History Centre

If you are researching family or local history, this is the place for you!

Find your ancestors and meet members at our Swanage History Centre at Unit 15, Victoria Avenue Industrial Estate, Swanage.

We can offer a large source of original and facsimile material for study and research, along with knowledgeable volunteers to guide you through the maze of information available.

The Sheila Ford Collection
Original research into Purbeck families which includes an A-Z of local names, with family trees available in many instances.

The David Lewer Collection
Original research notes and files compiled by the well known historian and author of many books on Swanage.

The Robert Field Art Centre & Gallery

An extensive collection of local art history research.
Gallery showcasing local scenes by local, national and international artists.

Entry to the History Centre & Gallery is free but access is by appointment only. This can be arranged by telephone: 01929 423850 (answerphone out of hours), by email: museumswanage@gmail.com or by completing an enquiry form at Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre.

What’s Available at the Local History Centre

  • A photographic archive
  • A library of local books and references
  • Local and family history research material
  • Swanage Cemetery records
  • A collection of local history indexes
  • Local newspapers on microfilm and original volumes
  • Access to historical censuses

We Can Research For You

A small charge may be made for any document reproduction costs that might be incurred and, of course, all donations are gratefully received.