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. It contains over 15,000 books, Ordnance Survey maps and pamphlets about Dorset's local history, and is available at the Dorset History Centre.

The book collection is essentially divided into two major sections: one arranged by town or village, and the other arranged by subject.

Key sources include:

  • John Hutchins, 'History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset' - an antiquarian history of Dorset places and families, originally published in 1741, updated and republished in numerous later editions
  • local and trade directories, from the early 1800s to the mid twentieth century
  • tourist guides for Dorset towns
  • copies of various magazines, periodicals and journals including 'Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset' (an antiquarian journal starting in the late 1800s and continuing to the present day), Dorset Life, the Dorset Year Book and various family history publications.
  • publications on historic monuments and buildings in Dorset, including Pevsner and Newman's 'Buildings of England: Dorset', the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments' 'Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset' and the Department of the Environment, 'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest'

Local newspapers are available on microfilm.

To search the Local Studies Collection you can use the online catalogue, simply select Dorset History Centre from the 'Library' filter menu.

360 Dorset History Centre Local Studies Library