History will inspire at archive centre open day

Brighton Maternity Hospital 1930sHUNDREDS of years of records will inspire visitors to The Keep when it throws open its doors later this month.

The world-class centre which holds archives from East Sussex Record Office, the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove Local History Collections and the University of Sussex Special Collections, some dating back more than 900 years, is hosting a free open day for families and people of all ages on Saturday, November 22.

Visitors will be able to view new collections, see how the conservators look after the documented visit behind the scenes, at the facility in Moulsecoomb.

Activities include talks on family history research and using the website, an exhibition of the documents acquired in the last year, storytelling and the chance for children to make their own Roman charm.

A variety of stalls will be running throughout the day including;

– Local project ‘History on your Doorstep’

– Family History Groups from across Sussex

– Historic Environment Record, which holds information dating from the Palaeolithic Period (c. 80,000 years ago up to 20th-century monuments)

– East Sussex World War One Commemorations Project

– Friends of The Keep

Activities recommended for adults:

Keep collecting – 11am to 3pm: Find out more about the collections that have become part of The Keep in the last year and discover the stories behind the documents.

Behind the scenes tour – 11.15am, 12pm, 12.45pm, 2pm, 2.45pm: Visit The Keep behind the scenes and see where collections are stored. (To be booked on the day)

Conservation workshops – 11, 12, 1pm: Meet the conservators, see them in action and try your hand at cleaning maps. Find out how to handle and look after paper documents, or bring your own items and get some advice on how best to look after them. (To be booked on the day)

Keep discovering – 12.15pm, 1.30pm & 2.30pm: Get an overview of how you can use the Keep, from registering to using a wishlist, ordering and making use of some of the website features. Also find out about how the systems work behind the scenes. (To be booked on the day)

World War I and family history – 11am: Find out how to trace World War I ancestors. (To be booked on the day)

Activities recommended for families and children aged 5 plus:

Be a conservator – 2pm: Try your hand at cleaning some of our treasures and find out more about looking after them. (To be booked on the day)

Keep storytelling – 12.15pm, 1pm & 2pm: Listen to stories of pirates, dragons and mischievous monkeys brought to life by our collections. (To be booked on the day)

Activity Trail – 11-3pm: Explore some of the treasures in our collections, pick up the clues you need to find the right answers to our trail.

Become a Mass Observer – 11-3pm: Dress up as a Mass Observer and explore materials from the Mass Observation Archive. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Make your own Roman charm – 11-3pm: Come and find out what a Roman bulla is and make your own.

Full details of the activities taking place on the day and more information about The Keep visit www.thekeep.info