The Suffolk Archives statement on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its services is available to read here.

Service Transformation at Suffolk Archives

We are excited to be bringing an ambitious project to Suffolk, which will transform the way we engage with archives.

Set to open in Spring 2020, “The Hold: a Suffolk Archive service for the 21st Century” will create a new, flagship heritage facility, to care for and showcase our county’s records and collections. It will bring locally and nationally significant exhibitions to all Suffolk Archives branches, state of the art research facilities and more access than ever before to digital collections.

The countywide activity plan which comes hand in hand with The Hold building, enables us to deliver many more archive related events, learning activities and digital programmes across Suffolk, meaning more people can truly connect with Suffolk’s unique and fascinating history than ever before.

As part of the transformation, building refurbishments will be taking place. The information below sets out the details of when and where work is being carried out to transform the Suffolk Archives service.

Ipswich Archives

On Monday 2 March, we started the final preparations for moving archive material from Ipswich Archives to our new bespoke facilities at The Hold, located within Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront. This work involves securely packing and wrapping unique and irreplaceable items to protect them during the move.

This means the current Ipswich Archives building, located on Gatacre Road, Ipswich is now closed.  The collections will be available to view in The Hold from Spring 2020.

Telephone and e-mail services will continue to operate as normal and our offices in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, which provide access to many popular countywide family and local history resources including parish registers up to 1900 and trade directories, will remain open whilst this work is being carried out. Click here to plan your visit.

Lowestoft Archives

In February 2020 we upgraded the existing Searchroom in the Lowestoft Library building.

As part of this work, we have created an audio/visual space where visitors will be able to view digital images of prints and engravings, glass plates and photographs, and online exhibitions. They will also be able to listen to oral history sound recordings.

On Tuesday 3 March the service re-opened in a transformed Searchroom space. Preparations to move vulnerable material to new bespoke strongroom facilities at The Hold have now begun, meaning that some collections will not be available to view until The Hold opens in Spring 2020.  Click here to find out which collections are available to view in Lowestoft.

Bury St Edmunds Archives

The Bury St Edmunds Archive temporarily closed from Wednesday 15 to Wednesday 29 January inclusive to allow for much needed redecoration to be carried out in the building.