An exhibition marking 50 years of the Norfolk Record Office has officially opened. It charts the history of the archive service and features some of its most significant and unusual items.
The record office is the largest of its kind in the country outside London and has over 20 kilometres of shelving with artefacts dating from the 11th century to present day. Items on show include a 13th century manuscript from the archive of Norwich's Great Hospital and the late 15th century Norfolk Swan Roll, a parchment detailing 99 outline drawings of swans' heads showing marks of ownership and owner's names.
There is also a late medieval heraldic manuscript - a book or arms- and promotional material for confectionary manufactured in Norwich by Caley's, which later became Rowntree Mackintosh , and finally by Nestle.
The Norfolk and Norwich Record Office was originally housed in the Norwich Central Library building that was devastated by fire in 1994. Fortunately because it was in the basement very little was destroyed.
Dr John Alban, the County Archivist, said : The exhibition highlights the trials, thrills and successes of half a century's existence of Norfolk's House of History which has preserved Norfolk's archival heritage and has served the people and communities of Norfolk by making its wonderful collections available to everyone."
There will be a programme of free lunchtime talks to complement the exhibition which is in the Long gallery at The Archive Centre next to County Hall until May1st.