Events July – October 2022

Upcoming Events


In Person Events

Behind the Scenes Tour

£7 per person

We are really pleased to be able to run our popular behind the scenes tours once more. Visit the Conservation Studio to see where our documents are repaired, experience the atmospheric conditions of the Strongroom where we store our collection, and see a display of original documents. Tours last approximately 90 minutes.

Please note the tour on Monday 12 September will be free of charge as it is being held as part of Heritage Open Days. Tickets for this special tour will be released on 22 August.

Booking required, please use the links below



School Holiday Activities

Each activity will include information from the archives followed by a craft activity to create something you can take home with you.

The sessions will run for 90 minutes.

Discover Norwich Cathedral

Children enjoying their visit to Dippy on Tour at Norwich Cathedral. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

£3.50 per child. Adults are free, but spaces need to be booked. Aimed at children 5-11, children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Find out about the history of Norwich Cathedral – how and why it was built. Spend some time as a Monk, taking part in activities and dressing up. Learn about the Normans and have a go at arch building. Finally consider some of the art within the Cathedral and design your own stained-glass window to take home

Booking required, please use the link below


Future Inventors

£3.50 per child. Adults are free, but spaces need to be booked. Aimed at children 5-11, children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

In 1935 W Watting drew a picture of what Norwich may have looked like in 100 years time. His picture, including landing tower for aeroplanes, monorail to the houses and blocks of flats around the outskirts of the city, forms our inspiration for this session. Take a look at some of the real proposals for Norwich, including a flyover on Carrow Road, and a number of variations for City Hall, before grabbing the lentils, fabric, cork, paper other materials and create a collage of a future building or invention.

Also during this session help us to create a large scale map of the Norwich of the future by inventing a building to go on it. The finished map will be displayed in the Long Gallery during Heritage Open Days in September.

Booking required, please use the link below


Animal Masks

Take inspiration from animals in the archives to create your very own animal mask. Use a range of materials to create feathers or fur. What will you be?


Booking required, please use the link below. Bookings open on Monday 3 October at 9am.



Work Experience: Introduction to Archive Research

Are you studying history or a related subject and in years 10-13 at school? Are you considering a career in heritage? Would you like to study a heritage subject at university? Then you may like to join us for our one day work experience session.

The day is based around a number of practical sessions in order to gain experience of working as a conservator, digitising documents and the role of an archivist. you will get a chance to catalogue documents, work with original material, make packaging materials and have a go at cleaning one of our documents.

Due to the hands-on nature of the event spaces are limited. Please book using the link below



Norwich 2222!

Visit the Norfolk Record Office to see a collage of what Norwich might look like in 200 years time, as created by children during our school holiday activities.

The collage is available to view during The Archive Centre opening hours (see link below for more details). No booking is required.



Maharajah Duleep Singh: Norfolk’s Princely Family

Monday 4 July to Friday 30 September

Over 150 years ago the last Emperor of the Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh made East Anglia his home when he purchased the Elveden Estate near Thetford on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. For a century his family continued to reside in the region, from Old Buckenham, Hockwold, Blo’ Norton, Breckles and Walcot.

The family’s legacy is still present today, from the Ancient House Museum which was donated by Prince Frederick, to the numerous Norfolk churches he saved from closure and restored. He went on to join the Norfolk Yeomanry and later served in the First World War, and even erected War Memorials for those who fell. The Princesses were not only active Suffragists supporting the rights for women to vote but the youngest Sophia, belonged to the renowned Suffragettes, and gave a gift of over 200 portraits of Norfolk worthies to the Town of Thetford from the family collection.

This exhibition looks at the lives of this extraordinary family, with artefacts and objects loaned from the renowned collection of Peter Bance who has spent 25 years amassing this largely unseen archive which will go on display for the first time. Highlights include the Maharajah’s velvet Indian Jacket, his Purdey shotgun with which he shot thousands of game at his Elveden Shooting parties with the Prince of Wales, textiles and wearing apparel of the Princesses, the family ’s photograph albums and personal intimate letters.

Exhibition open during The Archive Centre opening hours (see link below for more details). No booking required.



Hybrid Events

John Cruso at the Norfolk Record Office

By Christopher Joby

Wednesday 20 July, 2pm

‘To mark the publication of ‘John Cruso of Norwich and Anglo-Dutch Identity in the Seventeenth Century’ (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2022), Dr. Chris Joby will give a presentation on the book and on documents in the Norfolk Record Office archives that he consulted in writing the book. The story of Cruso, whose family name was immortalized by Daniel Defoe, is an interesting one as it illustrates how a second-generation migrant could integrate into and contribute to English society in the early modern period.

If you attend the event in person you will have the chance to ask Chris questions and view some of the archival material that he used in writing the book. You are welcome to join us online for the talk element of the event.

This event is a fundraiser for Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation and we ask attendees to make a donation upon booking. Suggested donation £5 per person. Tea and coffee will be available.

Copies of Chris’s book are available for a reduced price of £48.75 until 31 August 2022. Please visit the Boydell and Brewer website and use code BB135.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Dr Richard Bright: The Man Behind the Discovery of Bright’s Disease

David Parker conserving documents in the sink

By Yuki Russell and Frank Meeres

Tuesday 13 September, 2pm

Join Yuki Russell and Frank Meeres to hear more about Dr Richard Bright, a British physician whose use of bedside observation and chemical research enabled him to diagnose Bright’s disease. In 2017 a 5-year project began, funded initially by the Wellcome Trust, and then the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust and private supporters, in which staff worked to conserve nearly 600 of his letters and 13 notebooks held in the Norfolk Record Office. These letters had not only been far too fragile to open, but any movement of the box they were in was likely to cause further damage. Yuki will explain the processes involved in enabling members of the public to see the content of these letters for the first time in 150 years, before Frank explores the content of the letters and what it tells us about the man himself.

Booking required. Booking opens on 22 August.



History Talks

Maharajah Duleep Singh: Norfolk’s Indian Royals

By Peter Bance

Wednesday 6 July, 1pm

An enthralling talk to compliment the Norfolk Archive Centre’s new exhibition on the Duleep Singh family, to be given by the eminent author Peter Bance on the life of East Anglia’s most famous Royals who lived at Elveden, Old Buckenham, Breckles, and Blo Norton.

Prince Duleep Singh was only 11 years old when his kingdom of Punjab was annexed by the East India Company and surrendered the famous Kohinoor diamond. He was exiled to England where he chose East Anglia as his home and where his family resided for almost a century.

Peter Bance will be sure to keep you captivated with anecdotes of the Duleep Singh’s with unseen Victorian photography from the family’s personal albums and give an insight to this fascinating family of Historians, Archaeologists, philanthropists to Suffragettes. A talk not to be missed!

Peter Bance will be appearing on Channel 4 and BBC Antiques Roadtrip this summer

Booking required, please use the links below.


Punishment of Whoremongers, Adulterers and Fornicators: Penance Records in the Norwich Consistory Court Archive

By Jonathan Draper

Wednesday 21 September, 1pm

Thanks to the support of the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation, and the help of a team of volunteers, the NRO has recently conserved and catalogued a box of eighteenth-century penance records. Relating to the punishments given by the main church court in Norfolk and Suffolk, they provide a wonderful insight into the relationship between the established church and the lives of ordinary people. As a result we now have a greater understanding of how the church courts worked and have uncovered many interesting stories.

Booking required, please use the links below.


Online Events

Research Workshops

Our popular online workshops continue for anyone who is new to research or in need of some pointers. they include:

  • A talk on how to use Norfolk sources for your research
  • A chance to ask questions
  • A workbook containing workshop notes and a practical activity
  • A chance to view some of our Website Tutorials explaining how to use various websites to locate and access the documents mentioned (these are also available via our YouTube channel)

Introduction to Family History

We will begin by talking you through using personal papers and interviewing relatives in order to make a start on your family history. Next we will show you how to use census records, civil registration, and parish registers to continue with your research.

Bookings required, using links below


Advanced Family History

If you have already attended our family history session or have plenty of experience of tracing your family tree but don’t know where to go next, this session is for you. In this session we delve into electoral registers, marriage licence bonds and tithe documents.

Booking required, using links below.


Introduction to House History

Find out how to trace the history of the fabric of your building using historical maps and modern maps before using census returns, trade directories, and wills to find out about your properties previous owners and occupiers.

Booking required, using links below.


Tracing First World War Ancestors

If you have found that your ancestors were in the military, this session is for you. We will look at how to access and use the census, absent voter lists, medal cards and attestation papers.

Booking required, please use the links below:



How to…

Use our Online Catalogues

Since our new catalogue launched 18 months ago many people have been able to find documents more easily than ever before. If you are struggling to use it, or feel the need for some additional tips join us for this 45 minute session. We will explain how to use set searches, how to carry out an advanced search, and how to place and retrieve items on the clipboard.

Booking required, using the links below.


Mindful Mondays

Join us for 45 minutes of mindfulness. Take a break and relax whilst colouring in some (copies of) pencil drawings from our archives. All the colouring in sheets are emailed to you in advance, you just need to bring the colouring pencils and a cup of tea! Feel free to drop in and out at any point during the 45 minutes.

Booking required, using links below.


Archive Ambulation- A Stroll through Norwich’s Past

Wednesday 27 July, 10am

Join us on Norfolk Day 2022 to find out about the lives of some of the people living, working and playing in Norwich in the past. Find out about the nurses, factory workers and publicans and how their stories intertwine with Norwich’s rich history.

This event forms part of Norfolk Day 2022.


Around the World in 80 Documents

Monday 10 October, 10am

North America

Find out exploration and colonisation in North America, about the people who emigrated there, and see some of the roles and jobs that those living in both the United States of America and Canada undertook in the past.



Reading from the Archives

The Effect of Inventions on Norfolk

Join us for this special edition of our Reading the Archives event for Heritage Open Days 2022. Following this years theme ‘Astounding Inventions’ we are concentrating on how inventions changed the lives and shape of Norfolk. We will look at how the invention of the stream train lead to the coming of the railways in 1844, how the steam packet allowed people to travel to Norfolk by a different means, and how the invention of the aeroplane lead to Norfolk having 14 United States Army Air Force bases during the Second World War.

Booking required. Booking opens on 22 August.