The Keeper's Gallery is an on site exhibition space which showcases highlights from The National Archives. The 'Keeper' is the guardian and head of the archive. The gallery displays a wide selection of treasures including records related to British history, family history and significant global events, as well as intriguing stories from the archive itself.

In the centre of the gallery is the 'More than words: documents that shaped Britain and the world' exhibit. Here you will find a selection of documents - some well known, some not - that illustrate how records from our collection have changed and influenced our understanding of country, culture and constitution, not only here in the UK, but around the world.

The material on display changes regularly.

Current highlights

  • Colonial Office photograph of Tanganyika, 1961

    ../images/keepers-gallery/co-1069-166-74.jpg

    Catalogue reference: CO 1069/166/74

    Colonial Office photograph of Tanganyika, 1961
  • Colonial Office photograph of Tanganyika, 1961

    ../images/keepers-gallery/co-1069-166-109.jpg

    Catalogue reference: CO 1069/166/109

    Colonial Office photograph of Tanganyika, 1961
  • Cover of The Suffragist Journal, 1909

    ../images/keepers-gallery/ho-45-10338-139199-p1.jpg

    Catalogue reference: HO 45/10338/139199 p1

    Cover of The Suffragist Journal, 1909
  • Photograph of SOE agent Noor Inayat Khan GC, 1939-1944

    ../images/keepers-gallery/a-pro-hs9-836-5-world-war-ii-soe-agenst-noor-inayat-khan-gc-1914-1944.jpg

    Catalogue reference: HS 9/836/5

    Photograph of SOE agent Noor Inayat Khan GC, 1939-1944
  • Personal file of Noor Inayat Khan, SOE report, 1939-1944

    ../images/keepers-gallery/hs9-836-5-world-war-ii-soe-report-in-personal-file-of-noor-inyat-khan.jpg

    Catalogue reference: HS 9/836/5

    Personal file of Noor Inayat Khan, SOE report, 1939-1944
  • Section of the Chapter House, Westminster, 1807

    ../images/keepers-gallery/mpb1-2-1-section-of-the-chapter-house-westminster-1807.jpg

    Catalogue reference: MPB 1/2/1

    Section of the Chapter House, Westminster, 1807
  • European factories on the West Coast of Africa, 1663-1681

    ../images/keepers-gallery/mpg1-221-africa-west-coast-1663-1681.jpg

    Catalogue reference: MPG 1/221

    European factories on the West Coast of Africa, 1663-1681
  • 'View of Cato Street', print depicting the Cato Street conspirators' headquarters, 1820

    ../images/keepers-gallery/ts11-202-cato-street-conspiracy-1820-view-of-cato-street.jpg

    Catalogue reference: TS 11/202

    'View of Cato Street', print depicting the Cato Street conspirators' headquarters, 1820
  • Sketch of hayloft at Cato Street, 1820

    ../images/keepers-gallery/ts11-202-cato-street-conspiracy-1820-sketch-of-hayloft.jpg

    Catalogue reference: TS 11/202

    Sketch of hayloft at Cato Street, 1820

A closer look at...

The Battle of Waterloo

Tuesday 31 March 2015 - Friday 25 September 2015

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 when French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated. A selection of documents held by The National Archives is now on display, including the Duke of Wellington's handwritten account of the battle.

Oldest known Maori map of New Zealand

Tuesday 31 March 2015 - Friday 25 September 2015

This Maori related display includes the oldest known chart of New Zealand drawn by Maori priest Tuki Tahua, dated 1793. Featured alongside the map are later coloured lithographs of Maori individuals from 'New Zealanders', illustrated by George French Angus.

Magna Carta

Tuesday 19 May 2015 - Friday 27 November 2015

The National Archives holds many of the key documents relating to the granting of Magna Carta and its significance and development through history. The 1225 and 1297 Magna Cartas are both currently on external loan so are not in the gallery.

Barbara Hepworth

Tuesday 19 May 2015 - November 2015

To mark the 40th Anniversary of Barbara Hepworth's death and to tie in with the Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World exhibition being held at The Tate this year, the gallery is displaying highlights from the material held by The National Archives including a handwritten note by the artist and photographs of her work.  

Newfoundland: Empire in the First World War

Tuesday 30 June 2015 - Friday 11 December 2015

This display highlights some of the records at The National Archives relating to Newfoundland's efforts in the First World War including a design for a Newfoundland memorial in Scotland to commemorate the work of the Newfoundland Forestry corps who were conscripted to work for the Forestry Commission in the UK to supply timber for the war effort.

Forthcoming highlights

World War Two illustration of British fighter aircraft attacking bombers over the sea (Roy Nockolds)

Battle of Britain

Tuesday 25 August - February 2016

We will be showcasing original Second World War artworks depicting the Batle of Britain to mark its 75th anniversary.

Jacobite Rebellions

Tuesday 28 July - January 2016

A selection of key documents will be on display to mark the anniversaries of the Jacobite rebellions, including a Jacobite song and a document listing Jacobite prisoners.

Events

Family event: Artist in the Archive. Create a sculpture inspired by Barbara Hepworth

Tuesday 4 August 2015, 10:30 -11:45

This free, hands-on family workshop is suitable for 5 to 10 year olds.

Explore the life and work of Barbara Hepworth through our collection of original documents. Be inspired to create your own mini-sculpture in this open-air workshop.

Please note that children must be accompanide by an adult at all times.

Book your free place now.

Tours of the Keeper's Gallery

The Keeper's Gallery is offering free highlights tours of the gallery twice a month, led by volunteers. For dates please see the What's On page. Each tour runs from 14:00-14:30.

Please meet at the welcome desk five minutes before the tour start time. Each tour group will take a maximum of 12 people on a first come, first served basis.

Visitor information

The Keeper's Gallery is free and is open 09:00-17:00, Tuesday-Saturday. It is located on the ground floor of The National Archives.

For preservation reasons light levels are kept low in certain areas of the gallery and some documents on display are facsimiles. Please note, as we have generally made the space brighter and increased the ambient temperature of the gallery we are no longer able to provide the right environment to have Domesday permanently on display. Instead, there is a new rotating exhibit in the central part of the gallery that will feature Domesday for approximately six months every five years. There is currently a replica of Domesday on display.

You can find, and contribute to, Wikipedia entries about some of our displays using QR codes. However, you will need to download an app to access QR codes before you visit The National Archives as you cannot download apps over our free public wifi.

Keeper's Gallery blog

To find out more about our latest exhibits, read our Keeper's Gallery blog series.

Feedback

We would welcome any feedback or suggestions regarding the Keeper's Gallery.

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