Archival Research Skills for Historians: Early Modern Programme

Course date(s): 
8 Apr 2013 to 12 Apr 2013
15 Jul 2013 to 19 Jul 2013
As of 11/02/13, both courses are full, with long waiting lists, and so registration is now closed.


The National Archives, in partnership with the Institute for Historical Research, is offering a series of week-long workshops for postgraduates on archival research skills for historians, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The workshops will provide you with the skills necessary to undertake effective and focused archival research, tailored to the current academic environment. By joining one of the workshops, you will learn about contemporary methodologies relating to record creation, explore a range of document types and their interrelationships, understand how to interpret and analyse source material, discover modern archival arrangements, and practice methods of locating available sources, both traditional and technologically innovative. The training will be delivered by specialists from The National Archives, the Institute of Historical Research, and East Sussex and Berwick Record Offices. All sessions take place at The National Archives, offering an unparalleled opportunity for guided interactive exploration of the largest and most varied collection of historic records in the world.

Places are limited. Priority will be given to AHRC funded students, but applications from all postgraduate students are welcome. This is a week long course, and attendance will be expected each day.

The workshops are free, and expenses will be covered, including accommodation (if required) at a hotel close to the National Archives in Kew, travel costs (up to a maximum of £75) and subsistence (up to a standard daily rate).

The workshops are divided into three strands: medieval, early modern and modern British. The early modern strand of the workshops will take place from 8-12 April 2013 and will be repeated on 15-19 July 2013. The programme is below.

For further information, please contact:


Course details

Monday 8 April – Introduction to TNA and its Catalogues

10.00-11.00   Registration and coffee

11.00-12.00   Welcome and introduction to TNA and its records

12.00-1.00     Cataloguing and TNA’s catalogues


2.00-3.00       Advanced features of TNA’s catalogue, Discovery

3.15-4.00       Datasets, digitisation, geo-mapping

4.00-5.00       Tour of building, and introduction to the paper finding aids



Tuesday 9 April – Archival Collections beyond TNA & some basic skills

10.00-12.00   Other electronic catalogues hosted by TNA

12.00-1.00     Local Record Office catalogues & holdings

2.00-3.00       Handwriting, OS and NS dating, regnal years, law terms, roman numerals, citing documents: folios, membranes etc

3.00-3.45       British History Online & other electronic resources

4.15-5.00       Handling documents: a refresher



Wednesday 10 April – Contemporary Structures and Records

10.00-11.00   Government: Overview of early modern government

11.30-12.30   Government: State Papers and State Papers Online


1.30-2.30       Law: equity courts

3.00-4.00       Law: common law courts

4.00-5.00       Church: Reformation and dissolution of the monasteries



Thursday 11 April – Thematic approaches: Material Culture

10.00-11.00   Sources for Material culture: wills, inventories etc  

11.30-12.30   The Wider World pt 1: Trade 


1.30-2.30       Maps and plans

2.30-3.00       Architectural drawings

3.30-5.00       Money Matters: Treasury, Exchequer, Hearth Tax



Friday 12 April – Thematic Approaches: Conflicts

10.00-11.00   The English Civil War

11.30-12.30   Jacobites


1.00-2.00       Recusants and nonconformity

2.00-3.00       Conflict in the countryside: Enclosure riots

3.30-4.30       The Wider World pt 2: War (State Papers Naval & Military)