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Our work

History in your hands

The National Archives Trust’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by promoting knowledge and enjoyment of the nation’s archives to the widest possible audience.

Archives hold extraordinary and wide-ranging collections of items such as government files, wills, photographs, registered designs, maps, diaries and letters. The stories within these collections are both sweeping and personal, capturing narratives of individuals as well as the collective voices of communities.

Not everyone thinks archives are ‘for them’; at present, only 4% of the population visit an archive each year. Many people think archives are just for academics, or for tracing their family tree.

The Trust works to champion the value of archives by supporting the development of sector-leading exhibitions, touring displays, education programmes and community outreach activities. Through these programmes, the Trust aims to show that archives are for everyone and play an essential role in democratic society.