£5

PAST Introduction to Archival Research (online workshop)

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£5

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Location

The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Richmond

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
The National Archives has developed a programme of postgraduate archival skills training (PAST) to help you get started in the archives.

About this Event

The National Archives holds one of the largest collections in the world, containing over 11 million historical government and public records. From Domesday Book to the Leveson Enquiry, our records offer students a myriad of untapped research opportunities across a wide range of time periods and disciplines. 

With so many options, however, getting started in the archives can be a daunting prospect. Many students have questions which they are too afraid to ask. How will I know where to go? What do I need to bring with me? How do I find records for my research? How do I order documents? Do I need to use gloves? How can I be sure I'm not wasting my time? 

It can often feel like you're the only one who doesn't know what you're doing, but it's not true!

To demystify the research process The National Archives has developed a programme of Postgraduate Archival Skills Training, PAST, providing students with the key skills and knowledge needed to undertake academic research using the archives.

This introduction day will explain how to get started with archival research, the importance of knowing the history and structure of a collection to navigate the records, and how to make the most of your time on site.

For further details, please see the programme below.

This event is aimed at third year undergraduate and postgraduate students. Registration this year will be at a reduced rate of just £5. While this workshop will be entirely presented online, we hope that students will be able to join us back at Kew for our Skills and Methodology workshops, which will now be held in June 2021.

If you have any questions or for more information, please see our website or email the team at past@nationalarchives.gov.uk 

Programme

This workshop will include a combination of pre-recorded presentations, online eLearning courses , and live Q+A sessions. You will be sent links to the presentations and online courses in advance of the workshop, and are free to view these at your leisure. The timings given here are suggestions for how you might choose to structure your day.

10:00–10:30 Welcome & introductions (live)

• An introduction to the staff who will be looking after you and an explanation of the aims and objectives of the day.

• You will be asked to introduce yourself to your fellow students and share your research interests.

10:30–11:00 About Archives (recorded presentation)

• This session recaps some of the material you will have covered in the online courses.

• What is an archive?

• A brief history of The National Archives (TNA).

• Why it is important to know the provenance and structure of an archive for your research.

11:00–11:15 Comfort break

11:15–12:00 Archival skills (recorded presentation)

• This session recaps some of the material you will have covered in the online courses.

• How to plan and organise your archival research.

• Introduction to using Discovery, our online catalogue.

• How to order original documents at TNA.

12:00–12:30 Doing research online (recorded presentation)

• The difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic make researching particularly difficult in 2020/21, with the closure of archives and libraries. This session will explore some of the online resources that are available to students, and how you can do research online.

12:30–12:40 Morning catch up session (live)

• A short live session before lunch, to answer any questions arising from the morning, and to introduce the afternoon sessions.

12:40–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–14:30 Document Handling (live presentation)

• A workshop on how to handle documents safely, led by an expert from our Collection Care department.

• They will also be able to answer all your questions about how to handle documents and files, from the middle ages to the modern day. You will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance of this session.

14:30–15:00 Live Q&A and introduction to afternoon quiz to test your skills in Discovery, our online catalogue (live session)

• A chance to ask our experts any questions you have about archival research. Not sure where to start looking, struggling to find relevant documents for your own research, or baffled by the results of your searches? We can point you in the right direction, and offer advice to help you get started.

• You can submit questions in advance of the session, or post your questions to our specialists live.

• We will also introduce the practical exercises for the next session, which will test your skills and put your new knowledge into practice in an afternoon quiz. You will be given a series of questions to independently research over the course of the next session, with answers revealed at the end of the day. We would recommend you take a short comfort break during this independent work.

15:00–16:00 Discovery practical exercises/quiz (attendees working independently)

• Practical session with exercises to try out Discovery, our online catalogue.

• You can also try searching for documents for your own research, following the advice from previous sessions.

16:00–16:15 Round-up & questions (live)

• Find out the answers to the afternoon quiz, and pose any final questions you have to our experts.

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Date and Time

Location

The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Richmond

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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