As the Diocesan Record Office we hold the official records of the Bishops of Chichester, the Dean and Chapter of Chichester and the property they owned. The records include the original parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for all West Sussex parishes and, where they survive, the Bishop’s Transcripts from parishes in both West and East Sussex up to around 1900.
We also hold wills for the Archdeaconry of Chichester and the peculiar jurisdictions together with copies of wills for the Archdeaconry of Lewes up to 1858. Later wills for Chichester District Probate Registry (which covered most of West Sussex) up to 1928 are also held in the Record Office.
The Oslac Charter of 780 AD is the oldest document in the Record Office collections. It survived the Norman Conquest, the Cathedral's move from Selsey to Chichester in 1075 and the assault on the Cathedral by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War. Although visitors are not able to view the original document, a colour reproduction is on display in the Record Office reception.