>> It's a city rich in history, but Chichester in southeast England has also been hiding an unlikely piece of US history. Archivist Wendy Walker is trying to figure out how a rare copy of the US Declaration of Independence ended up in the West Sussex Record Office.>> This document raises in a way more questions than it answers because, how did it get to Sussex?
How did it end up here? But behind all of those questions are the questions of, when was it made, where was it made, why was it made?>> The hand written manuscript, one of only two parchment copies known to exist, had been stored for more than 60 years in a strong room among reams of other documents until it was discovered by two Harvard University researchers.
>> To have two Harvard academics turn up on your doorstep and start asking all these fascinating questions about one of your documents was really exciting. These united colonies->> The document is thought to date back to the 1780s, the decade after the original was signed and most likely was written in New York or Philadelphia.
>> You can pick out Thomas Jefferson.>> The parchment will now go to the British Library for further scientific tests to try to determine who actually owns it.>> They will do hyperspectral imaging which is looking at document to see things that the naked eye can't see. There'll be a whole series of tests and forensic examination being done on it over the summer.
Hopefully, to give us a few more answers.>> Until then, the manuscript, which has been valued and insured for an undisclosed sum, will remain under a lock and key in the Record's Office.