Suffolk Archives Foundation

The Suffolk Archives Foundation exists to support the Suffolk Record Office in its work to protect, preserve and promote 900 years of unique historical collections. Right now, we are excited to be helping deliver the vision for a new heritage centre for Suffolk, being developed in partnership by Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk.

Called ‘The Hold’, the centre will be purpose-built to store, display and interpret the county’s treasured archives and make them accessible to all. Situated on Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront, it will have a major impact in the transformation of the county town of Suffolk. But the project is about much, much more than just a building – it will be the engine for a countywide programme of learning, events, and activities that will engage more people with Suffolk’s archival collections.

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map - from the archives

Supported by volunteers, we undertake a wide range of activities to assure the preservation, accessibility and recovery of Suffolk’s nationally and internationally significant archives for everyone.

Fundraising Concert


An evening celebrating Suffolk’s rich, musical history from the 18th Century through to the 20th with works by Gibbs, Handel and Britten. This candlelight concert features Eboracum Baroque and the Tower Chamber Choir in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary Le Tower Church, Ipswich.

Please join The Suffolk Archives Foundation for an evening honouring the 18th Century Baroque composer and Suffolk music celebrity Joseph Gibbs. Celebrating the release of their new CD, compositions by Gibbs will be performed by Eboracum Baroque featuring Violinist, Alice Earll. Additionally, learn more about Gibbs the composer and enjoy a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia by the Tower Chamber Choir. There will also be songs and arias performed by the tenor, Jonathan Hanley including works by Handel and Suffolk folk songs. The concert also falls on St Cecilia’s day, the patron saint of music.

This exciting fundraising event is in support of The Hold. Located within Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront, The Hold will house the bulk of Suffolk’s nationally and internationally significant archives. It will be the engine for a transformed, audience-focused service reaching out to diverse communities in Ipswich, the county and the nation, through its activity and digital programmes, engaging people in new and exciting ways.

20.00 – 21.30

Doors: 7:45pm
Carriages: 9:30pm
Tickets: £15 (under 16s gratis) from
Guest performers: Jonathan Hanley, Alice Earll, and the Tower Chamber Choir
Proceeds to: The Suffolk Archives Foundation

The Hold

The Hold logoAs mentioned above, Suffolk Record Office has an ambitious project to develop a new heritage centre, in partnership with the University of Suffolk, called ‘The Hold’. The project is supported by heritage organisations across Suffolk and in April 2018, received funding support (see news item) from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The success of the project relies on additional fundraising from a range of sources and the Suffolk Archives Foundation is proud to be helping with these efforts, as our first major project.

Artist's impression of the entrance area of The Hold

The Hold received planning permission in January 2018 and all being well, the building work should commence in the Summer of 2018, with the building opening its doors by the end of 2019. Just in time for the 900th anniversary of the oldest document in the collection, the Eye Charter!

More information about The Hold, including the project’s background, can be found on the Suffolk Record Office website here.

Heritage Lottery Fund logo
The Hold has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.