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Collections at Dorset History Centre

Medieval Manorial Rolls

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. See our information for depositors if you have material you would like to transfer to the archives. 

  • Puddletown Burials in Wollen Register Parish registers and records

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

  • Medieval Manorial Rolls Family and estate archives

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

  • Enjoying oral history Audio and oral history

    Dorset History Centre collects any sound recording which relates to Dorset, is unique and of long term historical value. We currently hold around 500 hours of recordings, most of which are oral history.

  • Local Studies books Books and Pamphlets

    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.

  • Poole pottery colour schemes 1956 Business records

    Dorset 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 Court, prison and police records

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

  • Thomas Hardy's statue in Dorchester Dorset Authors Collection

    A unique collection of works by authors and poets with a Dorset connection, including Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, John Fowles, Sir Frederick Treves, Sylvia Townsend Warner and the Powys brothers.

  • Election poster 1910Electoral registers

    Electoral registers, which are compiled annually are a useful source for tracking individuals or families.

  • County Hall, Dorchester c1960s Local government and administration

    Various authorities have been responsible for local administration in Dorset; the responsibilities of these authorities included poor relief, education, highways, the courts and building control.

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

    Dorset History Centre holds the records for Herrison Hospital, formerly Dorset County Lunatic Asylum.

  • Women's Institute 1965 Local clubs and societies

    Dorset History Centre holds the records of clubs and societies based in Dorset.

  • Antique map of Dorset Maps

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

  • The Sun Newspaper Doc of Month Newspapers on microfilm

    The Dorset History Centre holds local newspapers, most of which are available to view on microfilm.

  • Stereograph of the Fleet off Portland (1899) Photographs

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

  • Classroom (Herbert collection) School 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 Wills

    Probate records: wills, letters of administration and inventories

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