The Northamptonshire Archaeological Resource Centre at the Chester House Estate is now open for bookings.
The Northamptonshire Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) is a state-of-the-art facility that acts as the publicly accessible archaeological archive store for the county. Our collections currently consist of over 20,000 boxes of archaeological material from around 3,000 sites across Northamptonshire with space for another 15,000 boxes from future excavations.
Our archives cover the whole breadth of human occupation within Northamptonshire, from prehistory up to the late 19th century. The archives will be stored in humidity and temperature controlled rooms where objects are kept in their ideal environmental conditions. This ensures that they will be usable for future generations. We have a research room on-site that can be booked by any who wish to study our collections.
As part of our project setting up the ARC, we will be undertaking a substantial project to re-box and catalogue our collections to maximise their accessibility and will be looking for volunteers to help with this.
The ARC is now open for booking to those who want to access the archive, if you are interested in accessing our archaeological archives then please contact our Archive Curator, Ben Donnelly-Symes, to arrange a time to visit the store. The centre isn't accessible to the public without an advance booking, if you are interested please get in contact before arriving.
Tours by the ARC Curator and/or our team of volunteers will show visitors the ARC building which stores the archaeological archives from excavations carried out in Northamptonshire and explain how we curate the objects. We will also show some highlights we have within our collections. Please be aware there is a chance you may see human remains during this tour if they are being accessed by researchers.
Tours usually last around 45minutes. Due to capacity in the building, we need to limit spaces on each tour to 10 people. Due to this we recommend booking in advance.
Check tour dates and availability on our bookings page.
The ARC curator
Ben Donnelly-Symes, the ARC Curator, is responsible for the transfer of Northamptonshire’s existing collections to the ARC; the management of those collections and future depositions. He works closely with archaeological planning colleagues; and ensures that collections are appropriately preserved, charged for where appropriate, and made accessible to the public.