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A newsletter for Dorset History Centre and Dorset Archives Trust: working together to support the preservation of Dorset’s archives
Help with your history!

Welcome to May’s newsletter…

May marks the transition from spring to summer in the UK, and as we continue with our socially-distanced daily exercise amidst the lockdown, we see the eruption of greenery in the countryside around us. The natural world, we are reminded, continues apace even if daily life now looks very different!

As always, staff are still answering emails and picking up voicemails, so feel free to send us an email if you have a query (archives@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk), or leave us a message (01305 250550).

In this month’s newsletter, you can find out:

  • How to find Dorset based records on Ancestry…
  • Why property records are so useful for both house historians and family historians…
  • What happened in Dorset on VE Day?
  • How to join in with the Archives A-Z campaign!

We also need your help in identifying places in our photo collections, so get your thinking cap on!

Top tips for using Ancestry!

The Ancestry website is usually available free of charge at Dorset History Centre and in Dorset Libraries. During the current situation, when these centres are closed, Dorset Libraries are offering free access to Ancestry to anyone with a Dorset Library card. Other library services often offer this, and you may wish to check for services local to your area. Ancestry is also available by subscription from a home computer.Ancestry is a wonderful resource, but sometimes it can be difficult to find the information that you are looking for, so in a recent blog, we have given our top tips for maximising your searches!

Explore our top tips for using Ancestry!

Archival Types: Title Deeds

People often view ‘family history’ and ‘house history’ as two separate endeavours with two distinct end results. In reality, the two are inextricably linked. To attempt to do your house history involves as much searching for the people who lived there as it does searching for the address, or the location. The lives of houses are the lives of the people who lived in them, and you cannot find one without the other.

You can read about what sort of details title deeds can give you via our blog…

Discover more about Title Deeds…

Dorset on V.E. Day

When post-war generations think of V.E. Day, images of street parties, celebrations in London, and the famous story of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret anonymously immersed within the celebrating crowds immediately spring to mind. After such an active role in the war, did the people of Dorset take to the streets in the same way?

With help from the Keep Military Museum, you can find out how Dorset celebrated 75 years ago…

Find out about V.E. Day in Dorset

#ArchiveZ: Join in!

A national Twitter campaign has recently launched aiming to highlight the many wonderful and varied things that archives hold. Each week archives around the country will be sharing items relating to a different letter of the alphabet, and we want you to join in!

Starting with ‘A’, we want to read about some of the fascinating, weird, or interesting things you have found in an archive. Tweet your pictures or ideas to us @DorsetArchives, and include the #ArchiveZ (cunningly the hashtag goes from A to Z!)

If you don’t have a Twitter account, that’s not a problem, you can follow along with the campaign and see what archives up and down the country have found over the course of the coming weeks and months!

Follow along with the Archives A-Z!

DHC needs you!

We need your help!In our photographic collections we have lots of images that we don’t recognise, and we need your help to identify them. In upcoming newsletters we will be sharing a photograph with you, and asking you to get in touch with us if you recognise where it is!

The above image is only known as a “rustic bus shelter, Hants and Dorset Motor Services”. We don’t even know if this was in Dorset!

If you know where and when the above picture might have been taken, please let us know!

Do you know where the above picture was taken?