The Museum was founded in 1976 and for twenty years occupied two rooms at the Quaker Hall, Beccles. In 1996 it moved to its current location at Leman House in Ballygate, Beccles. The collection has mainly been built up through donations and concentrates on objects and information related to Beccles and the surrounding area. Much of the collection dates from Victorian times but they do have archaeological artefacts and a small number of items from the Roman, Medieval, Tudor and subsequent periods, as well as some items from the early 20th Century. The Museum has a large collection of photographs covering local subjects including buildings, people, industry and activities.
The Museum achieved registration under the National Museum Accreditation Scheme in 2007 and was re-accredited in 2013. The scheme is administered by Arts Council England and is designed to encourage museums to manage and develop their collections for the enjoyment and benefit of the community. There are currently some 1800 Museums across the UK, both large and small, taking part in the scheme.