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A thousand years, a million stories to be stored in the cloud by Dorset History Centre

The Dorset History Centre chooses Preservica cloud solution to digitally preserve and make available Dorset’s historical records.

December 4, 2013

The Dorset History Centre chooses Preservica cloud solution to digitally preserve and make available Dorset’s historical records.

Dorset History Centre, Dorcester, England

The Dorset History Centre has selected Preservica, Tessella’s cloud-based digital preservation service, as part of a pilot project to take it into the digital age and assist in the preservation of born digital documents and scanned versions relating to the history of Dorset.

The Dorset History Centre offers a wealth of rare archives documenting over 1000 years of Dorset’s history with the earliest materials dating back to 965 BC, all publicly available. They hold the historical archives for Dorset County Council, the Borough of Poole and the Bournemouth Borough Council totalling to a staggering 1,050 cubic metres of records.

The collection combines records of the councils for which they are responsible, together with a wide variety of material from many different sources. Paper and parchment records form the bulk of the collection, but it also contains audio, visual, large maps and plans and of course, progressively more digital content. The genealogical records, combining family names, parish registers, prison records and electoral rolls were recently augmented by half a million digital images from Ancestry which now need to be digitally preserved.

Sam Johnston, County Archivist, Dorset History Centre explains why they chose Preservica to safeguard Dorset’s history and increasing amounts of digital content:

“The Dorset History Centre is funded by local government, so a key motivating factor for us is to be able to provide a digital preservation service to the authorities who are the original record creators. This is especially important where there is a regulatory and legal requirement to retain material for the long term, for example in Planning, Education and Social Care. Preservica gives us the ability to preserve these digital records deemed of legal and historical importance, securing information and enhancing the corporate memory.”

Sam continues: “We have quickly become aware of the critical need to ensure long term access to and continuity of these important digital records. We chose Preservica because it provides us with an out of the box, easy to use and affordable solution that does not require any computer programming skills. It allows us to get staff engaged with preserving our digital content and making these records available to the public.”

Jon Tilbury, Director of Archiving Solutions for Tessella commented: “We are proud to announce that the Dorset History Centre has chosen Preservica to safeguard Dorset’s rich history and making these digital records available to the public.”

Jon continued: “Preservica really lowers the barriers to entry for organizations looking for full life cycle digital archiving and is suitable for commercial organizations or public institutions, in fact anyone who wants a high quality digital archiving system. Preservica is available via an affordable yearly subscription for the full application.”

Preservica is based on the advanced Tessella SDB technology in use at leading National Archives and Libraries, making the same level of digital preservation service available to business, organizations, and memory institutions that need to protect their digital wealth without incurring all the human capital costs of running such a specialist service.

Join Cassandra Johnson from Dorset History Centre and Sarah Pankiewicz from UK Met Office as they talk about their first steps towards digital preservation, taking place on the Tuesday 10th of December 2013 at 12pm GMT. Click here to register here for this free.


Notes to the Media

About Digital Preservation at Tessella

Tessella is a world leader in digital preservation solutions, technology, consulting and research. Customers across 4 continents rely on our products to preserve their priceless digital information. Our solutions range from our cloud based Software as a Service offering, Preservica, to custom on premise installations of Tessella SDB. In 2011 Tessella and the UK National Archives won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for Tessella SDB the technology behind Preservica.

Find out about Preservica at Learn more about Digital Preservation and Tessella SDB at

About Dorset History Centre

Dorset History Centre is the home of the joint archive service for Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council and Borough of Poole. It is recognised by The National Archives as a Place of Deposit to hold Public Records.

Information about the service can be found at:

Media Contact

Christina Tealdi | Senior PR and Marketing Communications Manager | Phone: +44 (0) 1235 546638 | Mobile: +44 (0) 779 9346453 |