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Learn more about art works that make up the Royal Collection

The Royal Archives

The archival collection reflects the changing world and the monarchy’s relationship to it, and contains, among its significant collection, the papers of the last Stuarts in exile, George III, George IV, and those of later monarchs and members of the Royal Family, including the correspondence and journals of Queen Victoria.

The Muniment Room, used by the Royal Archives in 1929

The Muniment Room, used by the Royal Archives in 1929 ©

Public Access

Household staff lists

The Royal Archives has made Royal Household staff lists from the seventeenth century to 1924 available on the genealogical website Find my Past.

Queen Victoria’s Journals

In 2012, the Royal Archives, in association with the Bodleian Library, made the journals of Queen Victoria available online. This service is freely available in the United Kingdom, and provides an excellent insight into the life and thoughts of the Queen during a period of tremendous change.

Current digitisation projects

Projects to digitise and publish the Stuart Papers, the Cumberland Papers and the Georgian Papers have begun. These papers are of great importance to historians of the long eighteenth century (1688–1830).

Access via other libraries and archives

Royal Archives material has also been made available via microfilm at the British Library, The National Archives, and some associated university and academic libraries. This includes the Stuart Papers, the Cumberland Papers, the Melbourne Papers, the Cambridge Papers, Victorian Papers regarding changes of government and European Foreign Affairs, and Cabinet reports, 1837–1916. Researchers are advised to consult either the British Library or The National Archives, as appropriate, for access to these papers listed above.

Published material

In 2014, the Royal Archives produced a book, Treasures from the Royal Archives, in commemoration of its centenary. In addition to this book, there are many published editions of correspondence held by the Royal Archives, some principal examples include:

  • The letters of Queen Victoria, which were published in nine volumes between 1908 and 1932.
  • The correspondence of George III and George IV.

The Royal Archives consists of several distinct groups of material.  Read on below to find out more:

Early material

The Royal Archives holds a small collection of Tudor and Stuart material

Stuart Papers

The Stuart Papers were acquired by George IV

Cumberland Papers

The military papers of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

Georgian Papers

These form the earliest surviving monarchs' papers in the Royal Archives

Queen Victoria's Papers

These extensive papers were one of the reasons for establishing the Archives in 1914

Wardrobe Papers and Royal Household Papers

Most records for the Household are stored at The National Archives

Twentieth-century papers

Official papers of monarchs from the early 20th century are also held