West Sussex Record Office

What's on at the Record Office

3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD

Find out about events coming up at the Record Office.

Tell me more

We hold regular evening talks on Tuesdays and family history workshops on the first Wednesday of each month.


About our events

Talks on Tuesday

'Talks on Tuesday' cover a wide range of fascinating subjects presented by our experts. All talks start at 7.00pm and last 1 to 2 hours, including refreshments. 

For on-site talks, tickets cost £8.00 (non-refundable) per person and must be booked in advance from the Record Office. Online talks are either £5.00 per person or free of charge.

See below for our current scheduled talks and ticket prices.

Coffee Time Workshops

Do you want to research your family tree but don’t know where to start? Would you like to research the history of your house or learn how to read old handwriting? If so, sign up for our coffee time workshops.

On the first Wednesday of each month, our special mid-morning sessions will give you the opportunity to learn from the experts in a relaxed atmosphere.

We will introduce you to the incredible range of archive material available at the Record Office - dating from 780 AD to the present day - and how best to use the sources for research.

At West Sussex Record Office you can be assured of a warm welcome from our friendly and knowledgeable staff. We hope you will join us, whether it's for one session or all of them!

See below for our current scheduled workshops.


Talks on Tuesday

The Story of Shippam's

An illustrated talk which explores the history of Shippam’s.

Shippam’s remains one of our county’s best loved and best known brands. Join Archivist Nichola Court to hear ‘The Story of Shippam’s’ and find out how a butcher’s business from Chichester went on to gain international fame for its potted meat and fish pastes.

The talk will last up to an hour, with an opportunity to ask questions via the chat box.

Please be aware that this talk contains images of prepared animal carcasses, which some attendees may find distressing.

Date: Tuesday 31 August 2021
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Online only
Tickets: £5.00 - book The Story of Shippam's.

Stories from the Surgeon’s Table - the Queen Victoria Hospital Archive

Explore the pioneering plastic surgery work, which took place at Queen Victoria Hospital and uncover the story of the ‘Guinea Pig Club’.

Join Jenny Mason, Assistant County Archivist (collections management), to find out about the Queen Victoria Hospital Archive. Containing approximately 15,000 patient case files, the archive sheds a fascinating light on the development of plastic surgery in the Second World War under famous plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.

The archive also tells the moving stories of the members of the Guinea Pig Club, badly burned Allied Air Force personnel who were treated and rehabilitated by Archibald McIndoe and his team at the Hospital.

The talk will last up to an hour, with an opportunity to ask questions via the chat box.

Please be aware that this talk contains medical images, which attendees may find distressing.

Date: Tuesday 28 September 2021
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Online only
Tickets: £5 - book Stories from the Surgeon’s Table.

West Sussex in photographs 1850s-date: Worthing Library collections

Enjoy some pictorial treasures from 2 million photographs held at Worthing Library and learn the remarkable stories of those who took and collected them.

Let a visual feast unfold as County Local Studies Librarian, Martin Hayes, shows you some wonderful images of West Sussex from the finest collections.

Annie and Walter Gardiner, Jack Watts, Terry Child and others were characters associated with some stunning photographs and picture postcards; names which deserve to be better known. You’ll leave this presentation with a greater appreciation of the photographer’s art.

The talk will last at least an hour, with an opportunity to ask questions via the chat box.

Date: Tuesday 26 October 2021
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Online only
Tickets: £5.00 - book West Sussex in photographs 1850s-date: Worthing Library collections.

Transatlantic Ties: the links between America and West Sussex

Transatlantic Ties Project Manager, Jo McConville, explores intriguing connections between our county and America, illustrated by original documents at West Sussex Record Office.

Themes include settlers in the 17th century and later emigration, slavery and the slave trade, travel diaries, Civil War and famous people. There will be a chance to see the Sussex version of the Declaration of Independence, viewed by royalty and the President of the United States.

The talk will last around an hour, with an opportunity to ask questions via the chat box.

Date: Tuesday 30 November 2021
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Online only
Tickets: £5.00 - book Transatlantic Ties: the links between America and West Sussex.


Record Office friends

A regular programme of events is also organised by the West Sussex Archives Society. For more information, visit their website.

Contact details

  • Email record.office@westsussex.gov.uk
  • Tel: 01243 753602
  • Address

    3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD
  • Additional information

    Our address for correspondence is: County Archivist, West Sussex Record Office, County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RN

Find us

By car

We are based in the heart of Chichester, very near to County Hall. The A27 trunk road runs through Chichester for links to Brighton and Portsmouth, while links to London are provided by the A23 and A24. Chichester is approached from the north via the A286 from Midhurst; and the A285 from Petworth.

By train

We are about a 10 minute walk from Chichester train station, which is served by a regular train service from London Victoria. There are also services from Brighton and Portsmouth.

By bus

The closest bus stops are at Orchard Street, West Street (Cathedral) and Avenue de Chartres.