July 2023 - Urgent fundraising appeal

Dorset History Centre

Unlocking Thomas Hardy – opening up the finest Hardy archive in the world

July 2023 - Urgent fundraising appeal


Dorset History Centre and its support charity Dorset Archives Trust with the support of the Thomas Hardy Society are leading a campaign to create a complete catalogue of all the archives of Thomas Hardy and so make this UNESCO-inscribed, internationally important collection available to everyone. We require £68,000 to employ an archivist to complete this task.

Current position

A recent successful grant application to The National Archives together with local fundraising efforts have raised a total of £42,000. We still require £26,000 to reach our target. Can you help?

What’s in the archive?

Hardy’s archive provides the key evidence to understanding his life and times. It sits in 150 boxes and is made up of thousands of items - diaries, letters, books, photographs, music, architectural plans and manuscript novels and poetry. It’s the finest Hardy archive in the world.

Why catalogue it?

Currently, there is no means for people to find out what there is and how they can use it. The collection is a hidden gem and deserves to be accessible to all. This project will permanently change all that by creating detailed
descriptions of all the contents – are available online.

How can I donate?

Please support our campaign and donate whatever you are able, to help our work. Either click here to go to our fundraising page (Gift Aid is applicable for UK taxpayers). If you would rather donate directly, please transfer funds to:

Dorset Archives Trust
Lloyds account 23954768;
sort code: 30-92-69

If you have any questions please email: enquiries@dorsetarchivestrust.org

How can I keep in touch? Sign up for the Dorset History Centre newsletter and receive regular updates on Hardy and a whole lot more relating to Dorset’s rich archival heritage.

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