Toggle mobile menu visibility

Latest news

A conservator sewing the binding of an old book

St Andrew's Hospital Patients' Indexes added to the Catalogue

Volunteers and staff have completed a project to index the case books for St Andrew's Hospital, near Norwich. St Andrew's was the asylum for Norfolk, accepting patients from across the county and beyond. We have added over 10,000 index entries to the Record Office's catalogue. They cover case books 1846-1923 (but please note that there are still access restrictions on some of the case books dating from 1908 onwards, and these have not been included in the project).

The case books give a wealth of information about each patient, which may include: age, occupation, residence, level of education, marital status, how many children they had, and a summary of their symptoms and treatment, with the outcome. Many case books also include photographs of patients. As such, they provide invaluable information to people tracing their family history, as well as to historians researching the care and treatment of people living with mental illness in the past. The case books are also used in the Change Minds wellbeing project, in which people living with mental health problems use their research into the case books to develop a deeper understanding of their own experience.

The new indexes will open up access to these fascinating documents. In the past, it has been difficult to locate the records for a particular patient. Many family historians, indeed, may never have realised that an ancestor had been a patient at the hospital. Now, people will find a reference to the case book entry when they search on a patient's name in our catalogue. They can then visit the searchroom to see the case book, or order a digital copy of the entry, via our online copying service.

For an example, see the index entry for Annie Standley in the catalogue. You can also browse the catalogue, by going to the series of case books for males and females 1846-88, case books for males 1898-1947 and case books for females 1885-1947, and navigating down to the individual case books and their index entries. Alternatively, try searching for the name of a patient on the catalogue, enclosing the name in double quotes (e.g. "Joseph Henry Wilson"). You can read more about St Andrew's Hospital and the case books on the Record Office blog.

We wish to extend our sincere thanks to all the volunteers who spent many hours indexing the case books.

The Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Past Present and Future exhibition

Tuesday 6 February - Friday 31 May. During The Archive Centre opening hours of 9.30am-5pm.

Exhibition showcasing a century of Norfolk Archaeological Trust's (NAT) work to secure, maintain and protect the county's archaeological sites. The exhibition features original documents from NAT's archives and other collections held at the NRO, archaeological artefacts which were found at NAT sites, from the Norfolk Museum Service collection, as well as copies of photographs from the Norfolk Historic Environment Record. Alongside this will be interpretations that illuminate the stories of the people and places involved.

Visitors will embark on a historical journey, exploring the remarkable achievements of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust over its first 100 years. The exhibition not only highlights past accomplishments but also sheds light on the crucial ongoing role NAT plays in preserving Norfolk's rich heritage. As NAT looks toward the future, the exhibition also emphasises the ongoing need for support to ensure its continued success.

It's a real collaborative effort with NAT volunteers providing research for the different themes, and the Norwich Young Archaeologists' club curating a part of the exhibition. This is a unique opportunity to delve into the past, appreciate the present, and support the future of archaeological preservation.

This event is part of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Its Centenary and Beyond Project (NAT 100 for short) which is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project is helping Norfolk Archaeological Trust, in partnership with Norfolk Record Office (NRO), to celebrate its first hundred years and improve its resilience for the future. Find out more about NAT's centenary project.

No booking required.

Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Its Centenary and Beyond

Norfolk is a county with a rich archaeological legacy and for the past 100 years the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) has been at the forefront of researching, recording and protecting these special places. NAT currently cares for ten monuments in the county. Together they tell the story of Norfolk's history over thousands of years.

On 31 July 2023 NAT celebrated its 100th birthday and with it the launch of a new project, Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Its Centenary and Beyond. Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will help NAT, in partnership with Norfolk Record Office, to celebrate its first hundred years and improve its resilience for the future.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will enable greater accessibility to NAT's archive, which will be catalogued and much of it made available online. Young people from Norwich Young Archaeologists' Club will also help develop an NAT exhibition to be displayed at the NRO, and will learn about research, curation and exhibition display.

Alongside this, a programme of events will take place at NAT sites, the NRO and online as well as archiving volunteering opportunities.

The Trust will also be working with the Historic Environment Record to digitise photographs and other material related to NAT sites so they can be made available online.

Contact for further details.

New exhibition of artwork from Change Minds: HMP Norwich

Staff from Norfolk Record Office and local artist, Ian Brownlie, worked with 18 men at His Majesty's Prison, Norwich. Men looked at inmates in Norfolk County Asylum in the 1890s, and prisoners in Norwich Prison during the same period. From this research both groups produced artwork for a small exhibition on display in the Long Gallery at The Archive Centre.

Updated opening hours

From 1 April 2023, our opening hours will be:

Tuesday-Thursday 9.30am - 5pm

Friday 10am - 4pm - for advance bookings to view manuscripts only.

Visiting on Fridays

Please email to book a place and order your documents. You may order four documents for the day. All documents must be ordered by 12 noon on the preceding Wednesday.

Due to limited staff availability on Fridays, you can only view pre-ordered documents. There will be no document collections during the day.

To view microfilms on Fridays, please go to the Norfolk Heritage Centre in the Millennium Library, Norwich, which holds copies of most NRO microfilms.

The new Friday arrangements will run for a six-month trial period.

Names of eighteenth-century adulterers and 'fornicators' now included on NRO catalogue!

Thanks to the efforts of our brilliant volunteers, the Norfolk Record Office has recently published new catalogue information for DN/CON 86. The new data describes punishments, known as penances, and usually public humiliation, to named individuals living in Norfolk and Suffolk. The most common crimes were adultery, fornication, and defamation. More than 1,200 names have been added to the catalogue and almost 700 catalogue entries. The project followed a generous grant from the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation to conserve two files of penance related documents.

7 November 2022

In early November 2022 we received over 100 volumes of minutes from South Norfolk District Council, going back to 1973 when the council was set up. They are currently being processed by our archivist and will be available to view in the searchroom in due course.