Brighton's new archive centre The Keep holds open day

The Argus: Roger Foxwell of Newhaven at the open day Roger Foxwell of Newhaven at the open day

History hunters packed into Brighton and Hove's new resource centre The Keep as it held an open day.

Visitors arrived at The Keep in Moulsecoomb to dig through the archives for a host of reasons from adding branches to their family trees to finding out more about where they grew up.

The centre opened in November last year, but Brighton and Hove City Council held the open day to show people exactly what it was all about.

Isilda Almeida-Harvey, who organised the open day, said: “The feedback we’re getting is really positive – some of them used to use different locations and sources around Sussex before, but now it’s all here.

“Today is all about showing people what they can access, how they go about doing it and that this is a place for them regardless of background or where they’re from.”

Attendees were treated to four tours, three talks and a number of workshops.

Tom Canneaux, 69, from Brighton, was at The Keep searching for a photo of his mother.

He said: “I’ve done the family history for a long time and we came here after seeing an article in The Argus – it’s fantastic.

“There’s a fair bit on my family that I already have, but we’re hoping The Keep will be able to fill in those gaps.”

Roger Foxwell, 52, from Newhaven, said: “With it all being in the same place, it’s great.

“I attended the talk at 11am to get a better understanding of how the building works.

“It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for local people and for the community to come in and find out more on their family history or their areas.”

Fiona Courage, the University of Sussex’s special collections manager, conducted tours and was thrilled with the enthusiasm shown by the people she showed around.

Christopher Whittick, senior archivist, said: “It’s a great turnout and I’m pleased to see so many people here in this wonderful building.

“It’s designed with younger people in mind, with workshops like making books and how to use the online collection.

“Since we’ve been open we probably get about 60 people through the doors every day.

“The success of the building will be in how many people come here and how many people donate their treasures – if the stuff keeps coming in, we know we’re doing a good job.”

Robbie and Gill Bone were visiting The Keep to stay on top of their family tree.

Mrs Bone said: “I’ve been doing the family tree for ten years now and we’ve just come down to see what’s what.

“There’s an awful lot of stuff you can find on the internet, but we’ve been mislead a few times in the past.

“So to have the hard copies of all the history here is great – it’s a wonderful facility and we’re looking forward to coming back here a fair bit.”

The Keep is just off the A27 in Woollards Way, close to the Amex Stadium.

It is shut on Sunday and Monday and visitors need to register in advance to use the Reading Room facilities, for more information go to www.thekeep.info or call 01273 482349.

Comments (1)

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6:12pm Mon 3 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

What a great resource for the city. I look forward to cycling to it in the near future.
What a great resource for the city. I look forward to cycling to it in the near future. HJarrs

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