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...

Dress fabric registered by Coco Chanel 1929 (BT 52/4079)

Registered design textiles

The National Archives holds the records of almost 3 million designs dating from 1839 to 1991. These are designs that were registered for copyright under a series of Acts of Parliament. The designs include decorative arts as well as 'useful' designs and inventions.

On display in the gallery are four samples of later textile designs including a wool and silk dress fabric registered by 'Gabrielle Chanel (a French citizeness)', better known as Coco Chanel, and a printed linen furniture fabric by Vanessa Bell (sister of the writer Virginia Woolf), who was a member of the Bloomsbury Group.

Charles I's trial (catalogue reference: SP 16/517)

Charles I's trial 

Catalogue reference: SP 16/517

The account of the trial of Charles I records the first and only time in British history that a king was put on trial for treason. Charles I was accused of having committed 'high crimes and treason'. He was found guilty and executed in January 1649.

Forthcoming highlights

Treaty of Versailles, certified copy

Catalogue reference: FO 93/36/76

The Treaty of Versailles is a peace treaty that was signed in 1919 at the end of the First World War. The treaty forced Germany to give up land, disarm and pay significant reparations. Many historians have subsequently highlighted its severity and the resentment it evoked among the German people as a cause for Adolf Hitler's rise to power. In 1933 Hitler broke the terms of the treaty by rearming Germany.

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.

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.

Feedback

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

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