A West Sussex project celebrating transatlantic links has been awarded a $100,000 (£76,000) grant.
West Sussex Record Office has been awarded the grant for its new Transatlantic Ties project by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York. The project will explore and promote the close historical connections between America and West Sussex through the wealth of archival material for the county.
The Record Office in Chichester is home to the Sussex Declaration, a rare copy of the US Declaration of Independence – one of only two ceremonial parchment manuscript copies in existence. The other is housed in the National Archives in Washington DC.
Transatlantic Ties will build on recent discoveries about the Sussex Declaration and the research project that has been carried out by Harvard University, the Library of Congress, the British Library and West Sussex Record Office over the last two years.
The Transatlantic Ties project will celebrate and open up access to the wealth of historical resources relating to American history dating from 1701-1865. The project will include the development of an American collection of digital resources using original archives at the Record Office, a new Transatlantic Ties website, the development of online teaching and learning resources for schools, colleges and universities and a public outreach programme.
Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “We are thrilled at this news! It is almost unheard of for a major US foundation to honour a British Record Office in this way and will allow us to celebrate our transatlantic ties. “