All About Suffolk Record Office

Looking at some of the ways ‘The Hold’ will excite new audiences about Suffolk’s rich history

Last month we introduced you to our project to develop a new heritage centre for the county in partnership with the University of Suffolk., with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Called ‘The Hold’, the centre will be located beside the Waterfront at the heart of the University campus. It is expected to bring visitors from far and wide to enjoy our unique archival collections, reflecting the rich heritage of Suffolk and its place on the national and international stage.

But a new building will not be enough to interest new people in history and our wonderful collections. That’s one of the reasons we’re developing a programme of events and activities jam-packed with ideas that will attract a wide range of audiences to archives—not just at The Hold, but across the whole county!

From resurrecting recipes from the archives (see Dr Oliver’s recipe for Bath Biscuits, right!) and travelling exhibitions, to “Locked in The Hold” nights and collections-inspired music events—some activities will kick off before the building work for The Hold has even started; others will only begin once the building opens its doors. In all cases, the aim is to offer a mixture of colourful, interactive, fun activities and thought-provoking, high-quality, learning experiences.

Between now and November we’ll be piloting a few ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. Watch out for news of forthcoming pilot work with:

Suffolk Mind at Quay Place

Exploring the heritage of this wonderful church with Mind’s volunteers, to map its story and explore how archives can help promote positive mental wellbeing.

the brain injury association ‘Headway’

Using heritage to help people with neurological injuries expand and build on their memories, using pictures and stories from the archives.

Pupils and staff at Northgate High School

Helping pupils from diverse backgrounds research and map-out their families’ stories as newcomers to Suffolk, and documenting their experiences in the community

….and much more to be developed!

Our Activity Plan will also include many new ways for people to volunteer with the archives, including helping at events, helping with exhibitions, guiding and greeting visitors—all the while learning new skills, meeting new people and having fun!

What do you think would attract you to visit The Hold? What might encourage you to use archives generally? Some of you may have already given us some ideas of the events and activities you’re interested in — as we’ve been consulting and researching since October last year! If not and you have some thoughts, we would love to hear from you! Please contact: