Duke of Gloucester sees 'significance of past' as he opens The Hold
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Suffolk's historic treasures were put on show as part of an official opening of The Hold by the Duke of Gloucester
The archive has been open to the public with its Brick History event for the past few months, but has now been officially opened.
On arrival, the Duke was greeted by a number of dignitaries including Suffolk’s Lord Lieutenant, Clare, Countess of Euston, as well as a line-up of civic guests, before a tour by Kate Chantry, strategic manager of Suffolk Archives.
The Duke was shown treasures from the Suffolk Archives collections spanning 900 years of Suffolk’s history, including the oldest document - a Charter of King Henry I granting churches and property to the monks of Eye Priory from around 1119 - and the newest; contemporary collections of Black Lives Matter protest placards from earlier this year.
As well as these items, archivists had also placed out a copy of the East Anglian Daily Times from 1989 which charted a previous visit of the Duke's to Suffolk.
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"It's a great pleasure for me to come to Suffolk," he said, speaking to the assembled guests.
"I think we have through hundreds of small bits of information an insight into the past that we have never had before.
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"It will only work if you have a wonderful central clearing house like this one.
"Which will enable people to figure out what they want to know and how they want to find out about it.
"So the mystery of the past can be exposed. So the whens and whos of history can be turned into the hows and the why? So we can work out the significance of the past and how it affects our future."
He completed his visit by unveiling a new plaque outside of the new building.
The Duke thanked those who had brought the collections together for people to access and congratulated them on their fundraising for the building.
Graham Newman, chairman of Suffolk County Council, said: "This is recognition of a project lasting more than 10 years to deliver a Suffolk Archives service for the 21st Century, and it has been a great occasion to show off this wonderful building, the work we do and some of the treasures in our archives."