New SRS publication
The Society’s latest volume has just been published. Vol 98: Church Surveys of Chichester Archdeaconry 1602, 1610 & 1636, edited by Joan Barham and Andrew Foster, is now being sent to members and is available to order by non-members. Further details here.
[posted 9 August 2018]
Research confirms the authenticity of the “Sussex Declaration”
West Sussex Record Office holds a parchment manuscript of the United States Declaration of Independence. Apart from the signed copy at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., this is the only other ceremonial parchment manuscript copy in existence.
Detailed scientific testing of the manuscript has now confirmed the hypothesis of researchers from Harvard University that the document was produced in the 1780s. Multi-spectral imaging revealed a date beneath an erasure on the document reading either “July 4, 178” or “July 4, 179”. It is impossible to say whether there was originally a fourth digit in the year. Analysis of the ink shows that this lettering together with the final lettering and corrections were all written in a relatively short window of time.
The parchment was believed to have been held originally by the Third Duke of Richmond, known as the “Radical Duke” for his support of the Americans during the Revolution. The team is continuing to work on the question of when and how the parchment came to be in the UK.
Full story here.
[posted 28 July 2018]
Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project exhibition
Since 2016 West Sussex Record Office has been working in partnership with Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to catalogue and preserve the Hospital Archive and digitise selected patient case files. The archive dates from the 1930s to the 1990s and includes records relating to the Guinea Pig Club, badly burned Second World War airmen who underwent groundbreaking plastic surgery under the supervision of pioneering surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe.
A touring exhibition has been launched to share the work of this project, which will be visiting West Sussex Record Office from 3 July to 3 August 2018.
[posted 30 June 2018]
Forthcoming SRS volume
The Society’s latest publication is in press. Vol 98. Church Surveys of Chichester Archdeaconry 1602, 1610 & 1636, edited by Joan Barham and Andrew Foster, provides transcriptions of church surveys conducted within the Archdeaconry of Chichester in the early seventeenth century. These surveys provide valuable evidence of the struggle by clergy, churchwardens and lay patrons to maintain the basic fabric of their churches and chapels, while also ensuring that the buildings were fit places for worship according to the standards being set for the times. The surveys are significant because few dioceses hold such comprehensive accounts for these three dates, and indeed the survival for 1602 is very rare.
The volume is richly illustrated throughout with images of watercolours painted at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, photographs produced for Archdeacon Walker in 1879, and photographs created by Joan Barham in the early twenty-first century. Distribution to members is scheduled for August, when the volume will also be available to purchase on this site.
[posted 3 June 2018]
The 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday 2 June at The Keep, Falmer. All members will be welcome.
Further information, the agenda and papers can be downloaded here.
[posted 12 May 2018]