A BIG downside is the fact that a large number of the lockers in the cloakroom do not work. I have reported this several times but so far nothing has changed. Always check a locker locks before using it. Big draw now has to be the 1921 census which is well worth a look. A readers ticket is needed to order original documents and you can find out details and register online or there. If you go and need to register, remember to take ID, phone for details of what to bring. Wise to book a seat if you want to look at original documents. Lots of helpful staff.
  • What a great place! I came in to do some work related research, but what a building! Friendly and knowledgeable staff, well signposted and resourced. They are currently allowing free access to the 1921 census so great if you want to do some family research too! Well worth a visit

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