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

2 December 2023 - 21 April 2024

Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within

Experience the inner world of famous sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) in a major new exhibition exploring her artistic and personal life in Dorset. Showcasing over 80  sculptures, drawings and prints, this exhibition will explore her artistic process, personal life, and the influences that shaped her work.

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Community Exhibition

2 December 2023 - 21 April 2024

Awakened by Frink

Awakened by Frink is a community exhibition of artwork by members of the Deaf community created during a series of workshops at Dorset Museum and Art Gallery.

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Temporary Display

3 February - 30 May 2024

John Brown in Dorchester: Rebuilding a Life after slavery

Discover the little-known story of John Brown, in this new showcase display outside the Collections Discovery Centre.

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FULLY BOOKED

17 April 2024, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Collections Discovery Centre Tour

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

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Storytelling

18 April 2024, 10:00am- 10:30am

Storytime at the Museum

Come and join us for fun-filled Storytime where you can listen to some amazing tales in our Community Space at the Museum.

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Lecture

18 April 2024, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Traditions and Transitions: The Story of the Chettle Grave Group | Sophia Adams

A locally made wine strainer, an old mirror and a blue glass jar perhaps from Cologne. These are just three of the eight artefacts found in 2003, buried together on land within Chettle Park, Dorset.

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Dorset Museum Music Society

24 April 2024, 7:30pm

Yuanfan Yang, Pianist

Pianist and composer Yuanfan Yang, born in Edinburgh, is a First-Class Graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in London. He has won numerous prizes at international piano competitions and has performed with prestigious orchestras worldwide. Yuanfan is also an accomplished composer, winning awards for his compositions. His debut album "Watercolour" received critical acclaim.

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Storytelling

2 May 2024, 10:00am- 10:30am

Storytime at the Museum

Come and join us for fun-filled Storytime where you can listen to some amazing tales in our Community Space at the Museum.

Find out more

Storytelling

16 May 2024, 10:00am- 10:30am

Storytime at the Museum

Come and join us for fun-filled Storytime where you can listen to some amazing tales in our Community Space at the Museum.

Find out more