Dorset County Museum celebrates International Museum Day

International Museum Day 2016To celebrate International Museum Day on Wednesday, Dorset County Museum is offering half price entry all day with our special promotional vouchers, and FREE museum tours at 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm.

Vouchers can be downloaded from www.facebook.com/events/1021234407913583

The theme of International Museum Day 2016 is Museums and Cultural Landscapes, and it highlights the role of museums in strengthening ties between local people and their environment.

With this in mind, come and see the newly refurbished Ancient Dorset Gallery at the Museum which tells the fascinating story of the ancient Britons, Romans, Saxons and Vikings who lived on the South Dorset Ridgeway and discover the impact they had on the landscape we can see today.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since.  In 2015, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with more than 35,000 museums hosting events in some 145 countries.  For more information, visit www.imd.icom.museum.

Sharing Heritage: Museum Makers Group celebrates £6,000 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant

Museum-Makers

The Museum Makers rehearsing for their latest performance ‘The Vikings are Coming!’ at the Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today.  The grant will fund an exciting Museum Makers project which will provide educational and inspirational opportunities for adults with learning disabilities as they engage with the collections at the Museum.  

The project will work with local disability groups, carers, specialist artists and performers on a wide range of creative activities inspired by the Museum’s desire to share the stories of Dorset’s heritage with vulnerable adults in the community.  Weekly creative sessions will include activities such as acting, music, craft making and shadow puppetry which will result in the group producing and performing a play and a film for friends, family and the wider community to enjoy, all inspired by the Museum’s collections.

The initial focus for the group will be recently acquired archaeology collections including the Viking skeletons discovered on the South Dorset Ridgeway, which the Museum Makers will use to explore the Viking connection with Dorset, performing a play based on their discoveries.

The latter half of the project will see the group explore themes relating to the Museum’s current exhibition of railway posters of the twentieth century, Speed to the West:  a Nostalgic Journey.  From this they will produce a film on the coming of the railway to Dorchester, connections with Dorset’s literary heritage and the founding of the Museum itself in response to the threat posed by the construction of the new railways to Dorset’s archaeological heritage and natural history.

Commenting on the award, Andy Worth, Museum Makers Volunteer, said “We’re thrilled to have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started on the project. The Museum Makers group will feel a stronger sense of belonging to their community through engaging with Dorset’s past, and at the same time they will be developing their own self-confidence through learning new skills, performing and film-making.  We’re also delighted by the support we’ve had from Dorset County Museum, and can’t emphasise enough how crucial this interim grant is to the Museum Makers. ”  

Dr Peter Down, Chairman of Dorset County Museum added “This will be a really fantastic project, and staff and volunteers here at the Museum will give our whole hearted support to the Museum Makers in any way that we can.”

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Exploring museums worldwide with #MuseumWeek 2016

#MuseumWeekDorset County Museum will join museums and galleries across the World on Twitter for #MuseumWeek, a project that will connect people to artwork, culture, history and science in new and interactive ways.

#MuseumWeek 2016 will take place from Monday 28th March – Sunday 30rd April 2016 and will give Twitter users direct and unparalleled access to some of the international leading museums and the people behind them in 140-characters bursts.

@DorsetMuseum

Follow us @DorsetMuseum

Dorset County Museum will join other UK organisations already signed up include the Science Museum (@sciencemuseum), the Natural History Museum (@NHM_London), the Victoria and Albert Museum (@V_and_A), the British Museum (@britishmuseum), and the Tate (@Tate).

Dorset County Museum will join other Museums across the world by including the hashtag #MuseumWeek in their Tweets for the week, meaning users can follow along on Twitter.

 

7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags!

In addition, every day there will be a different theme.

#MuseumWeek Secrets#secretsMW – Monday 28 March

Monday is dedicated to discovering your most well-kept secrets! Show a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your museum!

#peopleMW#peopleMW – Tuesday 29 March

Tuesday is dedicated to honor the people-well known or anonymous-who have helped make your museum. Feature your founders, other icons, and current staff members and talk about their expertise!

#architectureMW#architectureMW – Wednesday 30 March

Wednesday is about telling the story of your building(s), your garden(s), your neighborhood or other key locations for your institution. Introduce your museum from a different point of view!

#heritageMW#heritageMW – Thursday 31 March

On Thursday, focus on your tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Help your audience discover the variety of content your institution has on view, in storage or online!

#futureMW#futureMW – Friday 1 April

On friday, share your most innovative projects, your barriers to innovation, your research or your institutional goals, all of which can lead to a greater understanding of your future initiatives and developments!

#zoomMW#zoomMW – Saturday 2 April

Saturday zoom in on your content by sharing details and anecdotes that provide an interesting insight into your collection (e.g, images of hands or frames, anecdotes about the origins of a book …).

#loveMW#loveMW – Sunday 3 April

Sunday, time to share what you love about your place! Take advantage of this opportunity to promote your museum’s greatest attractions (artworks, displays, rooms …) and use Twitter as a helping tool for the visit.

@PliosaurKevan

Follow our #MuseumMascot @PliosaurKevan

A full list of participating UK organisations can be viewed here museumweek2016.org

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Museum visited by over 2,000 school children in 2015

School Group at Dorset County Museum -® Jonathan North  -DCM 2015

This year Dorset County Museum has been visited by 56 schools – that’s more than 2,000 school children through the front doors.

Many of these children are local, but the museum also attracts schools from further afield – this year we’ve even had a class from Germany, and 10 pupils all the way from Singapore!

Emma Talbot, Head of Education and Learning at the Museum says, “It is fabulous to see so many children actively engaging with Dorset’s past. We offer a programme for schools that is creative, fun and hands on as well as being linked to the national curriculum. Our tour guides are all volunteers and do an amazing job making history come alive for the children. We couldn’t offer this service without them and I can’t thank them enough.”

Class Teacher, Sasha Jones of Milborne St Andrew First School commented after a recent visit “The assistance we received from all staff and volunteers was excellent. The activities available were perfectly in line with what we have been learning, and the children had a fantastic day and learnt a lot which resulted in some beautiful writing. It was a great opportunity for the children to see and touch real Iron Age and Roman artefacts – and they loved eating their lunch on a real Roman mosaic too!”

With a brand new Ancient Dorset Gallery, Dorset County Museum can offer the following educational sessions: Dinosaurs & Fossils; Archaeology; Stone Age to Iron Age; Roman Dorset; a visit to The Roman Town House. All guides are knowledgeable and experienced, and children can handle objects.

If you’d like to find out more or book a session in 2016 for your school, contact Emma Talbot on 01305 756832, or email her at education@dorsetcountymuseum.org or visit the Dorset County Museum website for more details www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/education

Charity Ball Celebrates Museum’s 170th anniversary

AFC Bournemouth’s Balfour Suite, all ready for guests to arrive.

AFC Bournemouth’s Balfour Suite, all ready for guests to arrive © DCM 2015

Last month, Dorset County Museum hosted ‘The Discovery Ball’ at AFC Bournemouth in celebration of the Museum’s 170th Anniversary.

The black tie event saw Dorset County Museum welcome 100 glamorous guests into the Balfour Suite for a wonderful evening consisting of a champagne reception, a delicious three course meal followed by a lively auction and raffle.

The evening started with music from the local, up-and-coming DJ Ryan Davis.  For many, the highlight of the evening’s entertainment was the extremely talented, Anthony Adams and his live swing band, who performed their accurate portrayal of the smooth tones of the one and only, Frank Sinatra. Guests were memorised by Anthony Adam’s ease, timing and soulful voice which is so reminiscent of the great man himself.

Anthony’s ability to truly portray Sinatra’s personae and voice makes it clear to see why he is currently recognised as one of the best and most accurate tributes to Frank Sinatra in the UK and Europe today.

Guests dancing to Anthony Adam's Sinatra.

Guests dancing to Anthony Adam’s Sinatra.

Unsurprisingly, the dance floor was never empty except during the evening’s lavish auction which included a luxury villa in the French Alps, a day charter aboard motor yacht Ikara, a three course Champagne lunch at The Savoy, Aston Martin and Jet Viper experiences and a replica Dinosaur Fossil amongst many, many more…

At the end of the evening, Anthony Adam’s drew the evening’s indulgent raffle with over 30 lucky guests leaving with prizes ranging from a Christmas Hamper and a bronze hare to various gift vouchers, Dior nail polishes and local jam sets.

Auction and Raffle tables filled with luxury prizes.

Auction and Raffle tables filled with luxury prizes.

On behalf of everyone at Dorset County Museum, we would like to thank all those who made such generous donations towards the auction and raffle and a special thank you to:

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum, Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager and Anthony Adams.

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum,
Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager and Anthony Adams © DCM 2015

And, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped on the evening and to everyone who attended ‘The Discovery Ball’ for making the evening so enjoyable for all.

Dorset County Museum’s, Fundraising and Development Manager, Gabriella Crouch said “The Discovery Ball was such a fantastic evening and was great to see so many people from all across the county come together. The event was successful in raising an impressive total of £6215.00 towards the museums redevelopment project which will transform Dorset County Museum into a leading, contemporary cultural and heritage centre. We would like to thank those who came and celebrated the Museum’s 170th birthday in such style and joined us in looking forward to the Museum’s exciting new future!”

To find out more about the Museum’s development project please visit the museum website www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/discovery-centre or for upcoming fundraising opportunities, please contact Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager, on 01305 262735 or email fundraising@dorsetcountymuseum.org

Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County MuseumThe Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Monday 23 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening . A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.
All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 13 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 22 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Lunchtime Concert at Dorset County Museum: Bose-Pastor Piano Duo

Pia Bose and Antonio Pastor

Pia Bose and Antonio Pastor

On Thursday 17th September, Dorchester will be treated to a world class lunchtime concert from the internationally acclaimed Bose-Pastor Piano Duo.

The Duo perform chamber music, classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments, and won second prize at the 18th International Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo, Japan 2013.

American pianist Pia Bose, and Spanish pianist Antonio Pastor officially formed their four-hand piano duo in 2012. Recent performance highlights include recitals in London, Washington D.C. and Geneva. The Duo also performed before a full house at St.Martin-in-the-Fields in London on the recommendation of the Embassy of Spain’s Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs.

The married Geneva-based pianists share a passion for promoting Spanish culture and arts, and also have a special interest in performing for charitable organisations, and are both also deeply committed to teaching and music education.

Everyone is welcome at what promises to be a truly wonderful performance, and to cover costs a small donation of £3.00 is requested. The concert will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery at 1.00pm on Thursday 17th September.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Book Launch and Signing, The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons With traditional Dorset Folk Musician Tim Laycock

Natasha Solomon author of The Song Collector

Natasha Solomon author of The Song Collector

On Wednesday 1st July Dorset County Museum will host an evening of singing to launch local author Natasha Solomon’s new book, The Song Collector.

The popular author of Mr Rosenblum’s List and The House of Tyneford will be signing copies of her new book, which will be available to purchase on the

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomon

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomon

evening. She will be accompanied by the traditional Dorset folk musician Tim Laycock for an evening of song and ballads.

Tickets cost £5 each and are available from the Museum’s shop, or by phoning 01305 756827. The price of the ticket can be redeemed against a copy of The Song Collector on the evening.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the Dorset County Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre Development

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Tripadvisor “Certificate Of Excellence 2015” awarded to Museum

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Recognised as a top performing Museum as reviewed by travellers on the World’s largest travel site, Dorset County Museum is thrilled to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for the third year in a row.

Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in tourist attractions and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period, as well as each attraction’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, an attraction must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Dorset County Museum, and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Dr Jon Murden, Director of the Dorset County Museum. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by your customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence in the Museum and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travellers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on hospitality businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

Dorset County Museum wins £10.3 million Heritage Lottery Funding

Cross-Section Artist Impression of Dorset County Museum Redevelopment Project - Carmody Groarke © 2015

Cross-Section Artist Impression of Dorset County Museum Redevelopment Project – Carmody Groarke © 2015

Dorset County Museum has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new Collections Discovery Centre project, it was announced today. The main aims of the project are to provide a new state of the art learning centre, better archive and storage facilities and better public access to displays of the Museum’s vast collection.

This will be achieved through the sensitive yet contemporary redevelopment of the current building, which will transform Dorset County Museum’s facilities and double its visitor numbers. There will be new gallery spaces, an area for researchers to work and open workshop spaces so the public can see for themselves the fascinating inner workings of the museum. There will also be a new shop and tearoom, accessible from the street. The award of initial stage one funding of £483,900 will enable a detailed two year development plan to take place ahead of final submission to the HLF in May 2017. This would enable building work to start in 2017 and the Collections Discovery Centre to be opened to the public by 2020.

The Museum is housed in the centre of Dorchester in a beautiful high Victorian gothic building of architectural importance which will be carefully preserved during the works. The 1883 Crickmay Building which housed the Museum originally along with the stunning Victorian Hall will be conserved, and John White’s historic sixteenth century rectory will be sensitively restored.

More than 45,000 people visit the Museum every year, along with 5,000 local school children. It is anticipated that the new Collections Discovery Centre will become a focal point for locals and visitors to Dorset alike, attracting twice as many visitors in the years to come.

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum said “This is a brilliant and exciting opportunity for Dorset. For the first time we will have the space to do justice to our amazing collections, whilst ensuring they are safely preserved for future generations to enjoy. We would like to thank all of the organisations and individuals who have supported us with this bid. In particular we would like to thank, Arts Council England, Wessex Museums Partnership, Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council and Dorchester Town Council.”

Dr Peter Down, Chairman of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society continued “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the importance of the Dorset County Museum to the people of Dorset, and also recognises our commitment to learning with the new education centre. This very generous grant will allow us to increase the small number of staff, and give space to the many volunteers on which the museum relies heavily. As the County Museum, we can now look forward to working even more closely with our partner museums and other conservation Trusts within the whole of Dorset.”

The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, Patron of the Dorset County Museum Development Appeal, added “This project will enable the Museum to bring world class exhibitions to the local area, and develop its role as a cultural and community hub for a range of events and activities. By 2020, while retaining and respecting its Victorian roots, the Museum will have been completely transformed into a modern, sustainable heritage service that serves twice as many visitors, making an even more significant contribution to the local economy.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West said “From the spectacular Weymouth Bay pliosaur to the largest Thomas Hardy collection in the world, the collections at Dorset County Museum provide an unrivalled picture of 185 million years of our area’s heritage. We’re thrilled to support these plans which will transform the museum, preserve their incredible collections and finally enable visitors to get a true insight into Dorset’s past. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.”

Cllr Peter Wharf, the Dorset County Council‘s representative on the museum’s board, said: “This is really excellent news for Dorset. The museum is a real asset for residents and visitors alike and the county council has worked closely with them to help bring in this significant injection of funds which will benefit so many people. I look forward to being involved in this exciting project to develop a first class facility.”

Robin Potter, Mayor of Dorchester says “On behalf of the Town Council and the people of the town can I express our absolute delight at the success of the Museum’s lottery bid. The project will not only allow the Museum to provide a fitting home for the storage, interpretation and research into Dorset’s fascinating history; it will also become the essential cornerstone that the town’s Tourism sector has been looking for to stimulate significantly increased interest in visiting Dorchester to explore the town’s rich cultural heritage, creating more jobs and a more diverse local economy. The Town Council is keen now to do its part in helping Dorset County Museum raise the remaining, but not inconsiderable, £3 Million needed to make the scheme a reality.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘This is terrific news – we are delighted that Dorset County Museum has been successful in its application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We’ve been supporting the museum to develop the skills and capacity they need to become more resilient and our investment has helped them plan a sustainable future with vision and confidence. Now we’re looking forward to working with staff and stakeholders as they deliver this exciting project.’

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