The Record Office is open to anyone who wants to use the archives. Most of our services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.
When you register for an Archives Card, you will be confirming that you agree to follow a few basic rules. This includes using pencils only in the searchroom and handling documents with care.
You will then be able to enter the searchroom to conduct your research.
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday to Friday: 9.15am to 4.45pm
- Saturday: 9.15am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm
- Sunday: Closed
We are unable to produce original documents (including maps) between 12.15pm and 1.30pm. Documents are also not produced after 4.15pm on weekdays and 4.00pm on Saturdays.
We close on all public holidays and the Saturday preceding a bank holiday and we also close during the first two weeks of December for stocktaking.
Easter and bank holiday closures
- Friday 7 April to Monday 10 April (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 11 April 2023.
- Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 2 May 2023.
- Saturday 6 May to Monday 8 May (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 9 May 2023.
- Saturday 27 May to Monday 29 May (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 30 May 2023.
- Saturday 26 August to Monday 28 August (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 29 August 2023.
Parking at the Record Office
A limited car park is available on weekdays, which needs to be booked in advance. A fee of £4.00 is charged for morning or afternoon, or £8.00 for the whole day. On arrival, pull over in the side road next to the Record Office and collect a token from reception before proceeding through the barrier to the car park.
There is one allocated space for disabled drivers, located directly behind the Record Office. This must be booked before visiting.
Please note: Parking spaces are available to Record Office visitors only and cannot be used by visitors to the Registration Service or HM Coroner.
On Saturdays, parking is available in the large car park at the end of the side road adjacent to the Record Office, accessed through a barrier (please do not use the Record Office staff car park). The car park is 'pay and display' and operated by Chichester District Council.
What to bring
What to bring when you visit
- Archives Card - You will need to bring your Archives Card. The old County Archives Research Network (CARN) tickets are no longer valid. You will need to register for the Archives Card, show two forms of ID and submit a photo. You will also need a unique email address. The Archives Card is free of charge. You can complete most of the registration process yourself on the Archives Card website, where more information is available, particularly about acceptable forms of ID. You must have a valid Archives Card if you wish to view original documents in the searchroom.
- Face covering - We are no longer asking visitors to wear a face covering whilst in the Record Office, but you are more than welcome to do so if this makes you feel more comfortable.
- Paper and pencils - We only allow pencils to be used in the searchroom to protect the documents. To help reduce the threat of COVID-19, please bring your own supplies.
- Laptop - You can use a laptop in the searchroom.
- Cameras - Cameras can be used, but we charge a daily fee and some collections are subject to restrictions. You will also need to complete a copyright declaration form. Find out more about photography in our searchroom.
Record Office facilities
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available in the visitors' tea room. You are welcome to eat your own food in the visitors' tea room.
We have toilets and baby changing facilities within the Record Office building and free Wi-Fi is available.
We have a shop in our reception area where you can purchase a wide range of local history material. This includes books, CDs, DVDs and reproductions of photographs and documents.
Record Office accessibility
- Access is available to all parts of the building open to the public.
- Disabled parking needs to be booked in advance.
- Microfilm and fiche readers with large magnification are available in the searchroom, as are large print versions of the searchroom information leaflets.
- Portable hearing induction loops are available in the reception area and searchroom.
- Seats that can be adjusted in height are available in the searchroom.
- Disabled toilet.
If there are any other ways we may be of assistance, please contact us before your visit to discuss them.
Please note: this video uses YouTube's automated captions, which we have edited for accuracy.