Thursday 13 June 2013

The Keep

Just a few weeks ago the East Sussex record office closed the doors of its home at the Maltings in Lewes and we have to wait until at least November for the new archive to open at the Keep near Falmer.  I was lucky enough to have a look around the new archive today and below are a few photos of what is to come.

There is car parking for about 40 cars (visitors will have to pay to park), there are good links to the bus services (bus stops to the far left of the photo) and Falmer station (there is a footpath from the archive to Falmer station)

The front entrance is very functional but I believe there is some more work to be done here.  The large white space (which is largely hidden behind the sapling) is designed as a large projection screen although this will only be in use on special occasions.

The reception desk.  Where you will be able to apply for your new East Sussex record office users card (no Carn tickets here!).  The first searchroom can be accessed without a users card but you will need one to get access to original documents.

Lockers and somewhere to hang your coats.  There are also toilets here - and for anyone who has used the new Kent History and Library Centre you'll be pleased to hear there is a ladies and a gents!

A communal area where you can eat your sandwiches and buy hot drinks from vending machines (not yet in place).  To the left of this space are the meeting rooms where events and displays will happen whilst to the right are the search rooms.

The first search room, accessible to everyone with open access books, computers for digitised materials (which includes much of the parish registers).
To the right of this room is the new library of the Sussex Family History Group.  When it is staffed we will be offering help and advice to researchers.

The secure searchroom.  To get here you'll need the East Sussex record office card and you'll be able to view original documents, photographs, maps and so on  - and there is so much space!

A section the users will not get to see - part of the 6 miles of shelving storing all that material in an ideal temperature controlled environment.

I am given to understand that the opening date is still planned for early November.  I can't wait!


  1. Truly lovely so far...and certainly needed.
    Donna TILLINGHAST Casey

  2. It is impressive, lets hope it lives up to expectations!