Official opening of new Cambridgeshire Archives at former Strikes bowling alley building in Ely

Archivists past and present attended the official opening of the new Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely.

Archivists past and present attended the official opening of the new Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely. From left to right: Councillor Steve Criswell, Cambridgeshire County Council’s chair of the communities and partnership committee, Dr Elizabeth Hallam Smith and Councillor Mac McGuire, Cambridgeshire County Council’s chairman. Picture: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Archivists past and present attended the official opening of the new Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely, where 855 tons of historical documents have already been viewed by 170 people.

The view from the gantry of the new Ely Archives Centre

The view from the gantry of the new Ely Archives Centre - Credit: Archant

The new home opened to the public at the end of last year following a refurbishment of the former Strikes bowling alley building.

Since then more than 170 visitors have been to the new centre, which is three times the number that used to visit Shire Hall in Cambridge over the same amount of time.

Dr Elizabeth Hallam Smith, the first female librarian of the House of Lords Library and a published historian unveiled a plaque alongside Cambridgeshire County Councillors on Thursday February 6.

Archivists past and present attended the official opening of the new Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely.

Archivists past and present attended the official opening of the new Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely. Picture: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Work to move 855 tons of historical documents including Oliver Cromwell's baptism record and the original 17th century maps proposing the draining of the Fens began in December 2018.


You may also want to watch:


The move came after an inspection by the National Archives which deemed the previous accommodation in the basement of Shire Hall as "no longer fit for purpose".

Councillor Steve Criswell, Cambridgeshire County Council's chair of the communities and partnership committee, said: "The opening of this new centre is a moment of pride for us. It's an exciting new facility that demonstrates both the high regard the council has for the heritage of the county and the value we place on delivering a quality public service to our communities."

Work on the roof of Ely Archives Centre

Work on the roof of Ely Archives Centre - Credit: Archant

Most Read

Councillor Mac McGuire, Cambridgeshire County Council's chairman, said: "The team have worked extremely hard on this project, spending many hours meticulously cleaning and packing up the county's precious archives ready to move as well as managing an extensive build programme and I'm extremely proud of what they have achieved."

The transcripts for the rest of the county will be at the Cambridgeshire Collection in Cambridge Central Library.

For more information about the archives centre visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/libraries-leisure-culture/archives/visit-our-archives

One of the pillars to support the roof at the new Ely Archives Centre at former bowling alley Strike

One of the pillars to support the roof at the new Ely Archives Centre at former bowling alley Strikes in Angel Drove. - Credit: Archant

The searchroom and reception area of the new Ely Archives Centre at the former bowling alley Strikes

The searchroom and reception area of the new Ely Archives Centre at the former bowling alley Strikes in Angel Drove. - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter