Our Society

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.

 

James Buckman

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.

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.


Governance

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

Trustees

The members elect a Board of twelve Trustees who are responsible for the overall strategy of the Society and the management of its Museum.

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Support Us

Every grant and donation helps us to do more for more people. Find out how you could make a difference.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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