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

Suffolk Archives Coronavirus update

16 July 2021

As England moves to Step 4 of the government roadmap to ease restrictions, Suffolk Archives has taken the opportunity to review the safety procedures in our branches.

From Monday 19 July we will maintain our existing safety and booking systems, 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.

The Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft branches of Suffolk Archives are open to the public using an appointment system and COVID-19 safety procedures trialled last autumn.

Appointments are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Saturdays (starting on Saturday 8 May). Appointment times are 10am – 12pm (both branches), and 2pm – 4pm (Bury only). There are three customer slots per appointment. Bookings should be made by phone or email at least one week in advance. For full details please see the individual Bury St Edmunds or Lowestoft re-opening pages.

The public areas of The Hold on the waterfront in Ipswich – the shop, café, exhibition gallery, and archive inspired displays – are open to visitors. Travel information and opening times are available on The Hold webpage.

The Ipswich branch of Suffolk Archives will open to the public at its new home in The Hold from the beginning of September 2021. This will include the John Blatchly Local Studies Library and the invigilated searchroom.

The appointment system and COVID-19 safety procedures in place at the Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft branches will also be implemented in Ipswich. Appointments in Ipswich will be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Appointment bookings and document reservations will need to be made in advance and full details regarding how to do this will be made available on the Suffolk Archives website.

All three Suffolk Archives branches have received the VisitBritain Good To Go Mark in recognition of the processes we have implemented to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Remote research and digitisation services at the Lowestoft and Ipswich branches are unavailable until the move of archives has been successfully completed. Enquiry, research, and digitisation services provided remotely from the Bury St Edmunds branch remain unchanged.

There is no change to the services users can access online; they can still browse the website and search the catalogue, as well as purchase and download already digitised images. Further information is available on our Using the Website page.

All our plans are formed in line with current government and Suffolk County Council guidance and as such may have to be revised should further changes occur.

We will continue to update this page as and when anything changes, or new information becomes available