Heritage Science at The National Archives Activity Pack

The National Archives has created a family activity pack for home and in the classroom to showcase the heritage science and conservation research happening in their Collection Care department.

The activity pack was developed by the Collection Care and Education teams to celebrate British Science Week 2021. The intention of the pack is to act as a gateway to showcase heritage science and conservation research happening behind the scenes at The National Archives, in an accessible way. It is hosted on The National Archives' family activities webpages and is designed for home and the classroom.

In the packs you can find two activities: 'How to Make Berry Ink', where children can learn how to make blueberry ink and 'How to Make Invisible Ink', where children can learn how to send secret messages using lemon juice. The activities include recipes, instructional videos, and accessible PDF instruction posters. The webpages also highlight documents found in The National Archives' collection that link to the packs to show how scientific analysis can help us understand the materials that the documents are made from and increase the artefactual value of the collection.

For many children learning about historic documents this will be their first introduction to scientific research in an archive. The intention is that, through these fun activities and the accessible blogs that accompany them, children will learn about a different area of study within archives and inspire them and their families to learn more about heritage science.