West Sussex Record Office

West Sussex Record Office collects and preserves records relating to the county.  Its aim is to make these resources publicly accessible, and it is open to anyone who wishes to use the Archives.  These resources date from 780 to the present day, covering many different areas.

Whether you wish to trace your family history, study the history of a house, or discover more about community history you will find the documents of use.  It is also possible to view old films of the local area.  The records are also useful if you are researching for a school project or completing a university degree.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Information about West Sussex Record Office


3 Orchard Street 
PO19 1DD

Address (Postal):

County Archivist
County Hall
PO19 1RN

Telephone Number:

01243 753602

Fax Number:

01243 533959



For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and peruse their collections and archives page.  You can also search their on-line catalogue which contains details of material held.  Their resources include:

  • Census returns
  • County and street directories 1792-
  • Electoral registers
  • Estate papers
  • Film Archives
  • General Register Office Indexes(GRO Indexes) 1837-2008
  • Hospital records
  • Local history publications

Resources also incorporate:

  • Maps and plans
  • Marriage licences 1650-
  • Newspapers
  • Parish registers from 1538
  • Photographs
  • Police records
  • Poor Law records
  • School records
  • Wills and other probate records

For their opening hours, please peruse the appropriate section of their Visiting the Archive page.  

Parking is available, but this is limited and must be reserved.  One designated disabled parking space is available behind the building.

They are approximately 10 minutes walk from Chichester train station.  

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

You are not required to book before visiting.

Laptops may be used, but you need to give notice if you wish to use a digital camera. A charge is made to people wishing to take advantage of this service and a photographic form must also be completed.  

You are only allowed to use pencils in the searchroom to avoid damaging the documents.  Your papers must be carried in transparent bags.

Hot drinks are available in the visitors' tea room and a small selection of confectionary can be purchased from reception. You can eat your own food in the tea room, or there is a good selection of pubs and restaurants in the city centre.

research service is offered to people unable to visit in person. 

The Archive is a member of the County Archive Research Network (CARN)

For further information regarding Record Offices in Sussex, please visit my page regarding East Sussex Archive.

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