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

Suffolk Archives’ branches

Impact of COVID-19

You can read our full Coronavirus update here.


For branch contact details click on the relevant building.

Bury St Edmunds Record Office

Bury St Edmunds

Photograph of the Fore Street entrance to The Hold

The Hold, home to the Ipswich branch

Lowestoft Record Office, 1st floor in Lowestoft Library

Lowestoft [1st floor in Lowestoft Library]

Information and tips for getting the most out of your visit:

What should I do before I arrive?

Make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want to research.  Gather all your information together and use it to make a plan for what you want to look at during your visit.

Check which branch you need.  The roads in Suffolk mean that it can take a couple of hours to travel between branches so email or telephone us in advance to see if we have the records.

What should I bring?

Ideally you’ll need to bring:

  • paper or notepad
  • pencil (pens are not allowed in the searchrooms)
  • reminders of what you’re looking for
  • your reader’s ticket or ID if you need a new one

A laptop or camera may be helpful.  Availability of power sockets is limited due to the nature of the buildings and you will need to use a circuit breaker which can be issued on arrival.

Permits for self-service photography can be purchased on the day and you will be asked to complete a form recording what items have been photographed.

What do I need to do on arrival?

You will need to sign the searchroom register each time you visit one of the branches.

All bags, including laptop cases and handbags, should be placed in one of the lockers provided.  Please ask the searchroom staff for assistance if you have a bag which is too large for the lockers.

Details of how to use the indexes and catalogues and ordering documents can be found here

Using the searchrooms:

  • Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted in the searchrooms.
  • Tracing can only be done with the permission of a Searchroom Assistant.
  • Transcripts or microform copies should be used instead of the original documents where possible.
  • Books and documents should be handled carefully and nothing should be placed on top of them.