Events Winter 2021/22

We are really pleased to bring you our winter programme, which includes a mixture of in-person and online events.

This time we have a number of special events to tie in with Christmas and the release of the 1921 census. Look out for our 1921 Census Event logo and the Celebrating Christmas logo for events in these series.

Please scroll down for more details.

Upcoming Events



History Talks

All our talks are available online via Zoom. Many of the sessions are also available in-person in The Archive Centre. Please click on the correct button below the talk to book for either the in-person or the online version.

All in-person events have been subject to a risk assessment and staff will be following COVID safe procedures. More details will be given on booking.

Edmund: King, Martyr, Saint

By Frank Meeres

Wednesday 24 November, 1pm

King Edmund, who died in 869, was one of the most venerated saints of medieval England.  In this talk Frank Meeres attempts to sort out what we really know about his life and death, and how the legends about him developed over the centuries.

Booking required, please use the links below.


The Duke of Norfolk’s Deeds at Arundel Castle: The Early Howard Inheritance in Norfolk

By Heather Warne

Wednesday 8 December, 1pm

By the early 17th century the Howard family’s adherence to the proscribed Catholic faith had lost them the Dukedom and most of their money. Compensated by a beneficial marriage to a Sheffield heiress, their activities became focussed only on their Sussex, London and Yorkshire estates. Outlying  properties in several counties began to be sold off. Among them, Norfolk contained the lion’s share. But the family’s archive ‘ keeper’, out of an antiquarian interest, held back all the earliest deeds in a series, thus creating the early deeds collections now held at Arundel Castle. Heather will tell us about the scope and content of this new volume of The Duke’s translated Latin deeds and the fascinating glimpse into medieval agrarian life and landscape it reveals.

Copies of Heather’s book, The Duke of Norfolk’s deeds at Arundel Castle, vol. 3: The Early Howard Inheritance in Norfolk, will be on sale for a reduced price of £35 after the talk.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Viking-Age East Anglia

By Richard Hoggett

Wednesday 19 January, 1pm

From the middle decades of the 9th century until the Norman Conquest, East Anglia was an integral part of the Viking world which spanned the North Sea basin. Drawing on historical sources, archaeological sites, artefacts and place-names, Richard Hoggett explores the evidence for the Viking presence in East Anglia, from the initial campaign of the Great Heathen Army and the martyrdom of King Edmund, to the subsequent settlement and integration under the Danelaw, and the second wave of raids on the region which took place in the 11th century.

Online only- Booking required, please use the link below.



The MP and the Astrologer: Rival Cultures of Witchcraft in the East Anglian Witch-hunts

By Danny Buck

Wednesday 9 February, 1pm

The Great Yarmouth 1645 witch-hunt brought together three contested visions of astrology.  Despite astrology being part of the fabric of the town’s life for the previous fifty years in court the MP Miles Corbet argued it was demonic con trick, while the defenders of the accused Mark Prynn declared it was a con.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Christmas Quiz

Wednesday 1 December, 7pm

Our popular quiz evening is back for a Christmas special. Pop on your Santa hats, grab your Christmas decorations and log on for an evening of fun questions from our quiz masters. We promise to bring the festival spirt with us! The quiz will last for around 90 minutes.

Booking required, please use links below



Reading from the Archives

Listen to a range of extracts from a variety of different documents to hear real life experiences of the rich and ordinary people of the past. Each session lasts around 30 minutes.

Ballgowns and Dinner Invitations

Friday 7 January, 11am

Celebrate the New Year in style by joining us to hear about the balls and dinners of the past. Experience the joy of attending some of the prestigious events of the past through the eyes of those invited, including the Lord Mayor’s Feast of 1778 and Lady North’s Poudre Ball in 1905.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Hearing History: The voices of Christmas Past

Friday 3 December, 10am

This special session of our popular Reading from the Archives event will explore Christmas traditions, and use sound archives to uncover memories of Christmases at the turn of the 20th century.

Discover the origins of popular festive traditions, and find out what was in the stockings of children over one hundred years ago through first-hand recorded reminiscences.   

This session will share sound recordings preserved at Norfolk Record Office by Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, a national audio preservation project chaired by the British Library and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Booking required, please use links below



Research Workshops

Our research workshops take place online and 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)

The online workshops are completely free of charge and include sources that you can access from home. Click on a date below to book.

Introduction to Family History

We give a brief overview on how to begin your family history using personal papers and give tips on interviewing relatives. For the main part of the session we concentrate on how to use census records, civil registration, and parish registers to find earlier ancestors.

Booking required, please use the 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. We concentrate on how to use electoral registers, marriage licence bonds and tithe records to find out more about your family history and trace some of those lesser known ancestors.

Booking required, please use the links below.



Introduction to House History

This session looks at how to uncover changes to the fabric of your building and find out about previous owners and occupiers. We demonstrate how to use a variety of maps, census returns, trade directories, and wills.

Booking required, please use the links below.



Tracing First World War Ancestors

With the release of the 1921 census the impact of the First World War may be shown greater than ever before. Initial reports state that a greater proportion of widows were recorded than in 1911, and 730,000 children were recorded with ‘Father dead‘. Whether the census indicates that an ancestor may have been been killed in action, or that they would have been at an age to fight, this session will help in your research. 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…

These sessions, which last around 30-45 minutes, provide you with tips and advice from members of Record Office staff.

Looking after your books and documents at home

Join Senior Conservator, Nick Sellwood, to find out how to look after the books and documents in your own home. Nick will explain how heat, storage and moisture can affect the condition of documents and the best places to store them to avoid future damage. Nick will be available at the end of the session to answer questions about your own documents.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Using our Online Catalogues

Our new online catalogues are being updated in October. This session explains some of the tips and tricks for searching for different documents, some of the new features and explains how to use the clipboard.

Booking required, please use the link below.



Mindful Mondays

Forget your troubles for 45 minutes, and join us for some colouring in. We’ll send you some images from our archives in advance for you to print at home. All you need to do is bring something to colour in with. On the day we will be ready to join you for some colouring in and friendly conversation.

You’re welcome to drop in and out at any point during the 45 minutes.

Booking required, please use the links below.



Yuletide Yarns: Reminiscence

Friday 10 December, 10am

From carols to Christmas stockings, decorations to dinners, what are your Christmas memories?

Join this informal reminiscence session to hear extracts from Norfolk’s sound archives, listening to first-hand festive memories from throughout the 20th century. Share your own Christmas reminiscences, or simply listen in for some nostalgic reflection. This session lasts for approximately 30 minutes.

This reminiscence session is hosted by the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage East of England Hub at Norfolk Record Office, one of ten UK wide heritage organisations working with the British Library to preserve rare and at-risk audio archives.

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Booking require, please use links below



Adult Craft

Grab your paper and pens and get creative with one of our adult craft sessions. We have 2 different types of sessions for you to enjoy this time, so choose one (or both) that suits you.

Crafting Christmas

Friday 12 November, 10am

This session will last for one hour and will include a chance to see some of our documents for inspiration before a tutorial on how to create a range of items to customise your Christmas. So pop some mince pies on your plate, put on some Christmas music and craft along as we guide you though how to make your very own Christmas crackers from scratch, create an origami star and make a paper wreath.

A list of materials you will need will be sent a week in advance.




Craft and Chat

Friday 26 November, 2pm

Join us for our first ever craft and chat event. Themed around Christmas you bring the craft to your electronic device along with a drink and have a chat to like-minded individuals while you craft along. You may even want to use one of the new skills you have acquired if you took part in the session above.

Booking required, please use the link below



Small Bites

Our small bites events showcase a particular type of document which may be useful in your research. We will explain why the records were created, how to access them and what to do when you find the document you require. We are running 2 sessions which focus on materials useful for fleshing out names you have found on the census.

School records

Friday 11 February, 11am

The latest census release asks individuals to complete information about their education. This session looks at records which show what the school building would have been like, and details about pupils themselves. We also look at closure periods for different types of documents and when you may be able to see certain closed records.

Booking required, please use links below.



Business Records

Tuesday 22 February, 10am

The 1921 census is the first to include a column for the name of people’s employers. Armed with this information you may choose to consult some of our business records. This session looks at different types of businesses in Norfolk, including large organisations, smaller family-run businesses and farming. We explains some of the different types of records you may come across and how to go about using them in your research.


Booking required, please use links below.