Dereham’s history collection to be relocated to new archive centre

Dereham Antiquarian Society is relocating to the town centre. Picture Dereham Antiquarian Society

Dereham Antiquarian Society is relocating to the town centre. Picture Dereham Antiquarian Society - Credit: Archant

An antiques museum has announced it will be moving to a dedicated room within Dereham's town council offices, to be known as the Dereham Archive Centre.

Picture: Dereham Antiquarian Society

Picture: Dereham Antiquarian Society - Credit: Archant

The Dereham Antiquarian Society said the relocation to the archive centre is one of the society's 'most critical moments' and it will help to make the collection more accessible to the public.

It is currently based at a unit on Rash's Green and a date for the move has not been confirmed.

Dr. Wade-Martins said: 'We are very grateful to Breckland District Council for providing the unit on Rash's Green for many years and also to Dereham Town Council for being so helpful to accommodate all our needs in the new room.'

The society was founded in 1953 and in February it celebrated its 65th anniversary. Since its foundation, is has amassed thousands of artefacts, documents and photographs that cover all aspects of Dereham life and the surrounding area.

Picture: Dereham Antiquarian Society

Picture: Dereham Antiquarian Society - Credit: Archant


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The collection includes a rare set of archive copies of the Dereham and Fakenham Times from its first 1880 edition.

The newspapers have become a valuable source of information for local researchers and the move to the centre of town will make them a lot more accessible.

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A spokesperson for the society said they are 'very grateful' to Archant for placing the historic newspapers in their care.

Along with conserving and recording evidence of Dereham's history, the society runs Bishop Bonner's Cottage as the fully accredited town museum. It houses a huge range of items linked to the town's history, including exhibitions of the history of Hobbies and Dereham's 'Lost Scientist', William Hyde Wollaston.

Residents can become members of the society, which will give them the benefit of regular newsletters and opportunities to attend monthly talks at the Trinity Methodist Hall.

Forthcoming talks include subjects ranging from mediaeval church graffiti and the Roman fort at Swanton Morley to old photographs of Dereham and elementary education in Victorian Norfolk.

Details on how to join the Society, volunteer, or to find out how the move is progressing visit the group's website,

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