The Keep, based in Falmer, is the county’s archive centre. Here, you can research your family or house history, or learn more about local history with special talks and archive collections.

Check out what’s on offer this January and February 2020 at The Keep. Whether you’ve visited before or would like to and don’t know where to start, there’s something for everybody.

Welcome Wednesdays! Drop-in service for first-time visitors

If you have never visited The Keep before and would like a helping hand getting started, why not pop in to one of our monthly ‘Welcome Wednesday’ drop-in sessions? From 10.15am-11.15am, The Keep staff and volunteers will be on hand to offer a brief introduction to the reference and reading rooms, support with initial registration and some simple first steps to explore the online catalogue.

The sessions take place on the first Wednesday of the month. There’s no need to book.

Heritage Film at The Keep

It may come as a surprise, but the General Post Office (GPO), had a pioneering film unit in the 1930s. As part of our programme of archive film screenings, The Keep is showing Love Letters and Live Wires, a series of short films that brilliantly evokes a revolution in mass communication. Newly restored by the British Film Institute, the collection includes the iconic Night Mail, and covers everything from the introduction of the post code to the GPO’s role in smoothing the path of true love.

The screening will take place on Wednesday 29 January at 2.30pm and tickets cost £3.50. Advance booking is essential.

Love Letters and Live Wires.

Love Letters and Live Wires. Photo credit: BFI

The Cultural History of Stress

‘Modern life is so much more stressful than in the past!’  How often have you heard this?  But is it really true, or do we just use ‘stress’ as an easy explanation for a multitude of ills? In this talk, author and historian Dr Jill Kirby will explore how people understood and explained their responses to the troubles of life, before the concept of stress existed. You’ll also find out how the experiences of Mass Observers in the late 20th century illustrate the changes to work, consumption and everyday life that have helped make stress ubiquitous today. Book your seat for The Cultural History of Stress.

Behind-the-scenes tours

On  Friday 14 and Saturday 15 February, we will be running tours of our archive building, so if you’d like to see what goes on behind the scenes, now is your chance! You’ll find out about the history of the building, plus what you can do in the reference and reading rooms.

The tour will then take you to the conservation, audio and digitisation studios, as well as the repositories, where archives are stored in temperature-controlled conditions. At the end, there will be an opportunity to view a display of original material from our collections.

Tours start at 10.30am and last one hour. Advance booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited.

Behind the scenes in the repository room.

Behind the scenes in the repository room.

Interested in researching your family history? Check out these great tips: How to research your family tree.

Find out more about The Keep.