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Using the History Centre

Details of our opening times, how to find us, what you will need to bring and the facilities that are available.

Visit the Dorset History Centre

Anyone can visit the Dorset History Centre to carry out research, free of charge.

We do not operate a booking system, although we suggest you check our collections pages or contact us before you visit to make sure that we have the sources you need.

You will need to bring identification to sign up for a CARN card. For more details on what to bring, and what to do before your visit, see our planning your visit page.


  • Automatic candle snuffer Document of the monthOpening hours

    Dorset History Centre is open Tuesday to Friday and the first and third Saturday of the month.

  • DHC bike hangar Where to find Dorset History Centre

    Our address and postcode, and a map.

  • AA phone box Enquiry service

    Our team can help with a wide range of enquiries from the general to the specialist.

  • Abbotsbury christening group late 19th century Research service

    If you are unable to visit the Dorset History Centre in person, our research service may be able to help. We can search records held here and provide you with a written report of the findings. Copies can be provided where the information is not suitable for transcription.

  • D-HBT Boys on a boat, Weymouth Visits by community groups

    Dorset History Centre is working hard to make sure everyone can benefit from our services. We are particularly extending a warm welcome to those with learning disabilities, the visually impaired, those affected by dementia or memory loss, and carers.

  • Exterior of Dorset History Centre Planning your visit to Dorset History Centre

    A guide to what you will need for your visit, and what you can expect when you arrive.

  • Photograph of wedding group Copying services and camera permits

    How to obtain copies of records for your research

  • Dorset History Centre lecture room Lecture room hire

    Located at Dorset History Centre in Dorchester, our lecture room is available for hire. Well-suited to meetings and talks, with the option for lecture (theatre), board room or cafe-style layout.

  • Classroom (Herbert collection) Education and learning

    At Dorset History Centre we have many useful resources for schools.

  • Rope and net price list 1798Fees and charges

    Dorset History Centre fees and charges. All prices include VAT.

  • Herrison Hospital female ward 1991 How to access hospital records

    Records in hospital collections are under restricted access for 100 years. This is to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act, and protect the rights of individuals who may still be alive.

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