Investigate this collection for a unique glimpse into the colourful 19th-century natural world of Dorset and beyond. Highlights include bird skins collected from the Malay Archipelago in the 1850s by Alfred Russel Wallace, who later settled in Poole. There is also an extensive collection of Dorset specimens including mammals and birds, bird eggs, molluscs and around 130,000 insects. The herbarium contains plant specimens collected by John Clavell Mansel-Pleydell during the late 19th century.
Friday 22 September 2023, The Victorian Hall will also be closed all day for a private function. The Fine Foundation Dorset Story Space, next the the Thomas Hardy's Dorset Gallery will also be closed for an hour around Midday.
November 10, 2020
Helen and Nelson Richardson’s entomology collection
Helen (c.1855-1936) and Nelson Richardson (1855-1925) collected and documented moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) on Portland and Purbeck, and discovered a number of new species. These…Read more
November 2, 2020
Watercolour by Helen Richardson
Helen Richardson (c.1855-1936) was an enthusiastic field worker, collecting moths at night on Portland. She illustrated specimens in intricate watercolour paintings – some were reproduced…Read more
October 14, 2020
Bird skin collected by Alfred Russel Wallace
On Wallace’s trips to the Malaysian islands he collected over 8,000 bird specimens. Studying them helped him develop his theories on evolution…Read more
September 24, 2020
Cyril Day’s butterfly collection
These are just a small part of Cyril Douglas Day’s (1885-1968) collection of 2,652 insects, representing the wide diversity of species commonly found in Dorset…Read more
September 24, 2020
Great bustards were native to Britain and used to live on parts of Dorset’s open grasslands. By the 1840s hunting and habitat changes had made…Read more