Society archive set to go public

IPSWICH Building Society has presented is extensive collection of archive material to the Suffolk Record Office. The society, whose history began with the formation of the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society in 1849, has been employing an archivist to document its records for the past 20 years, with the result that they should be available to researchers at the Ipswich branch of the Record Office in the near future.

IPSWICH Building Society has presented is extensive collection of archive material to the Suffolk Record Office.

The society, whose history began with the formation of the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society in 1849, has been employing an archivist to document its records for the past 20 years, with the result that they should be available to researchers at the Ipswich branch of the Record Office in the near future.

Much of the material was found in 1988 inside two trunks which had remained abandoned for many years in the basement of the society's former head office in Upper Brook Street.

With the collation of the documents now well advanced, at the society having recently closed its former HQ, the decision was taken to hand over the collection on permanent loan to the Record Office.


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Paul Winter, chief executive of the Ipswich, said: “We have an extensive archive containing many items of local interest, which reflect the 160 years the society has been providing the people of Suffolk and beyond with a safe place to invest their money and the opportunity to buy their own land and property.

“The transfer to the Record Office means the collection will be accessible to the people of Suffolk.”

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Rosie Clarke, Suffolk County Council's assistant portfolio holder for adult and community services, who received the documents on behalf of the Record Office, said the material represented a “valuable addition” to the county's archives.

“The items are a valuable part of our social history, as so many of the streets and estates with which we are familiar are based on these plots of land drawn for lots,” she added.

“I am sure these archives will be of great interest, not just to those researching the history of their house, street, community or family, but for people who love the story of how our streets and towns were formed.”

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