Dorset Museum is owned and cared for by members of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.
A lively organisation of over 2,000 members, it was Dorset’s first conservation organisation being established to collect, preserve, research and exhibit objects relating to the archaeology, natural history, art, literature, and culture of Dorset.
Foundation of the Society
An independent Society, Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club was founded by James Buckman from the result of a meeting at the Digby Hotel, Sherborne on 16th March 1875. The Society was modelled on the Cotteswold Naturalists’ Field Club of which he had been a member. Buckman was the secretary of this club and editor of The Proceedings until his death in 1884.
The Field Club worked in friendly cooperation with the Museum Society for many years. The two organisations amalgamated in 1928, under the new title of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, owning and running the affairs of the Dorset Museum.
Portrait of James Buckman (1814-1884)
By Philipa Kemmis Rowe, c. 1840.
James Buckman with an ammonite by his side. Buckman studied these and other fossils from Dorset’s oldest rocks. He became a Professor of Botany, Geology, and Natural History, and had a keen interest in archaeology.
Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Annual Pass or Day Entry availableBook now
Dorset MuseumHigh West Street
Dorchester DT1 1XA
For more information
The pattern of governance for the Society and its Museum is set out in our Articles Of Association, which were last revised in September 2014.
In addition, there is a set of Regulations that covers operational and more routine matters within the governance of management of the Society and its Museum.
The Board has also developed a range of Policy Documents to guide the running of the Society and its Museum.For more information
The members elect a Board of twelve Trustees who are responsible for the overall strategy of the Society and the management of its Museum.Find out more
Every grant and donation helps us to do more for more people. Find out how you could make a difference.Get involved
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.
20 January 2022
Tom Sharpe – Mary Anning, the fossil woman
20 January 2022, 7 pm Join Tom Sharpe, formerly Curator of Palaeontology and Archives at the National Museum of Wales, and author of ‘The…Find out more
16 December 2021
Dr Clare Randall – ‘Anciently a manor’: the medieval manor at Lower Putton Lane, Chickerell
Excavations of the medieval manor at Lower Putton Lane, Chickerell 16 December 2021, 7 pm Join Dr Clare Randall to find out more about…Find out more
2 December 2021 – 6 March 2022
My Creative Life: Talking Heads
2 December 2021 – 6 March 2022 The heads on display are the expression of a creative process facilitated by Janna Edwards and the Dorset…Find out more
Wildlife in the Red
Online Exhibition: Wildlife in the Red The Wessex Museums partnership is pitching in against biodiversity loss. ‘Wildlife in the Red’ is the title of their…Find out more
12 February 2022
Work inspired by Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland 12 February 2022, 6.30pm Amanda Chambers (Picture Credit Max McClure) Join us for this special LGBT+…Find out more
13 October 2021 - 9 January 2022
Elmer and Friends
The Colourful World of David McKee An exhibition from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books. 13 October 2021 to 9 January 2022…Find out more
16 December 2021
Archaeological Treasures of Dorset tour
16 December 2021 Discover ten significant archaeology objects from our People’s Dorset gallery on this volunteer-led tour. First Tour Time: 5 pm to 5.40…Find out more
16 December 2021
Museum after hours
16 December 2021, 5 pm, FREE Enjoy an opportunity to explore Dorset Museum after hours at this free late opening and an opportunity to explore…Find out more
Sunday Craft Activity Feel the festive spirit and join in our winter and Christmas themed crafts in December.Find out more