Global Events: Suffolk Stories

We are delighted that The Hold has just opened to members of the public with its inaugural exhibition – Global Events: Suffolk Stories. This exhibition explores how the Suffolk community has responded to different international events throughout history. Focusing on the arrival of American service people during the ‘Friendly Invasion’ of WW2, the rising tensions and public messaging of the Cold War period, and the collective community response to COVID-19 during 2020. The exhibition runs from 2 October 2020 to 10 January 2021. Booking is essential. Find out more information here: Global Events: Suffolk Stories

RAF Lakenheath

COVID-19 impact

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, all branches of Suffolk Archives are currently closed. More information can be found on their website: https://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/suffolk-archives-coronavirus-update/

In terms of the impact on The Hold, excellent progress with the construction work had been made before the lockdown occurred, but unfortunately work had to completely stop at the end of March. Work should be starting again week commencing April 27th, using appropriate guidelines and social distancing measures. Suffolk Archives currently expect the building to reach completion over the Summer, but this is subject to change as there may yet be further developments or restrictions introduced by the government.

As well as construction work being delayed, the lockdown has delayed the preparations to move staff, equipment, furniture and collections into the building. It is not possible to estimate exactly when this work may resume again, but Suffolk Archives hopes staff will be able to access and use the building alongside the University at the beginning of the new academic year in September, depending on the COVID-19 situation. It is still very hard to set timeframes for public access, as this will be dependent on government guidance regarding the relaxing of the lockdown, gatherings of larger groups of people, and social distancing recommendations. Suffolk Archives will post updated information to their website as it becomes available, so be sure to visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk

interior The Hold - photo: R G Carter
photo: R G Carter

Life in Lockdown

In these unprecedented times, Suffolk Archives is seeking volunteers to help them capture a record of life in Suffolk during lockdown. Whether that’s keeping a diary, spotting fake news, scrapbooking, or recording your social distancing experiences, they want to preserve your contributions to create a permanent collection of this important period in history. Visit their website to find out how to sign up and contribute https://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/life-in-lockdown/recording/

records in storage

Latest photos from The Hold

Work on The Hold is now mainly focussed on the inside of the building, which is really coming together. We had a sneak preview of the site recently and the look and feel of the building is more and more apparent.

Suffolk Archives Foundation launches ‘Make your Mark’ campaign to support The Hold

To mark the topping out of The Hold Suffolk Archives Foundation is today launching its ‘Make your Mark’ campaign to encourage public support for the project and through this give Suffolk’s colourful past an exciting future.

Funds raised will go towards meeting remaining construction costs at The Hold and the fitting-out of the interior of the building to the high standards that visitors from all walks of life deserve.

“The Make your Mark campaign provides an opportunity for people across the county to get involved in The Hold right from the outset. We really hope anyone with an interest in local history will want to add their names to a specially crafted donors’ book, which will be kept and displayed at The Hold. “This book has been hand made by local company Owl Bookbinding and it will itself become part of Suffolk’s historical archives,” comments Peter Gray, Chair of the Suffolk Archives Foundation.

Those wishing to support the Make your Mark campaign can do so by:

  • becoming a supporter, for £20, which enables them to sign the donors’ book at special signing ceremonies, OR
  • becoming a friend, for £100, which enables them to sign the donors’ book, and also gives them an invitation to the main launch event. In addition they will receive a commemorative brick in recognition of their donation.

    Names of a lucky few supporters and friends will also be chosen at random and appear on a donors’ wall inside The Hold.

    Anyone wishing to sign up for the Make your Mark campaign should visit the Make Your Mark page on this website

Suffolk’s Musical Innovators

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.

ST MARY LE TOWER CHURCH, IPSWICH
THURSDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2018
20.00 – 21.30

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

Concert poster

National Lottery funding approved for ‘The Hold: a Suffolk archives service for the 21st century’

A National Lottery grant of £10.3m to create a flagship heritage centre for Suffolk and transform people’s access to their archives, is announced today.

The money, awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will see the completion of The Hold beside the Ipswich Waterfront and launch an exciting and people-focused future for Suffolk’s archive service.

More than just a building project, The Hold is about engaging people right across the county and beyond with Suffolk’s archives and heritage. Vital to the project is an exciting programme of events, activities and learning opportunities, which will enable existing and new audiences to explore 900 years of archival material and share Suffolk’s treasured stories.

The Hold will offer a bespoke home for the majority of Suffolk’s unique archival collections, as well as state-of-the-art public facilities and teaching spaces for the University of Suffolk. Some of these unique archives will be put on display in the exhibition area for the first time, making it much easier to view records in the new centre.

The Hold is expected to attract thousands of visitors each year, seeking to research local history, find out about their families, or to take part in events and activities. Even more people will access these stories online and through new digital programmes. The project will also offer school groups and adult learners positive and stimulating learning experiences.

The total cost of the project is expected to be £20m. The county council has pledged £5m for the building and the university, £1m. The project team previously secured development funding of £538,000 from the HLF, bringing the total National Lottery funding to £10.8m and a grant from the prestigious Wolfson Foundation. Further fundraising by charity the ‘Suffolk Archives Foundation’ will also support the project.

Councillor Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Public Health and portfolio holder for Heritage, said: “We are delighted to receive this National Lottery funding and it’s fantastic to see the project we’ve worked so hard for being brought to life.

“The Hold project will enable us to deliver many more archive-related events, learning activities and digital programmes than we can currently offer across the whole county, whilst completely transforming our ability to care for and showcase our county’s records and collections. This means more people will be able to connect with our wonderful collections than ever before.”

Tim Greenacre, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Suffolk said, “The University is delighted to be hosting The Hold, and this award is testament to the hard work of all those involved in developing the project. The Hold will deliver exceptional facilities for all those interested in exploring Suffolk’s heritage, alongside some outstanding new teaching and conference space for the University.”

Andrew Rowe, Managing Director of Concertus, said: “This is going to be a huge benefit to the people of Suffolk and we are delighted to have been involved from the beginning of the project as project managers and technical advisors.”

East Anglia based construction company R G Carter has been confirmed as the building contractor for the project. The company has experience of delivering award winning archive, heritage and educational buildings, as well as working on confined sites in congested locations. Building work will begin this Spring and The Hold is scheduled to open by the end of 2019.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.

heritage lottery logo

BBC Radio Suffolk – April 2017

Broadcast on 10 April Lesley talks to Steve Gilbey about Mapping Suffolk’s Stories project. This project recognises the national and international relevance of the Record Office’s collections. It will use the engaging nature of historic maps as a starting point for uncovering the unique stories about the people, places and events of our county, often hidden in the archives.

Map of Orforde

The programme will see the Record Office, aided by the University of Suffolk and a group of teachers, working alongside communities to explore and promote their local heritage to new regional and national audiences.

Some groups will focus on the initial stimulus of historic maps; others in the same locality (including schools) will use the maps and new research to learn more about where they live and create contemporary responses to it.

The project’s results will be available to national audiences through an exciting, interactive mapping feature.

Mapping Suffolk’s Stories will act as the template for a new way of working for the Record Office – delivering outreach and education “out there” in communities, rather than just relying on activities delivered in branches.

It is hoped that the Hold will play a pivotal role in this project.

BBC Radio Suffolk – March 2017

Broadcast on 13 March with Bridget and Louise joining Lesley in the studio. Louise talked about a seven year old boy who was an African slave given into the care of a vicar in Lowestoft. Bridget spoke about the Ipswich office with its nine miles of shelving. Bridget also identified some records held that were relevant to women’s history month, and managed to slip in a mention of The Hold.