Over many years, Girlguiding Norfolk built up a large archive of historically important items connected with Girlguiding. The collection, however, had no permanent home and access was limited, so in 2005 discussions began about possible alternative arrangements. Many ideas were considered, until in 2015 it was decided to invest in a building where the items could be properly stored and displayed. A fundraising challenge was launched to help pay for the project, and construction began at the start of 2016.
In June 2016 the official opening of the building took place. Our vision had become reality, thanks to many years of hard work by very many people.
But the story doesn’t end there. Once the collection was safely installed in the building, we needed to ensure that it was properly catalogued and made available to members of Girlguiding and to a wider audience.
In 2017, after yet more hard work by a group of volunteers, we were delighted to be awarded a Heritage Lottery grant of £60,000 to conserve and share our archives and develop the work of the ARC. Thanks to National Lottery players, grants from other organisations and a dedicated team of volunteers, we are making good progress in developing this project for future generations.
The Girlguiding Norfolk Archive Resource Centre – or ARC- is the first purpose-built Girlguiding archive in the UK. It holds a collection of more than 30,000 items from over a century of Girlguiding in Norfolk. Every single item is in the process of being preserved and catalogued by our incredible volunteers and cherished for future generations in museum-standard, temperature controlled archives.
The ARC’s collection is for everyone who is interested in Girlguiding’s history – and its future. We provide inspiring education, activities and events for the smallest of Rainbows to the wisest of Trefoil Guild members, opportunities to visit or volunteer and even a place for academic or personal research. With an emphasis on hands-on heritage, the ARC is where Girlguiding history comes to life.