March 2019

The Record Office has started its transition to create a reshaped service right across Suffolk:

  • 2 new Community and Learning Officers for the East and West of the county and a Volunteer Engagement Co-ordinator are already in post and engaging with a wider range and greater number of people.
  • Building work on The Hold – the new Heritage and Archives Centre – in Ipswich, being created as part of The Hold: A Suffolk Archive Service for the 21st Century, is progressing well. When it opens in Spring 2020, this new building will replace the existing Ipswich Record Office in Gatacre Road.

The Lowestoft and Bury Record Offices will remain open:

  • A reshaped service for north-east Suffolk will operate from the current Lowestoft Record Office space within Lowestoft Library.  This space will be refurbished and improved over the next 12 months to offer a more welcoming place for visitors to study, share and enjoy their local heritage.  Vulnerable collections will be transferred from the Lowestoft Record Office basement to The Hold’s strongrooms, built to the latest standards, once this new building is ready to accept collections.  The wealth of collections and materials currently available in the Lowestoft Record Office Searchroom, will continue to be available.  These will be augmented by former archive collections that have been reassessed and reclassified as local studies materials e.g. the Port of Lowestoft Research Society. The new space will have a staff presence for at least 30 hours a week.
  • The Bury Record Office ‘Outstore’ building will be vacated and the collections currently stored there (or their equivalent in size) moved to the purpose-built new strongrooms in The Hold when it opens. The main Bury Record Office building in Raingate Street including its strongrooms, will be unaffected and will continue to offer a full archive service as it does now – by storing, preserving, and giving access to archive and printed local studies collections.

A greatly enhanced programme of events, hands-on learning activities, exhibitions etc will also continue in the Bury and Lowestoft Record Offices, in the new Ipswich Centre and across the county. More information and digitised materials including exhibitions will be available online.