From 15 April our searchroom will be open to the public by appointment only. Our priority is staff and visitor safety, which means we need to operate in a different way with a reduced service, additional cleaning measures and guidelines in place for social distancing.

Opening hours

Opening times for the Dorset History Centre
Day Opening hours
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9am to 4:30pm 
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 9am to 4:30pm 
Friday 9am to 4:30pm 
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

We are able to offer access to original documents by appointment only. Appointments are for a 2.5 hour session in either the morning or the afternoon. You may also book a 1 hour session to access material on microfiche or microfilm. Contact us to arrange an appointment and pre-order documents. Please note that we are currently unable to offer access to public computers.

Where to find us

Dorset History Centre
Bridport Road

Getting to us


There are bus services to Dorchester from many parts of the county and Dorchester can be reached via the national coach network.
Search for a bus stop, timetables and departures for Dorset History Centre.


Dorchester has two railway stations which run frequent services to Bristol, London, Poole and Bournemouth. Both stations are within 10 to 15 minutes walking distance of Dorset History Centre. Get more journey options and travel information


Dorset History Centre has a secure and dry bicycle storage facility at the front of the building. Please ask at reception for a key.

Car parking

Limited car parking is available on the paved area at the rear of Dorset History Centre. This includes 3 disabled bays. All money raised is used to support services provided by the History Centre.

Pay and display car park charges for the Dorset History Centre
 Time  Charge
 up to 1 hour  70p
 up to 2 hours  £1
 up to 3 hours  £2
 up to 4 hours (no return)  £3

Please speak to a member of staff if you are using Dorset History Centre for longer than 4 hours. Charges apply Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm.

The nearest public car park at Top O' Town has both long and short stay parking. The market car park (not available on Wednesdays) is a 10 minute walk from the History Centre. On Saturdays there are plenty of parking spaces available in the car park behind the centre.

See other car parks in Dorchester

How to use Searchroom in use Dec 2014

A guide to what you will need for your visit and what you can expect when you arrive.
William Bankes Egypt drawing ref D-BKL H J 6 11 A 17

We are working hard to make sure everyone can benefit from our services.
East Dorset Heritage Trust visit to Dorset History Centre

We offer introduction sessions to Dorset History Centre and our resources.

For one week, the Dorset Online Archive Film Festival is giving access to 4 special films:……