Author Topic: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew  (Read 3625 times)

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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I plan on going, partly out of curiosity, and partly for my research.  I'm fortunate to live reasonably close.  What can I expect?  I am sure there are staff(!), but how will I know how to do what I want to do?  I'd be grateful for any advice, and stories of your first visit.  I've read their web site.  I don't want to waste my time.

Martin

Offline nanny jan

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 12:17 BST (UK) »
There are plenty of staff around but sometimes there is a queue!

Check that the records you are interested in are there; some are held off site and need to be booked in advance.  For these you will need to get a ticket so check you have all the required ID with you on the day.
Make a list of what you want to see. Loose paper and pencils without erasers in a clear bag.

If you are not taking your own food......go early for lunch.

There are plenty of computers available. 

There is a bookshop;  useful for giving eyes and brain a break from searching/reading records.

It is a fascinating place to visit;  a first visit can be daunting......do your research so that you know what records you want to look at.

Enjoy!


Howard , Viney , Kingsman, Pain/e, Rainer/ Rayner, Barham, George, Wakeling (Catherine), Vicary (Frederick)   all LDN area/suburbs  Ottley/ MDX,
Henman/ KNT   Gandy/LDN before 1830  Burgess/LDN
Barham/SFK   Rainer/CAN (Toronto) Gillians/CAN  Sturgeon/CAN (Vancouver)
Bailey/LDN Page/KNT   Paling/WA (var)



All census look-ups are crown copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline greenrig

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 12:23 BST (UK) »
It's not so bad.  Number one tip is to PREPARE for your research. Have specific targets and aims; a random trawl through Kew will waste your time (and theirs)   Know what records are available on site.

Research the indices online before you travel - and record the items you want. Ask for the records you need and wait for them to arrive. Use plain paper and pencil to record. You may be able to get copies, or take your own photos - but ask & check.   

Be thorough, if you can't find what you want then look again, or check another source.    Be prepared to be there ALL DAY.   It's a great place and so rewarding if you hit your target.
NEILSON - Erskine/Bishopton, Renfrewshire and Glasgow
BROWN - Hamilton, Lanarkshire
CAIRNS - Hamilton, Lanarkshire
FINDLAY - Kirriemuir area, Forfarshire/Angus
PORTER - Tobermore, Derry, Ireland

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 12:39 BST (UK) »
Thank you for these and any future replies.  I'm treating it mainly as a day out, with no specific goals, except leaning.  I will report back in due course, as long as I don't get filed away.

Martin


Offline KGarrad

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 12:53 BST (UK) »
From my visits, I would say:

Get there early!
Get your Reader's Ticket first. (Have you applied online?)
Either have a wander around, or ask one of the friendly staff - they have manned Information Desks.
If you find something you want to look at, order it. Then go for a coffee!
Take your time - especially because you can visit reasonably easily.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Bookbox

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 12:59 BST (UK) »
I'm treating it mainly as a day out, with no specific goals, except leaning.

I think you will have a more rewarding day if you give yourself at least one specific task to complete, whether or not you manage to do it. That will give your day a focus. There is a limit to what can usefully be learnt by just wandering around and looking.

Check with the staff on the Start Here desk (1st floor) whether there is an introductory tour being offered on that day.

Offline StevieSteve

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 13:18 BST (UK) »
I agree with Bookbox, wandering around will achieve very little

I go with the intention of getting 3 things done.

If there's spare time after that, you can look up the images of all the familysearch records you've only got transcripts for, and top it off with some free 1939 searches.


Middlesex: KING,  MUMFORD, COOK, ROUSE, GOODALL, BROWN
Oxford: MATTHEWS, MOSS
Kent: SPOONER, THOMAS, KILLICK, COLLINS
Cambs: PRIGG, LEACH
Hants: FOSTER
Montgomery: BREES
Surrey: REEVE

Offline stanmapstone

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Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 13:45 BST (UK) »
Thanks Stan, I've read their web site.  I'm sure I will laugh at myself soon, as I am not usually intimidated by anything!

M