Suffolk Record Office

Based in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft, the Suffolk Record Office holds an amazing range of information about the history of Suffolk and its people.

Some of the records we hold go back to the 12th century, but not everything is old.  You'll also find items from recent times relating to individuals and a wide range of organisations, such as the County Council, local authorities, churches, chapels, estates, schools, hospitals, businesses, families, clubs and societies.  We preserve them all - from parchments to CD-Roms - and keep them safe for when you want to see them.

Latest News

  • Cabinet to consider options for the future of Suffolk Record Office

Options for an enhanced Suffolk Record Office service will be considered at Suffolk County Council's Cabinet meeting on 1st July as part of a longer term strategy for preserving, collecting and providing access to the recorded history of the County. Each of the options being presented addresses the projected shortfall in storage capacity within the current record office buildings. In addition, the options shape the way for further heritage services collaboration through shared working with University Campus Suffolk. The papers can be viewed from this page


  • Suffolk Record Office Opening Hours Consultation

Suffolk County Council was delighted with the quality and quantity of responses (533) received which demonstrated the interest of users, owners of archives, partners and stakeholders in the future of Suffolk Record Office. The majority of those who responded felt the proposals would bring positive improvement (65.5%). They supported closing one day a week to free resources to improve the online accessibility of catalogue information and digitised materials, welcomed the improved Saturday offer and had no overall objections. The figures indicate that only a small number (28) would experience problems with closing on a Wednesday to refocus resources on modernising the service enabling many more people to make use of and enjoy our collections. Respondees also supported the proposal to open later, although some felt not opening until 10.00 was too late and suggested closing earlier as an alternative. We have listened to their ideas and will therefore be looking to implement opening each branch of the Suffolk Record Office for 35hrs a week from 9.30-16.30, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We anticipate changing to these opening hours by 1st October, following the normal processes, including consulting staff. This includes reintroducing a full archives production service on Saturdays.

Suffolk Heritage Direct

Explore an amazing range of material about the history of Suffolk and its people.  Suffolk Heritage Direct (external site) is a fully searchable and interactive catalogue from the databases of the Suffolk Record Office, Britten Pears Library, some museums and Archaeology Services.  It includes images of objects, artefacts, photographs and documents, resources for teachers and lifelong learners and key contacts for heritage organisations.

Useful links

Which branch of the Suffolk Record Office do I need?

Ancestry (external site - Ancestry Library Edition can be accessed for free from computers in Suffolk Record Office branches but not from home)

Find My Past (external site)

19th Century Newspapers (external site)

Online reference resources (external site - for other subscription databases such as Who's Who and the Dictionary of National Biography)

Local studies books (external site - can be found on Suffolk libraries catalogue)


What is in the section

A Sporting Chance

Survey of sports records in Suffolk in 2012

Continue reading A Sporting Chance…

Buy a Print

Welcome to Buy a Print - a service which offers a range of attractive prints selected from our collections for you to buy.

  1. Buy A Print: Suffolk Towns and Villages
  2. Buy a Print: Country Animals
  3. Buy a Print: Fruit and Flowers
  4. Buy a Print: Information on ordering, sizes, price, delivery and the terms and conditions
  5. Buy a Print: Military prints
  6. Buy a Print: Suffolk Churches
  7. Buy a Print: Suffolk Maps
  8. Explore Buy a Print further

Contact Suffolk Record Office

Where we are and how to get in touch

  1. Bury Record Office
  2. Ipswich Record Office
  3. Lowestoft Record Office
  4. Explore Contact Suffolk Record Office further

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Be part of history...

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Details of courses, talks, walks and workshop sessions arranged by the Suffolk Record Office

  1. Archives Explored
  2. Courses
  3. Free Events at Lowestoft
  4. Free events at Bury
  5. Free events at Ipswich
  6. Hands on History Sessions
  7. Talks and Walks
  8. Explore Events further


Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Suffolk Record Office

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Friends of the Suffolk Record Office

The Friends are people who use the Record Office, or who wish to help in its work of preserving Suffolk's incomparable archival heritage.

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Holiday Opening Hours

Details of the Suffolk Record Office opening hours during holidays

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How to use the Suffolk Record Office

Information about leaflets, online catalogues and other resources that will help you when using the Suffolk Record Office.

  1. Leaflets and Resource Lists
  2. Local studies collections
  3. Military Archives
  4. Online Catalogues
  5. Recent accessions
  6. Explore How to use the Suffolk Record Office further


Services provided by Suffolk Record Office

  1. Copying Services
  2. Free Searchroom services
  3. Parish register copying service
  4. Research service
  5. Explore Services further

The Record

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad

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Family history

Guidelines on how to trace your family history

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Which branch do I need?

Guidance on which branch you need for your research

Continue reading Which branch do I need?…