Explore the history and community of Southbourne.


Images of Southbourne can be found on our West Sussex Past Pictures website.

Go to 'Advanced Search: Catalogue' and search for 'Southbourne' in 'Any Text'.

Further images of Southbourne are also available on the West Sussex Record Office Online Photo Database.


The current edition of the Chichester Observer is available to view at Southbourne Library and kept for one month. A browsable collection of newspaper cuttings on local topics is kept at Southbourne Library.

Back issues of the Chichester Observer 1961-2016 (incomplete) are available on microfilm at Chichester Library.

Search the library catalogue for more details.

Back issues of the Chichester Observer 2017 and 1914-1925 and 1939-1945 are available to view on the public computers in all West Sussex Libraries, as searchable digital copies.

Further coverage of Southbourne can be found on the Village MagazineChichester Observer and Chichester Post websites.

The West Sussex Gazette is available to library members from home via Press Reader.

The Times Digital Archive includes some coverage of events in Southbourne and West Sussex from 1785-2014 and is available to all library members from home. The British Newspaper Archive has digitised copies of the Chichester Observer 1887-1949 (incomplete). You can access the BNA for free through the public computers in any West Sussex Library. 

For any enquiries about newspapers, please use our Ask a Librarian form.


A current map of Southbourne can be found on the Ordnance Survey website.

Historic maps of Southbourne are also available on the National Library of Scotland Maps Database


Some Kellys Sussex Directories can be found on Ancestry - available free in all West Sussex Libraries. Some directories are available as digitised copies on the public computers in all libraries  - see our Digitised Directories Helpsheet. You can search the library catalogue to see which directories are available on microfiche. For any queries, please use our Ask a Librarian form.

House History

If you are researching the history of your house, the National Archives House Research Guide is a good place to start.

West Sussex Record Office also have many sources to help with your investigations.

Online Resources

Southbourne Neighbourhood Plan

St John’s Church, Southbourne

St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne

Woodmancote Mission Chapel, Westbourne

Francis Frith’s collection of old photographs:




Westbourne Village History - one man's personal account of living in Westbourne

Family Search genealogical resources and links:

Free database including billions of indexed records from around the world including UK parish registers and census. You will need to sign up for a free account. Records include:



Genuki genealogical resources and links

Free virtual reference library of genealogical information for the UK and Ireland.

History of Westbourne and area   

Southbourne Pictorial History

Bourne College 20 Years On

Southbourne Pageant 1951

Southbourne Lest We Forget

Prinsted Conservation Area

Places of Interest

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Largest discovered Roman house in Britain.

Chichester Harbour

Local Walks

Emsworth Walks

Walking in Chichester Harbour

Thorney Island from Emsworth

Local Information

Southbourne Parish Council

Westbourne Parish Council

Westbourne Village website

Chichester District Council

Local Organisations

Southbourne Community Association

Westbourne Village Local History Group

West Sussex County Council Local Clubs and Societies Database

More Help and Information

For further information and help with any of these resources, please fill in an Ask a Librarian form and the Enquiries Team will be happy to help.

Search the catalogue