Record office gets top marks

SUFFOLK Record Office has been awarded top marks in a national assessment for its annals of information charting the history of our county and its people.

SUFFOLK Record Office has been awarded top marks in a national assessment for its annals of information charting the history of our county and its people.

Based in Ipswich with offices in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, the office carries material dating back to the 12th century as well as up-to-date information on local authorities, churches, estates, clubs and societies.

The National Archives assessment granted the office a four star rating, deeming the Suffolk County Council service 'excellent' and likely to improve further.

The news comes during a boom in the amount of people choosing to research their family history by re-using public information and local records.


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The council's culture and heritage chief, Councillor Lisa Chambers welcomed the results of the assessment, saying: “Today's result is a tribute to the commitment and work of our highly trained staff as well as the army of dedicated volunteers. Well done to those involved in making it happen and to all the people who use the record office branches.

“Whatever aspect of Suffolk you want to look into, the record office contains all kinds of material there to help you from parchment manuscripts to CD's and online resources.”

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The result puts Suffolk's Record Office in the top ten percent in the country, following an investment of nearly �400,000 from the county council in an automatic gas fire extinguishing system, air conditioning, flood prevention measures and CCTV.

The council's director for adult and community services, Graham Gatehouse, said: “The assessment recognises the investment put into the service. It is also a significant triumph for a small band of highly committed professionals who run such an impressive service which has now been recognised as being at the top of its profession.”

Some interesting facts about Suffolk's Record Office during 2007:

31,678 customers visited Suffolk's three Records Office branches

36,027 items were produced

19,175 post, fax, e-mail and telephone enquiries

627.25 paid hours of research

50 exhibitions/displays were mounted.

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