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The e-newsletter of the Sussex Family History Group

The Keep to open on 19th November

The move of over six miles of archives from East Sussex Record Office, and its outstores, into The Keep - the new historical resource centre for East Sussex and Brighton & Hove - has now been completed.

This followed the barcoding of the containers of archives - 85,000 from the Maltings alone. All new archive material brought into The Keep can be cleared of damp and insect infestation by being vacuum packed and put in a freezer at minus 40 degrees Celsius.

It has just been confirmed that The Keep will open on Tuesday 19th November. Located in Woollards Field, Moulsecoomb on the north-eastern outskirts of Brighton, The Keep will enable the public to trace local and family history through documents dating back nine centuries.

The state of the art building brings together archives from Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, the Special Collections of the University of Sussex (including the Mass Observation Archive) and the Sussex Family History Group library. Further news can be found on the County Council's website at

The new dedicated website for The Keep will soon go live at This will include a catalogue of all the collections, an online ordering and booking system and online reader registration. There will also be an inventory management system to manage the location and production of the archives.

Library on the move

Our Sussex Family History Group library in Lewes has now closed pending the move to our new home at The Keep.

Volunteers will be assisting with the move, to be completed in sessions, on the five Wednesdays during the month of October. This will involve much lifting and carrying of boxes of books whilst, at the same time, negotiating the narrow stone stairs at St Michaels Church House.

Ruby Anniversary

The Anniversary Social Evening, for members and their partners, is on Saturday 12th October at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath.

During the year we are running a Family History Competition. The final closing date is the 31st October.

Our flagship Sussex Marriage Index CD is, for the rest of this year, available from our bookstalls at the special anniversary price of £18.37 (plus the usual postage & packing and credit/debit card surcharge on mail order purchases).

There is more information about these celebratory activities on the website and in the Sussex Family Historian.

Come and see us

There are three more events that SFHG's bookstall and help desk will be attending this year.

On Sunday 20th October we'll be at Storrington Museum for their Family History Day, 10am to 4pm. The museum is at The Old School, School Lane, Storrington, RH20 4LL. Admission £2.

On the same day we'll also be at Hastings & Rother FHS's Family History Fair. This is at the Stade Hall, The Stade, Rock A Nore Road, Hastings, TN34 1FJ from 10am to 4.30pm. Admission £2.

Then, the following weekend, on Saturday 26th October it's West Surrey FHS's Open Day. This takes place at Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9BA from 10am to 4.30pm. Free admission.

If you're in the vicinity of these events do come along to see what SFHG, and the other participants, have on offer.

Closure of Colindale Newspaper Library

As anticipated for some time, the British Newspaper Library at Colindale in London will finally close on 8th November 2013. The Newspaper Library will then move into its new purpose built archive at Boston Spa in West Yorkshire where specialised storage and conservation facilities will be available. Access to digital or microfilm copies of newspapers will then be available in a media room at the British Library at St Pancras.

BL's online database of digitised newspapers the British Newspaper Archive was initiated with a view to Colindale's eventual closure and in order to preserve the original newspapers. Many public libraries will be taking out, or already have, subscriptions to the BNA which their readers can access online at home via their library cards. The BNA is also available via a Findmypast subscription.

New initiative for One-Place Studies

The interest in 'one place genealogy' was mentioned in an early issue of SussexLink. Recently launched is the Society for One-Place Studies, a not-for-profit organisation for individuals and societies with an interest in family and local history.

The aims of the society are to encourage and assist those involved in one-place studies and to advance the education of the general public in these types of studies. Their website shares good practice, ideas and methodology, promoting the research principles and problem solving techniques required in historical and genealogical research on a particular locality. The committee members are situated around the world and the society has members who represent studies in eight different countries.

The cost of membership is £10 per annum with the option of registering your place of interest for a further (one-off) £10 fee per study. This can be a road, hamlet, village, town, or whatever! The society provides an online study profile and a dedicated email address for registered studies.