Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives will be temporarily closed to the public for approximately six months from 1 December 2018.
Cambridgeshire Archives, currently based at Shire Hall in Cambridge, will be moving to its new home in the former Strikes Bowling Alley building in Ely next year, and re-opening in the summer of 2019.
Alteration work has already started on the site, and the handover of the completed building to Cambridgeshire County Council is anticipated to be in June 2019 at the earliest. The move of the archives will take place as soon as possible after that.
The closure is necessary in order for all archives staff to be able to focus entirely on the essential cleaning, repackaging and data correlation work which is essential to prepare all the archive documents ready for the move.
All of the records in the Shire Hall basement need to be cleaned and properly packaged. If this work is not done in advance, the service runs a high risk of damaging or misplacing records during the move.
The new building is located within easy walking distance of Ely train station and town centre, and will contain a public searchroom, a conservation studio, a digitisation studio, and an archives cataloguing room.
The ultimate aim of the service is to create an archives repository which will enable Cambridgeshire Archives to remain a place of deposit for public records and achieve Archive Service Accreditation, the UK-wide standard for archive services. The Ely building will be a wonderful local asset to introduce many new users to the value of researching their local heritage, and attract families, school students and other visitors to the area.