The Keep to be opened on Royal visit

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will officially open The Keep on Thursday 31 October.

The Royal party will visit The Keep, a new historical resource centre for East Sussex, the University of Sussex and Brighton & Hove which will open to the public next month. 

The Keep will eventually house over six miles of archives and resources dating back 900 years. The Queen will meet staff and volunteer groups before unveiling a plaque to mark her visit.

Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for East Sussex Peter Field said: “The Keep now houses the history and heritage of our County and I am sure that Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will be extremely interested to view some of the items, and really pleased to meet staff and volunteers.”

East Sussex County Council leader Cllr Keith Glazier said: “This is a significant project which represents considerable investment by the council and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council, the University of Sussex and many volunteers across the County.

“We are thrilled that Her Majesty The Queen will officially open the facility, it is wonderful to get such a high level endorsement of the project.”

Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Jason Kitcat said; " I am delighted that The Queen is coming to Sussex and will be opening the Keep. The completion of this outstanding resource for the city and East Sussex is a reason for celebration in itself. The Keep is a wonderful public facility and I’m very proud that Brighton & Hove City Council is one of the partners in this development.”

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, says: “The University of Sussex is proud to be a partner in creating this remarkable new resource for the region.  It is a fitting home for our internationally-acclaimed Special Collections, which include the Mass Observation Archive and original manuscripts of Virginia Woolf and Rudyard Kipling.  This will open up even wider access to this unique material and enhance the leading research and scholarship we sustain at Sussex for the future.”


Over the past few months curators have been moving and installing thousands of items from the city and East Sussex. It includes around 350,000 items from the Royal Pavilion & Museums and archives from the University of Sussex including the Mass Observation and Kipling Archives.

The Keep is a major partnership project between East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Sussex. The new facility will offer state of the art storage for archives and excellent visitor facilities. Uniting the complementary resources of the three partners will mean greater public access and the opportunity for more collaborative learning and engagement activity using these collections.

Items moving from Brighton History Centre include local history ephemera, photographs, glass plate negatives and lantern slides, oral history recordings and topographical prints, newspapers, microfilms, and some rare books.

The project has involved discussions with current Brighton History Centre users. This consultation has highlighted the need to retain a resource in the city and as a result, coinciding with the closure of Brighton History Centre, an improved service is being developed at the Jubilee Library.

Brighton & Hove City Council will maintain a city centre facility for local and family history study at Jubilee Library, in addition to those provided at other city-wide libraries.

The council intends to keep the Brighton History Centre space in public use for displays. There will be public consultation about future use of the room, which is likely to remain closed until early 2014.

For more information about The Keep go to

For more information about the Royal visit go to