Donating records

We take records of public and local interest regardless of age, condition or extent. We receive records from a variety of sources, including:

  • schools
  • industrial or commercial firms
  • private families or individuals

We do not normally take printed material, duplicates, documents which have no connection to Suffolk, family trees, research notes, works of art, objects or films; however, we may be able to advise on a suitable repository for such items.  Please contact the Collections Team before bringing in any such items.

Gifts and bequests

You can gift or bequeath your records to the Suffolk Record Office. This will mean ownership of your records will transfer to Suffolk County Council. This is the best method of preserving records and making them available for consultation or research.


If you make a deposit you retain ownership of your records and make them accessible by depositing them in the Record Office.

This is subject to the following conditions:

  • records should be deposited for at least 20 years
  • the Archivist has the right to return any document to the depositor

You can deposit items for less than 20 years in certain circumstances but this must be agreed with the Archivist and a charge may be made towards any storage, conservation or cataloguing work we have done on the collection. It is possible for you to convert a deposit to a gift or bequest at any time.


Please provide us with an electronic list of the items that you are bringing in. You will then be given a receipt for your deposit which will include a brief description based on the list supplied.


You can withdraw your records temporarily at any time. You must give a minimum of five working days notice and the records can only be kept for a maximum of three months.

You can withdraw records permanently by submitting a written request to the Archivist with a formal notice period of one calendar month. As part of this request Suffolk County Council may:

  • arrange for a microfilm or photographic copy of the records to be retained by the Council
  • require you to make a payment towards the cost of conserving the records while in our care


It is your responsibility to notify us of a change in address or change in ownership of the records.  Where depositors or their agents have not kept us informed of any changes in ownership or address and letters have been returned or go unacknowledged, archives will be presumed to have been donated to Suffolk County Council after a lapse of seven years.