This session aims to develop students' awareness and understanding of the different types of historical sources available to help us find out about the past, and how each one can be used as evidence. Documents chosen for the workshop will relate to topics studied at primary school such as the Tudors and Victorians. Others will look forward to topics students will be going on to study.
The main activity involves students working in groups, looking at different types of documents held in the archives. These include: a Plea Roll from Henry VIII's reign; Wenceslas Hollar's map of London in 1667; a census return and criminal register from the Victorian period; Metropolitan Police files from the Jack the Ripper murders; and a propaganda poster from the Second World War. The students identify what type of document they are looking at and record information about it, such as its age, who made it, why it was made, and what questions they want to ask about it to find out more.
At the end of the session, students are given the opportunity to feed back on their findings and time to ask the Education Officer any questions they have about the documents they have been investigating.
The workshop also aims to raise students' awareness of archives. We will explain how The National Archives works, what we keep here and the work that goes into looking after our collection - one of the biggest archives in the world. We will discuss students' ideas about why it is important to keep original documents.
This session can be delivered as a
- Virtual classroom