Explore Your Archive is a campaign designed for archives of all kinds throughout the UK and Ireland. In this section you will find a downloadable toolkit as well as how to tips to help you create events and promote stories relevant to your collections and communities. The aim of the campaign is to increase public awareness of the essential role of archives in our society, to celebrate our network of collections and emphasise the skills and professionalism of the sector.

The Explore Your Archive campaign which is coordinated by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) is now entering its third year. This year the main Explore Your Archive campaign will be running from the 14 - 22 November 2015, so watch out for additions to the toolkit. This year we are also pleased to be able to offer an additional chance to get involved by introducing a mini campaign to run in June 2015 for the anniversary of the Magna Carta.

While we know that few archives hold a copy of the Magna Carta we anticipate that many of you will have records relating to the broader themes of the road to democracy, the legal system and access to human rights.

This is a chance for archives to get involved in the national campaign 2015: Parliament in the making and join the debate on why democracy matters.


[030] - Centre - document link 37231 (, MB)

Explore your archive mini toolkit 2015 (PDF, 0.74MB)

Explore Your Archive toolkit (PDF, 7.82MB)

Start using the toolkit now

Take a look at the toolkit and start thinking about how you might take part. The toolkit can be used for any event you are planning, but is particularly useful ahead of the annual campaign week. When you are ready to develop your stories, you can download all the relevant materials below, including artwork and a template press release.

Download the toolkit below to find everything you need to take part in Explore Your Archive:

Explore Your Archive social media evaluation form (DOC, 1.45MB)

Explore Your Archive social media plan (PDF, 0.11MB)

Explore Your Archive downloadable resources (ZIP, 14.48MB)

Posters, templates and social media tips (ZIP, 8.40MB)

Archi've Remembered poster PowerPoint template (ZIP, 1.61MB)

Posters for 2014 (ZIP, 34.67MB)

Magna Carta toolkit (PDF, 0.74MB)

Magna Carta toolkit materials (ZIP, 31.64MB)

Magna Carta Mini Toolkit - Extra Images (ZIP, 0.99MB)

Story box animation

This Explore Your Archive story box animation video is designed to be used on all archive websites in the United Kingdom and Ireland. You can embed the video from Vimeo by clicking on 'Share' and copying the link address into your CMS editor or webpage.

Alternatively you can download the video directly:

Story box animation video (ZIP, 3.45MB)

Activities in 2014

The campaign week for 2014 (10-16 November) was the largest to date, with over 200 archives taking part, a BBC Breakfast show appearance, and we reached over 6.5 million people through social media. See the social media and web engagement analysis of the 2014 campaign.

This follows the evaluation for the 2013 campaign. It revealed that:

You liked the brand and wanted freedom to use it to promote your activities at any time of the year

We produced the branding for everyone and it is yours to use, within the spirit of the campaign, whenever you wish. All the guidelines for using the brand are in the toolkit. Please email us at exploreyourarchive@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk when you use the brand to let us know what you've done. We can then share good ideas and best practice as widely as possible.

You liked the timing

Building on the success and enthusiasm of the first year, we are asking archives throughout the UK and Ireland to plan as many events and activities as possible from 10 to 16 November. The campaign branding is there to use throughout the year, but we aim to make the maximum impact for the sector during this week. Please put this in your diaries now and start planning what you will do.

You liked the flexibility

Explore Your Archive 2014 will not have a prescribed theme. The toolkit is designed to help you publicise the theme, story, event or activity that works best for your collections and your audiences. Since many archives will be organising activities around First World War collections this year, there will be specific advice, guidance and artwork to help archives wishing to concentrate on the First World War.

You wanted more in the toolkit

The Explore Your Archive toolkit will be added to for 2014. Additions will include: 

  • ready-to-use artwork, and a new set of artwork to support First World War activities 
  • case studies and hints and tips from events and activities that worked well in the 2013 Explore Your Archive campaign 
  • new advice on best use of social media 
  • new Explore Your Archive marketing material 
  • further development of the public website, exploreyourarchive.org  

We will be adding material to the toolkit from now on, which will be publicised.

Badges and pencils

We produced a new Archi've Remembered badge to join the family of badges that we produced last year, which included Archi've Explored and Arch'ive Discovered. Archi've Remembered has been created specifically for archive services focusing on the First World War. If you would like to order your free badges, please email ara@archives.org.uk stating whether you would like a mixture of badges or just Archi've Remembered. We will normally send 100 badges.

For a pack of 100 assorted Explore Your Archive pencils, please email ara@archives.org.uk.


Explore Your Archives 2014 Evaluation (PDF, 0.35MB)

Contact us

For any enquiries about how to use the toolkit, or to find out more, please get in touch: exploreyourarchive@nationalarchives.gov.uk  

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