History of the Parliamentary Archives

Few visitors to Westminster, seeing the Victoria Tower rising at the south end of Parliament, realise its function. It was built in the middle of the 19th century by Sir Charles Barry for the safe-keeping of the historic records of Parliament, and it has continued to serve this purpose ever since. The story of these records is the story of the memory of Parliament.

Expert interviews

Expert interviews

A podcast explaining what the Parliamentary Archives do and the services they offer

The records

Early Acts, famous records. Find out more about some of the fascinating records in the Parliamentary Archives

The archives today

What have been the main changes to the archives in recent years?

Further your research

Further your research

The Parliamentary Archives has a fascinating history. Find the best sources on the subject to help you learn more

Key dates

Key dates

A chronology of the key moments in the history of the Archives, from the earliest records of the House of Lords in 1497 to the present

The Victoria Tower

Discover the real function of this famous London landmark: storing over 500 years of Parliament's history