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Collections at the Dorset History Centre

Medieval Manorial Rolls

The Dorset History Centre cares for, and provides access to, thousands of archive collections relating to Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

You can view documents by visiting the History Centre, or, you can usually buy a copy though our reprographics service.

We also offer a research service if you are unable to visit in person.

  • Puddletown Burials in Wollen Register: Link to Parish registers and recordsParish registers and records

    We hold the registers and various records for many of the parishes in Dorset.

  • Elisabeth Frink 1975: Link to Archiving the artsArchiving the arts

    The Dorset History Centre is taking part in Archiving the Arts, a strategy to collect and preserve the records of artists.

  • Thomas Hardy's statue in Dorchester: Link to Dorset Authors CollectionDorset Authors Collection

    A unique collection consisting of thousands of publications relating to Dorset's authors and poets, including Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, John Fowles, Sir Frederick Treves, Sylvia Townsend Warner and the Powys brothers.

  • Local Studies books: Link to Local studies libraryLocal studies library

    The Dorset Local Studies Collection contains published books and pamphlets on a wide range of subjects including archaeology, topography, geology, natural history and Dorset trade and industry.

  • Document of the Month June 2010 1: Link to Electoral registersElectoral registers

    As of list of who lives at what address, compiled annually, electoral registers are a useful source for tracking individuals or families.

  • Poole pottery colour schemes 1956: Link to Business recordsBusiness records

    The History Centre holds records for various kinds of businesses, including brewers, solicitors, architects and more. Our business archives include the internationally recognised ceramics firm Poole Pottery and Britain's first garden centre, Stewarts of Ferndown.

  • Dorset police's dog section, 1956: Link to Court, prison and police recordsCourt, prison and police records

    Records of crime and punishment include those of the local courts, prisons and police force.

  • Medieval Manorial Rolls: Link to Family and estate archivesFamily and estate archives

    A short guide to the family and estate archives held at the Dorset History Centre

  • Samuel Pitcher Order Paper: Link to Herrison Hospital (Dorset County Lunatic Asylum)Herrison Hospital (Dorset County Lunatic Asylum)

    Herrison Hospital was a mental hospital, formerly the county asylum for Dorset. The original asylum was founded in 1832 and the institution continued until 1992, when the hospital closed. The records of the asylum and hospital are held here.

  • Women's Institute 1965: Link to Local clubs and societiesLocal clubs and societies

    The History Centre holds the records of local and even some national clubs and societies based in Dorset.

  • County Hall, Dorchester c1960s: Link to Local government and administrationLocal government and administration

    Many different organisations have been responsible for local administration in Dorset during the county's history. The History Centre holds records for many of these.

  • Antique map of Dorset: Link to MapsMaps

    An overview of the types of maps we hold, including ordnance survey maps, tithe maps and enclosure maps.

  • Key: Link to The Data Protection Act and research at the Dorset History CentreThe Data Protection Act and research at the Dorset History Centre

    The Data Protection Act 1998 protects the personal data of living individuals. By law, the History Centre has to monitor or restrict access to certain types of records which may contain personal information.

  • The Sun Newspaper Doc of Month: Link to Newspapers on microfilmNewspapers on microfilm

    The Dorset History Centre holds many newspapers, most of which are stored in microfilm format.

  • Stereograph of the Fleet off Portland (1899): Link to PhotographsPhotographs

    There are thousands of photographs at the Dorset History Centre, including studio portraits, postcards and aerial photographs.

  • Classroom (Herbert collection): Link to School recordsSchool records

    Most Dorset schools kept records fairly systematically from the mid to late nineteenth century onwards. School records can be particularly illuminating for family and local history.

  • Probate inventory for Rawlyn Wornaile of Corfe Castle, mason, 1623: Link to WillsWills

    Probate records: wills, letters of administration and inventories

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