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

Reader Registration

Do I have to register?

Although you don’t need a reader’s account to use microfiche or film at one of our branches,  you will need one if you want to get a Reader’s Ticket to look at archival material and some local studies books. If you’re an online user you’ll find that the account is useful for managing your wishlist, saving your searches and requesting copies or digital downloads.

How do I get an account?

There are 2 options:

  • pre-registration
  • register at a branch


  1. Click on ‘Register’ in the top right of any webpage on the website or click here and complete the online registration form.
  2. Once you’ve completed the online form, you’ll be sent an email asking you to click on a link to confirm your registration. Check your spam folder if you don’t see the email in your inbox.
  3. A link in the email will direct you to a webpage where you can create your password.

You can then search for documents in our catalogues and order them so they’ll be waiting for you when you arrive at a Suffolk Archives branch.

Before you can see your ordered documents, you will need to complete your registration when you arrive at the branch. You’ll need to bring ID that confirms your name, permanent address and signature. A UK driving licence is ideal. We will then issue you with a new Suffolk Reader’s Ticket.

Register at a branch:

If you don’t pre-register then you can register when you arrive at one of our branches. You’ll need to bring ID that confirms your name, permanent address and signature. A UK driving licence is ideal.

Staff will direct you to a computer where you can complete the online registration form. After you have completed the form, you will need to return to the searchroom desk and present your identification. We will then issue you with a new Suffolk Reader’s Ticket.  You can then order documents using our online catalogue or the paper catalogues for those collections not yet online.

CARN Tickets

We will continue to accept existing CARN tickets as long as they are still in date or valid and have not expired as a form of ID to access documents in branch. We are not issuing new CARN tickets as the national system ended on 30 November 2018.  Customers should create an online Suffolk Archives account, and on production of valid ID we will issue them with a new Suffolk Reader’s Ticket.

What is suitable ID for a reader’s account and Suffolk Reader’s Tickets?

Your ID must show your name, permanent address and signature. If you don’t have ID that shows all three pieces of information a combination of documents from the list below is acceptable.  Any identity documents must be physical, original documents.  We do not accept copies, digital documents (including PDFs), or prints from a digital or online source.  We will accept a combination of the following documents:

  • driving licence – ideal ID as it shows name, address and signature
  • passport
  • bank card
  • credit card
  • national ID card
  • police/Customs/Home Office/warrant card
  • forces ID card
  • sea/Air Masters licence
  • Blue Badge (driver’s pass)
  • freedom pass photo card (this must have your photo and name embedded into the card)
  • utility bill
  • bank/building society statement
  • credit card statement
  • council tax bill
  • HM Revenue and Customs statement
  • passports with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • national ID card with address
  • driving licence with address
  • Home Office permit to stay
  • university certificate for hall of residence (stamped and signed by institution)
  • firearms licence
  • home insurance policy
  • international student photo card
  • pension, Benefit Agency or family credit letter statement
  • Student Loans Company letter

All bills and statements must have been issued within the last six months.  If you bank online, most banks will provide a paper statement on request for free or at a small charge, but please be aware that they might take several days to send a statement to you.  If you are usually resident overseas, your identification should show your permanent home address.  We will accept a bill or statement addressed to your spouse if your surname matches theirs.

When will my account expire?

Your account is valid for 3 years in the first instance. When your membership expires, you will need to bring identification with you when you next visit (as you did on your very first visit). Staff will then renew your membership.