It has been several months since we wrote about the closure of Brighton History Centre on this blog, but the start of a new year seems a good moment to remind you that our collections are once again accessible to the public in their brand-new home. After months of meticulous preparation and packing, we transferred our books, pamphlets and newspapers, periodicals, maps and ephemera, to The Keep, near Moulsecoomb. This fabulous new archive opened for business in November last year, after an official visit from The Queen, and we’re hoping that many friends of the History Centre will pay us a visit in 2014.
Although the physical environment couldn’t be more different – where Brighton Museum exudes historic character, The Keep is a sleek, contemporary building – visitors to The Keep will find the History Centre’s local and family history resources now sit alongside an enormous amount of fascinating complementary material held by East Sussex Record Office and the University of Sussex. So what else is new? Well, the number of computers available here should mean that no one ever has to wait for access to the Ancestry website again, while The Keep’s online catalogue and website mean users can search the collections remotely for the first time. Instead of referring people to archivists – and documents – based elsewhere, we are now working together, with all our resources under the same roof.
And we’re delighted to say that the Reference Room also offers easy access to all sorts of gems that were held behind the scenes in Brighton, including our much-loved pamphlet boxes. It has been an incredibly steep learning curve, but the future looks bright indeed.
For more information, have a look at The Keep website.
Kate Elms, The Keep