Appointments at Suffolk Archives

All Suffolk Archives branches will be operating a booking system to help safeguard our staff, volunteers and customers.

This includes continuing to maintain social distancing, good ventilation, increased cleaning, and handwashing/sanitation. Customers and staff are requested to use face coverings within our buildings, especially when moving around and during face to face conversations.

For the latest updates regarding Coronavirus, please see our Coronavirus update page.

Opening Hours from 14th December

Ipswich
Local Studies [John Blatchly Library]
Ipswich
Archives [Invigilated Searchroom]
Bury St EdmundsLowestoft
Tuesday10.30-16.3010.30-16.3010.00-13.00, 14.00-16.0010.00-15.00
Access typeBrowsing access Appointment onlyAppointment onlyBrowsing access
Thursday10.30-16.3010.30-16.3010.00-13.00, 14.00-16.0010.00-15.00
Access typeBrowsing accessAppointment onlyAppointment onlyBrowsing access
Friday10.30-16.30ClosedClosed10.00-15.00
Access typeBrowsing accessClosedClosedBrowsing access
Saturday11.00-15.3011.00-15.30Alternate -11.00-15.0010.00-15.00
Access typeBrowsing accessAppointment onlyAppointment onlyBrowsing access

For appointments on Thursday 30th December, Tuesday 4th January & Thursday 6th January, we will need customers to book their seat and items by Monday 20th December.

Browsing Access – The John Blatchly Local Studies Library in Ipswich [The Hold] and Lowestoft

Our local studies libraries at Ipswich [John Blatcly Library] and Lowestoft are open for browsing from 14th December.

We strongly recommend that customers continue to book their desk/seat as these are limited to maintain social distancing and we may not be able to accommodate your visit if you do not book in advance. Seats will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. You can book your desk here – Please use this form to book your desk. We are only taking individual bookings so each person visiting will need to submit a form.

Items on open access are available to browse though customers can still order these in advance. Items that are not on open access will need to continue to be ordered in advance. Please email – [email protected] for more information.

Archive appointment days

Please use this form to book your appointment

To view archives and material not on open access customers will need to continue to book in 1 week in advance and can book up to 10 items to view.

Appointments are available to view archives at the following dates and times:

Ipswich [Invigilated Searchroom]

Tuesday and Thursday [Appointments are staggered to allow customers to arrive at 5 minute intervals within the first 30 mins of the start times]

  • 10.30-16.30 up to 8 people/spaces available in total.

Saturday [Appointments are staggered to allow customers to arrive at 5 minute intervals within the first 30 mins of the start times]

  • 11.00-15.30 up to 8 people/spaces available in total.

Bury St Edmunds

Tuesday and Thursday

  • 10.00-13.00 (Increasing the morning booking slot by 1 hour) up to 5 people/spaces available in total
  • 14.00-16.00 up to 5 people/spaces available in total.

Alternate Saturday [4th and 18th December, 2021 and 15th and 29th January 2022 ]

  • 11.00-15.00 up to 5 people/spaces available in total.

At Ipswich, customers can go in to the John Blatchly library and bring books back to their desks in the invigilated searchroom. Please do not remove any archives from this room. Any books brought in here need to left on your desk when you leave.

We are taking bookings up to the end of January 2022. 

We can only take individual bookings; if you wish to visit with someone else you will need to book two appointment slots. In order to maintain our current Covid restrictions this involves having separate seats, different sets of items, and we ask that you maintain social distancing throughout your visit. If you are visiting with a personal assistant, please let us know when you book so we can ensure space is available for the extra person. If you bring a personal assistant to your appointment without letting us know in advance, we may be unable to accommodate your visit.

Before requesting your appointment you will need to register on our website here and make a note of your Reader ID. Please also read our Coronavirus Visitors Charter.

If you are ordering archives you will need references for the items you wish to view. If you do not know the references or wish for some guidance on available archives on your research subject please email [email protected] or contact the branch before requesting an appointment.

Book your appointment here.

A member of staff will be in contact to confirm the booking or if that appointment is unavailable offer the next available slot. Please do not attend the appointment requested without this confirmation.

For appointments on Thursday 30th December, Tuesday 4th January & Thursday 6th January, we will need customers to book their seat and items by Monday 20th December.

What to expect when you arrive?

When you arrive at you will be asked to put you items in a locker/tub. Please only bring what you need for the appointment as lockers are limited.

If you are looking at original archives you will be directed to a staff member at a desk who will check your ID (for list of acceptable ID please check here). If you are visiting our local studies libraries at Ipswich [John Blatcly Library] and Lowestoft you will be given a card with a number for the desk you are assigned to sit at – currently this will be until we close for that day.

You will then be directed to your assigned desk – staff may not be able to help you initially as they check everyone in for the archive appointments. For those attending an appointment to view archives your first items will be waiting for you to start. 

Weights and cushions will also be on your desk if appropriate for your items. If you require additional weights and cushions please ask a member of staff. A limited supply of these will be avaialble in the John Blatchly Library and Lowestoft.

Photography Permit and Photocopies

A photography permit is available and will cost you £5 for your appointment. We can only accept card payments to pay for this. Please ask a staff member if this is a service you wish to use.  You will need to complete the photography permit form in your box. Please leave this on the desk once completed.

We are unable to provide photocopies of items during your appointment.

Please ask a staff member for guidance on photocopying and how to request this service. Any photocopies of items you viewed during your appointment will be posted to you at no additional cost.

What to expect when you leave?

Please leave local studies materials [books/maps/microfiche/microfilm] on the desk you were sat at. These will be collected and the desks cleaned when you leave ready for the next person.

For those viewing archives please return these to the member of staff at the desk.

When you leave the John Blatchly Library or Lowestoft please had the staff member the card back so they know to clean and get this ready for the next customer.

Please leave promptly at the end time.

For more information on the facilities available please click on the relevant branch- Bury St EdmundsIpswich and Lowestoft.