Plan of East Preston workhouse, 1872 (WG9/56/1/2 no.3)

Chosen by Nichola Court, member of staff The 1601 Poor Law Act created a national system for managing the poor. It was superseded in 1834 by the New Poor Law, which compelled unions of parishes to build that most Victorian of institutions: the workhouse. In a bid to keep the poor rate to a minimum,…

Oral History Interviews – Peter Baker Collection of Great War veterans, 1983-1985 (OH 454-471)

Chosen by Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian, West Sussex County Council Collected as oral history, the memories of those who have lived through fascinating times offer personal and individual first-hand experiences of events that provide us with a unique window into the past. This collection of interviews with veterans of WW1 is therefore of great significance,…

Ballooning incident in Horsham Police Occurrence Book, 1891-1899 (Pol/W/H/1/1)

Chosen by Andy George, member of staff Police occurrence books were daily diaries containing a record of every official occurrence reported within the Division. The books contain reports of enquiries and observations made by the police whilst out on patrol; incidents attended by the police; attendance of person at a police station, and many notes.…

Worthing Home for the Blind Management Committee minutes, 1937-1960 (WOC/CM64/5)

Chosen by Chris Hare on behalf of Worthing Society for the Blind Worthing's 'A Journey in Time' project is a lottery-funded project being run by Worthing Society for the Blind to fully explore the fascinating history of the sight-impaired community in Worthing and record this heritage for posterity. Volunteers are undertaking archival research and recording…

1610 Map of the Moon (PHA HMC 241/9 f.17)

Chosen by Alison McCann, former member of staff Wednesday 20 July sees the 47th anniversary of the first manned mission to land on the moon. However, West Sussex Record Office has connections to lunar exploration centuries before Neil Armstrong took his famous steps, with a map drawn by a British astronomer in the seventeenth century.…

Manuscript music book of John Walter, Chichester Cathedral, 17th century (Cap/VI/1/1)

  Chosen by Anthony Cane, Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral The Archive of the Cathedral and Diocese of Chichester, dating back over 1200 years, is a rich and varied collection. The action of the Dean and Chapter of Chichester in depositing its archives in the Diocesan Record Office followed the establishment of that Office by the…

Concession map of Sena Sugar Estates in Portuguese East Africa, c1920 (Acc 15353)

Chosen by Rhodri Lewis, former member of staff In 1890, a young British man named John ‘Pitt’ Hornung decided to try his luck at founding a sugar cane plantation on the banks of the Zambesi in Portuguese East Africa. Battling setbacks such as flood, drought and plagues of locusts, Pitt succeeded where others had failed…

Petworth House Laundry and the Kevis Photographic Collection, late 19th century (Acc 18163)

  Chosen by Diane Ladlow, member of staff This is a photograph by Walter Kevis who worked as a photographer in Petworth from c1877 to his retirement in 1908. I like this picture because it gives an insight into the immense amount of work that goes into servicing the needs of the family above stairs.…

The Earliest Known Written Rules of Cricket, 1727 (Goodwood Mss 1884)

Chosen by James Peill, Curator at Goodwood House This thin sheet of heavily-folded paper is probably the single most important document in the Goodwood archive. It is the earliest known written rules of cricket in existence. They were drawn up for matches between the 2nd Duke of Richmond’s XII (instead of the ususal XI) and Mr…

Album/Scrapbook History of George Hilton & Sons, 1872-1992 (Add Mss 54798)

 Chosen by Lauren Clifton, member of staff George Hilton & Sons was a business in Haywards Heath for over a century, starting as an upholstery, cabinet makers and house furnishers in 1882, the family company developed to include removals and warehousing, an undertakers, and became Hiltons Department Store 100 years later in 1982. From the…