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 Display

4 July – 6 September 2024

Fashioning our World

This exhibition special display showcases a project with local young people working alongside Dorset Museum & Art Gallery team as part of Fashioning our World with Salisbury Museum.

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Community Exhibition

10 July - 26 September 2024.

Sensing the Past

"Sensing the Past" was a collaborative and co-produced project involving The Dorset Blind Association, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, and Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.

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Festival of Archaeology

13-28 July 2024

Festival of Archaeology | Events

Co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, the Festival offers hundreds of events nationwide, organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.

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Special Exhibition

19 July - 3 November 2024

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world-famous exhibition from the Natural History Museum, is returning to Dorset Museum & Art Gallery

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Family Activity

19 July - 1 September 2024

Summer Animal Trail

Get ready to embark on a wild adventure! This summer, join in on our animal-spotting trail around the museum.

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Festival of Archaeology

20 July 2024, 10:00am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tour

Join our trained guides through the history of the Roman Town House site and and the precious artifacts recovered and now on display at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery.

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FULLY BOOKED

23 July 2024,10:30am -12:30pm

Discover Durnovaria Guided Walk

Join our trained guides to step back in time and immerse yourself in the historic Roman town of Durnovaria...

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Festival of Archaeology | Tour

24 July 2024, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Store Tour

Join our Collections Team for an opportunity to explore behind the scenes in the Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre.

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Family Activity

24 July 2024, 10:00am - 12:00noon

Wildlife Wednesday

Come and join us every Wednesday during the school holidays for a wild adventure in the galleries.

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