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.


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.

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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FULLY BOOKED

9 September 2022 - 14 October 2022

Drawing Into Life – 6 Week Creative Course

Six week art course designed for adults interested in art and archaeology. This new course is an exciting opportunity to get up close with some extraordinary artefacts in the collection at Dorset Museum. You will be drawing inspiration from prehistoric art including Neolithic flint tools, Anglo Saxon gold, precious burial goods, Roman mosaics, decorative textiles and archaeological maps amongst others, and have the chance to work directly from the Elisabeth Frink collection.

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Community Exhibition

3 October 2022 - 8 February 2023

Unmasked

Unmasked is a local, voluntary project that began in the dark days of March 2020, when a new disease called COVID-19 literally stopped the world as we knew it.

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Poetry Evening

CANCELLED

Who’s in the Next Room?

Poems by Thomas Hardy with new writing from Paul Hyland, Kate Scott, Catherine Simmonds & Pam Zinnemann-Hope

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Big Draw 2022

9 October 2022, 10:30am - 12noon

The Big Draw at Dorset Museum

Come and take part in our Big Draw event at Dorset Museum. Inspired by the natural world around us, colour and natural forms, help us create a giant collage in the style of Henri Rousseau to display in one of our galleries.

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Tours

11 October 2022, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Archaeology Highlights Tour

Explore archaeological treasures held by Dorset Museum – from Bronze Age gold to medieval silver -  in this volunteer-led tour.

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13 October 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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Talk

13 October 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

A persistent place: a new chronology for Neolithic Dorchester

The area underneath and around the town of Dorchester was an important place for Neolithic people, who built a variety of monuments here over a period of 2000 years. In this talk, Dr Susan Greaney discusses the research project that has obtained radiocarbon dates from samples of antler picks, charcoal and human remains held in the Dorset Museum collection and has been able to build a brand new chronology for the monuments.

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Concert

21 October 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

Strings Forever!

Join baroque violinist Emma-Marie Kabanova on a musical journey back in time exploring the dance tunes and folk music beloved by Thomas Hardy and his family.  Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson contribute the traditional dance tunes and folksongs of Dorset on violin, concertina and melodeon.

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