The local studies library is largely what it says on the tin. It is a library of approximately 15,000 books (including some rare books) and journals which are available for consultation in the building only. No books may be withdrawn from this library.

The library

Our library is arranged in a typical fashion, according to Dewey numbers. Some of the most frequently used numbers are:

  • 364 – Crime and policing
  • 726 – Church history
  • 910 – Place names
  • 929 – Specific family histories
  • 940 – Military history
  • 942 – Dorset history

As you can imagine, 942 is a large section, and it is split alphabetically by place names on our shelves.

The local authors

We hold numerous books by and about Dorset authors. Chief amongst these are Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, and John Cowper Powys, who all have specific sections in the library.

There are also numerous books on other local authors too – just ask the staff for more information.

The journals

There are a wide range of journals covering various subjects. Some of the more popular include:

  • Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
  • Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset
  • Dorset Life
  • The Dorset County Magazine
  • The Thomas Hardy Journal
  • Journal of the Dorset Family History Society

Rare books

We have a list of rare books available for consultation. These books, whilst not on the open shelves, are available upon request.

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