Our Mission

Vision

A museum that collects, reveals and inspires connections with the universal themes of Dorset’s story

Mission

To become the prime destination to discover and enjoy the richness of Dorset’s natural, historical and cultural heritage, and appreciate the impact of the county and its people on our understanding of the wider world

Strategic Aims

  • To reach larger and broader audiences and encourage deeper engagement with our collections.
  • To own Dorset’s stories and tell them in bigger and bolder ways.
  • To properly care for all our collections and enable us to collect for the future, and for visitors to understand the work we do with our collections
  • To be a financially and operationally sustainable museum

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

The Victorian Hall will be hosting a private event on Friday 10th June 2022, all day and Saturday 11th June 2022, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and therefore will be closed to visitors.

Membership

Become A Member Today!

Become a member of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society today and get a deeper insight into 250 million years of Dorset’s history, while you help protect its rich heritage for future generations.

Talk

28 July 2022, 7:00pm

‘Anciently a manor’: the medieval manor at Lower Putton Lane, Chickerell

Join Dr Clare Randall to find out more about the findings from excavations at Lower Putton Lane carried out by Context One Heritage and Archaeology during 2016–2017 revealed a significant part of a manorial settlement.

Find out more

Talk

22 September 2022, 7:00pm

Mary Anning, the fossil woman

Join Tom Sharpe, formerly Curator of Palaeontology and Archives at the National Museum of Wales, and author of ‘The Fossil Woman: A life of Mary Anning’, to examine what we know of the life of this extraordinary woman.

Find out more

Exhibition

14 March to 12 June 2022

A Virus a Day Textile Art by Antje Rook

Antje Rook created the A Virus a Day quilt created in response to Covid-19. The Portland artist embroidered one virus for every day of the first 2020 UK lockdown while she was isolating with her partner.

Find out more

Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

Find out more

Family Activity

31 May 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Half Term ArtyFacts

Model theatre-making based on Hardy's novels and the model by Thomas Tilley for the Hardy Players in the Hardy's Dorset Gallery.

Find out more

Family Activity

2 June 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Half Term ArtyFacts

Create your own wooden Victorian decoupage box using Victorian images and decoration in association with the Thomas Hardy exhibition and the Hardy's Dorset gallery. Younger children will be able to create simple Victorian collages.

Find out more

Tours

11 June 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tours

A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.

Find out more

Workshop

17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past

This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.

Find out more

Workshop

18 June 2022, 11:30am - 4:00pm

Dorset Button making day

Join Dorset button maker and artist Anna McDowell to explore the history of Dorset button-making and take part in a workshop to make your own buttons.

Find out more