In 2016, West Sussex Record Office is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. In celebration, we have asked our users, depositors, volunteers, supporters and staff to explore the archive and nominate their favourite document. Over the coming months, 70 of these unique records will be featured on this blog, each with its own story to tell and each illuminating a very different aspect of the archives.
Set up in 1946, the Record Office was originally based at County Hall in Chichester before moving to Edes House in 1968 in order to accommodate the growing collections. In 1989 a new purpose-built Record Office was opened in Orchard Street where it houses over eight miles of archives dating back over 1200 years.
Today the many rich and varied collections include those of the great estates of the county, the Cathedral and Diocese, The Royal Sussex Regiment, the records of church and chapel, towns and villages, businesses and schools. These archives sit alongside the records of hospitals and courts, organisations and societies, personal and family papers, as well the archives of the County Council itself. Together they tell the remarkable story of the history of West Sussex and its people from the earliest written record to the present day.
Posting from Sussex Day on 16th June, our 70 most-loved records will give you an insight into the broad and colourful history of the county, celebrating the collections that the Record Office has been caring for over the past 70 years.
On 12th November we will also be hosting an open day which will give visitors an opportunity to meet our staff, find out more about our work, and explore behind the scenes.