Registered Charity No. 288042
Helping to preserve Suffolk’s archival heritage
The Friends of Suffolk Record Office were formed in 1983, when they played a key role in raising £250,000 to buy the Elveden manuscripts, now held at the Ipswich branch. As a registered charity, our twin aims are first, to promote the records service provided by the County Council, and lobby on its behalf, and second, to facilitate the acquisition and conservation of archival material of relevance to the historic County of Suffolk.
Since our formation, the Friends have purchased many other fine archives for the Suffolk Record Office. In many cases these might have been lost to the county without their action. For instance, we saved the Burrell collection of First World War military photographs, the manorial records of Waldringfield and the Shrubland Hall photographic collection. With others, we have acquired, for the Suffolk Record Office, the Iveagh collection of manuscripts, the Joan Corder collection of East Anglian heraldic manuscripts and material from the Ickworth archives. We have also purchased many single items that have appeared on the market, such as the day book of a Layham blacksmith and a minute book of the Cosford Poor Law Union. Please visit our what we do page to see images of some of the outstanding items we have secured for the county.
Regrettably, as values for historic material rise, so does its appearance in salerooms, and raising funds becomes more difficult. We have made grants to purchase equipment to supplement that from the County Council, as well as now contributing to funding professional cataloguing of material. Many of the Friends volunteer active support too, be it conservation tasks, indexing or labelling, and helping the professional staff.
APPEAL FOR FUNDS FOR “THE JOHN BLATCHLY LOCAL STUDIES LIBRARY” AT THE HOLD
THE HOLD is Suffolk Record Office’s ambitious project to develop a new flagship heritage facility and a reshaped Record Office service, located within Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront. The project is supported by heritage organisations across Suffolk and has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To play their part, the Friends of the Suffolk Record Office have stepped in to help create one key aspect of the vision – a library of Suffolk books, bringing together the printed history of the county in all its aspects. It will be named after one of many historians who have contributed to our understanding of our county’s past, Dr John Blatchly. Our target is £100,000 to build and fit out “The John Blatchly Local Studies Library” in THE HOLD. Further information and details on how to donate are given in our special leaflet which can be downloaded here.
Dr John Blatchly