The National Archives – Treason

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ZMMA were appointed to the Exhibition Design framework for the National Archives in Kew. As well as designs for the current exhibition space, interventions throughout the public space help nurture a creative and welcoming learning environment in which audiences – ranging from the casual visitor to school groups, academics and researchers, for example – are encouraged to engage with the breadth of the collection and its stories.

‘Treason: People, Power & Plot’ was a major recent exhibition on the history of treason since 1352. This exhibition brought iconic and unknown archival documents to life, including the original Treason Act and the Monteagle Letter that tipped off the Gunpowder Plot.

From the most famous treason trials such as Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn and Charles I, to the cook who poisoned the porridge and the young girl tried as a witch, the exhibition showcased nearly 700 years of treasonous history.

The collection spans more than 1,000 years of national history and holds millions of individual and collective memories and stories, contained in iconic and everyday documents, records and objects. The new displays employ creative approaches to displaying and interpreting these objects to reveal the stories behind and between them.