Map of the Manors of East Dean, Graffham and East Lavington, 1597 (Add Mss 48838)

Chosen by Richard Childs, former member of staff My favourite document is the map of the Manors of East Dean, Graffham and East Lavington, 1597 (Add Mss 48838). My reason for choosing it is not simply because it is the oldest manuscript estate map in the Record Office, nor that being drawn on paper, it…

Pashley bi-plane at Shoreham airfield, July 1914 (AM625/3/15)

Chosen by Katherine Slay, member of staff This photograph shows Eric Pashley flying a bi-plane on the day he won the Shell Trophy at Shoreham in July 1914. In the foreground are the parked vehicles of some of those who had come to watch the flying race. Powered flight was still in its infancy at…

The Life and Works of John Keyse Sherwin, compiled by W S Mitford, 1920s (Mitford Mss 1492)

Chosen by Linda Bowen, volunteer I have been a volunteer at West Sussex Record Office for eight years and, during that time, have transcribed very many Petworth House records, amongst other things. I also took part in the Record Office's externally-funded 'Joining Up Our Heritage' project, which took place in 2009/2010, and it was during my research for this project…

Booklet of clinical prescriptions, late 17th century (Wiston Ms 5423)

 Chosen by Janet Pennington, researcher Red herrings can be the bane of research and in the mid-1980s, searching for something else in the Wiston Archives Catalogue (1975), I glimpsed a reference to a late 17th century booklet of clinical prescriptions and receipts [recipes], author unknown. Many hundreds of Wiston documents have passed under my scrutiny…

Littlehampton school logbook, 1889-1910 (E125/12/2)

      Chosen by Brian Short, President of the Sussex Record Society, text by Ruth Brown The Sussex Record Society decided that the school log book of Thomas Slatford was so good it should be published, and so proceeded to do so this year! All headteachers of Victorian elementary schools were required to keep…

An English Village. A view of South Harting in 1956 (Video 259; PH 22367)

Chosen by Alan Readman, former member of staff West Sussex Record Office has been the repository and conservation centre of Screen Archive South East since the inception of the regional film archive in 1992. Moving images offer a unique and evocative portrait of life in the 20th century and this documentary reflects many of the…

The House at Bayeux, 1818 (Bray 4/1)

  Chosen by Simon Barker, Head of Department, English and Creative Writing, University of Chichester (text by Holly Wright) This 1818 watercolour of the house in Bayeux is poignant and significant. Bray was newly married to her first husband Charles Alfred Stothard who had been commissioned by the Society of Antiquaries to undertake drawings of…

The Queen visits Chichester, West Sussex Gazette, 3/4/1986

Chosen by John Godfrey, researcher In light of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday this year, a Loyal Address was delivered by the Lord Lieutenant on behalf of the people of West Sussex. Celebrating the many occasions The Queen has visited the county, the book highlights her connection to West Sussex through the decades of…

Manorial ledger, 1652-1726 and 1800-1820 (Acc 18218)

Chosen by Emma O'Driscoll, House Steward, and Sarah Hughes, Research Assistant, West Dean College This vellum-bound manorial ledger is one of the earliest documents concerning West Dean House and Estate, and reflects the socio-political climate of 350 years ago. The left-hand page, written at the time of Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658, is in English.…

Milton Mount College production of ‘The Boy with a Cart’, 1955 (MMC 1/9/7/87)

Chosen by Margaret Clark, volunteer Milton Mount College, a girls’ boarding school, was founded in 1871 in Gravesend for the daughters of Congregational ministers. Later it was opened to all girls aged 8-18. In 1920 the school moved to Worth Park, a large Victorian mansion on the outskirts of Crawley, previously owned by the Montefiore…