West Sussex Record Office keeps accredited status

West Sussex Record Office has been successful in retaining its status as an ‘Accredited Archive Service’, a UK-wide standard for archive services.

West Sussex Record Office
West Sussex Record Office

Home to the historic archives of West Sussex dating back over 1,200 years, the Record Office was originally accredited by The National Archives in 2018 and was required to submit a ‘review stage’ application after three years.

The Accreditation Panel, who met in November, were “impressed by progress and development of the archive service since accreditation” highlighting its Covid-19 service planning and digital preservation work and agreed that the Record Office should retain its hard-earned status for another three years.

For the Record Office, marking its 75th anniversary this year, it is another cause for celebration.

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “The 75th anniversary of our beloved Record Office is really something to shout about. It houses some of the most important documents in the county, including the oldest document in the collection dating back to 780AD and the Sussex Declaration – a rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence.

“To get reaccreditation in the same year just shows all the hard work and effort that the Record Office team put in every day to make them leaders in their field. Having such a great team also allows the County Council to open these incredible archives of history to the general public to share our past, present and future.

“Here’s to another 75 years and I look forward to seeing how the archives develop to document the current times we are living through.”

Wendy Walker, County Archivist at West Sussex Record Office, said: “I am delighted that we have repeated our success in 2018 and will continue to be an Accredited Archive Service for the next three years. This is a real team effort reflecting the hard work, commitment and achievements of all the staff.

“The last eighteen months have been challenging for us and we had to find new ways of sharing our wonderful collections with everyone whilst the originals were in lockdown. The West Sussex archives are full of fascinating stories waiting to be told. Being able to preserve the rich history of the county and make it available for everyone to explore is a very real privilege and I am very proud to be a part of such a great team that makes this happen.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the West Sussex Record Office, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/recordoffice to find out how to access the archives in person or online.