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.

Dorset Sound Archive

The Dorset Sound Archive (reference: DSA) was started in 1992 with the aim of recording oral histories and other sounds relating to life and events in Dorset. The collection covers a variety of topics including:

  • school memories
  • Second World War as experienced by British and American services
  • local history, light industry and crafts
  • Portland Naval base and its closure
  • farming
  • social services
  • music and poetry

This work continues with volunteers trained to collect oral histories. You can explore the collection via our online catalogue.

Hear for yourself

Many of the audio recordings have now been digitised, with written transcriptions or abstracts available for many. The recordings can be listened to in the searchroom with headphones. Please contact us in advance if you would like to listen to the recordings so we can have the equipment ready for you.

Digital copies of audio recordings are available upon request. 

Get involved

Details of support we can offer for projects including oral history are available on our community projects page. If you have an oral history collection that you would like to deposit, please read our information for depositors.