The Local History Room
|Located within the town's public library in the High Street, the Local History Room houses several collections and is looked after by the Society. The collections cover a wide range of local history interest, and farther afield, including:
The Christchurch Times newspaper (1855 to 1985) Street directories; e.g. Kellys
Antiquarian books (especially strong on Dorset)
Sales and auction particulars
Accounts and invoice books of local firms
Maps including Tithe map copies and Tithe schedule Parish register copies (part)
Voters' Lists 1834-1915 (part)
The bulk of the collections feature extensive memorabilia of life in the town, much of it in manuscript form. This has been augmented by the addition of useful genealogical tools, such as the IGI, and microfilm of the Poor Law records.
The Local History Room is staffed by a small band of volunteers on a part-time basis (and not by library staff). The Room is usually staffed at the following times :-
Mondays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Thursdays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fridays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Note: on rare occasions it may not be possible to staff the room. Please contact the Room via Christchurch Library, Druitt Buildings, High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AW (01202 485938) if travelling an appreciable distance.
Visitors are welcome, and without them the collections would have far less value, but it is better to make an appointment than call in. If you are able to come in person, there is no charge for assisting you (although a contribution to our Donations Box would be appreciated), but the Society cannot act as a research service for enquirers who cannot attend in person, on account of having insufficient resources. In these circumstances, enquirers will be referred to private researchers, who have a wealth of knowledge and experience of the content of this room and Christchurch history generally.
The Library building was the home of a prominant local family, the Druitts. James Druitt, a solicitor, had the house built for him in c.1844. It was his son, Herbert Druitt, who bequeathed it to the town, via his sister (who outlived him but implemented his wishes), in 1947. He had used it to house several tons of items of historical interest which he had collected, principally about the Christchurch area. Most of the items from his collection which were considered suitable to retain are amongst the collections. They are supplemented by further donations, especially from local photographer and author Allen White.
Contact Details :-
CLHS Local History Room
c/o Christchurch Library
29 High Street
Tel : 01202 485938