• Commercial
  • Communal Records
  • Family History
  • Historical Documents
  • Jewish Life
  • Partially online

Dorset County Archive

Section of the cover page of the Wooton Garden Review, 1996 • Dorset History Centre

The Dorset County Archive is a local government archive, held in the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester. It holds material on Jewish local history, communal records, and family history records.

Archive Description

Dorset History Centre is dedicated to preserving, sharing and celebrating the rich heritage of Dorset and brings together two services: Dorset Record Office and Dorset County Local Studies Library. It was awarded Archive Service Accreditation by The National Archives in 2018. The Centre cares for over 1,000 years of records on 8 miles of climate-controlled shelving in Dorchester – ranging from Council records to personal collections, as well as books, pamphlets and other publications. The Centre’s records reflect the diversity of Dorset’s population in its collections, services and engagement.

Within its records, many minorities can be researched and Jewish residents, patients, office-holders, businesses etc can be identified. However, some of the collections are more specific to Jewish life in Dorset. These records mainly reflect Jewish communities in Bournemouth including a recorded talk about the heyday of Jewish hotels and back copies of the magazine ‘Ruach’ which contain lots of reminiscence and history going back to the 1940’s when the community was being established, as well as holding the first-person account of Harry Grenville and his life as a child in Nazi Germany and his move to England via the Kinder Transport.

Access Information

The archives are open to members of the public and can be accessed through pre-booked appointments. Documents must be pre-ordered using the archive catalogue. It is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Appointments should be booked in advance. Enquiries can be made to: archives@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/.

Digital Accessibility

The archive catalogue can be found online. Visitors may access any digital or hard copy material during a visit, or ask for materials to be shared with you, however there may be a small fee for this service.

Street Address

Bridport Rd

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