Featured archives

New and important collections at the Dorset History Centre.

Cooper Dean Estate, Bournemouth


The Cooper-Dean family of Littledown were a major force in the development of Bournemouth. The archive contains deeds, leases, maps, plans and estate correspondence as well as photographs and some personal material relating to family members.
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Cosens & Co Ltd, Paddle Steamer Operator and Marine Engineers of Weymouth

The Cosens archive is a fantastic collection of photographs, advertising material and business records, all relating to the Weymouth paddle steamer company who took tourists on leisurely pleasure cruises along the south coast from 1858-1990s.
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Cyril Diver Collection


The Cyril Diver collection documents the extraordinary ecological diversity of the Studland area as recorded by Cyril Diver and a number of botanists from the late 1920s to early 1950s.
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Poole Pottery Archive

This wonderful collection includes pattern designs, drawings and pounces (design transfers) as well as various photographs of the products.
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Shaftesbury Borough Archive


The collection spans nearly 700 years and its contents offer a detailed picture of life in Shaftesbury through times of significant socio-political and economic change.
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Dorset Sound Archive

The Dorset Sound Archive contains oral history recordings of many aspects of life in Dorset including: school memories; Second World War; local history, light industry and crafts; Portland Naval base; farming; social services; music and poetry.
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Customs and Excise: Ships Crews


This collection contains lists of crew of ships sailing from Dorset ports in 18th and 19th centuries. The lists illustrate links to other parts of the world and the importance of maritime employment in Dorset. These are public records transferred to us from The National Archives.
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