The Record Office is open to anyone who wants to use the archives. Most of the services are free, but we do charge for some additional services and help.
When you visit us you will be asked to sign in to confirm your agreement to abide by a few basic rules, such as using pencils only in the searchroom and handling documents with care.
You will then be able to enter the searchroom to conduct your research.
Parking at the Record Office
A limited car park is available on weekdays, which needs to be booked in advance. A fee of £3.75 is charged for morning or afternoon, or £7.50 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 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
- Reader's ticket - You will need to bring your County Archives Research Network card (CARN). If you don’t have a ticket, bring proof of identity that includes your address and signature (a driving licence is ideal, or a household utility bill with a debit card). We cannot accept UK passports alone as proof of identity as they do not show your address. Readers' tickets are issued free of charge. Please note: A new reader's ticket scheme will be introduced shortly - see initial guidance on this page under 'Additional information'.
- Paper and pencils - We only allow pencils to be used in the searchroom to protect the documents.
- 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.
Record Office facilities
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available in the visitors' tea room, and a small selection of confectionery can be purchased from reception. 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, including 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.