FIRST AIRED: April 27, 2017

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00:00:00
>> 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?
00:00:23
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.
00:00:45
>> 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.
00:01:04
>> 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.
00:01:25
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.