We are a non-ministerial department, and the official archive and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. We are the guardians of over 1,000 years of iconic national documents.

We provide reminiscence sessions based upon our photographic/visual collections. We also work with artists on projects to engage people creatively, often in partnership with other heritage organisations.

Specific projects for care settings

We work on various projects using our collections to aid conversation, reminiscence and storytelling, see examples here.

One example is Stories from the Streets, where we used photographs to stimulate reminiscence and poetry with fifty multi-national elders in housing associations in Berkshire and West London.

“This is the best thing that has happened here for a long time.. You brought light into the building, you brought people together.”

Project participant

Useful resources

Five Photos is an online resource designed to encourage people to engage creatively with our collections. It aims to provide a mindful, social or reminiscence-based activity for those shielding or in care home settings.

We have many thousands of photographs in our collection at The National Archives. The five images you see here feature scenes from Britain, Africa and the Caribbean, taken between 1926 and 1965.

We often work on projects with groups and individuals to learn more about the times and places depicted in our collections. Five Photos encourages discussion on popular themes, such as markets or music bands. We’ve produced a supplementary guide for helpers, with audio description for other exercises, offering further ways to make the activities multi-sensory.

You might like to talk about these photographs with a friend. You may be happy just to explore them by yourself. Either way, we hope you enjoy them.