Tales from the Archives: A browse through old registers

Dorset County Museum Accession RegisterWhen carrying out research at the Dorset County Museum using its old Accession Registers, (some tatty, some neat and tidy!) one cannot but help spotting odd, strikingly worded or unusual descriptions. The following list is a record of some of the most significant, interesting and obscure Accession Register entries those found during 2013. Serendipity is indeed a strange bedfellow…

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1884 October
Given by J. S. Udal Esq, Inner Temple. A portrait of Judge Jeffreys.

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1885 September
The slough of a snake, nearly 4ft long from Wool Heath. Given by Mrs Penny.

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1886 May

A pair of Chinese stockings made of human hair. Given by the Right Reverend G.E Moule. Bishop in Mid China.

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1896 March
A fragment of Roman pavement from Victoria St London. from F. A. Burt Esq, 1 Gordon Villas, Swanage.

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1891 January
Copy of poll at Shaftesbury Election 1679. Given by J. E. Nightingale Esq.

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1893 February
Beaver bones from Tarrant Crawford.

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1901 April
Palestine Exploration Fund Journal for April 1901. Given by the Reverend G. E. V. Filleul, Dorchester.

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1903 November
On loan from F. J. Lloyd Priestley Esq. 2 hawk mummies and several small figures of Egyptian Gods etc.

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1921 June
Hen’s egg “freak”- chicken 1 head, 4 legs, 2 bodies. Mrs Follett, Wych Farm, Bridport.

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1925 February
Little Auk. Picked up in an exhausted state, near Corfe Castle.

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1937 March

Chimney sweep’s hook for pulling down obstructions in chimneys. Found broken in a chimney, Cornhill, Dorchester.

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  • Some but not all of these objects may still be found in the collections of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society at the Dorset County Museum!
Archivist Mole

David Ashford – Dorset County Museum Research Enquiries & Identifications Service

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New Appeal Launched at Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum AppealLast week saw the launch of a brand new fundraising appeal at Dorset County Museum.

The new Development Appeal has been set up to raise money for a purpose-built facility in the centre of Dorchester to store the Museum’s extensive collections and provide working areas for volunteers and visiting researchers.  In addition, the project will include a bespoke education and lecture room for use by both schools and the local community.

Individuals wishing to support the scheme have the opportunity to buy a personalised plaque which will be placed in prime position on the Museum’s dramatic staircase.  They will also receive free entry to the Museum for a year and their name will be added to the development appeal donation register.  The cost of a plaque is £100.

Jon Murden (centre), Peter Down (second from front), Paul Atterbury (front) and Museum volunteers launch the fundraising project at Dorset County Museum

Jon Murden (centre), Peter Down (second from front), Paul Atterbury (front) and Museum volunteers launch the fundraising project at Dorset County Museum

The first plaque was bought by Museum advocate Paul Atterbury from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.  Paul has recently become a trustee at the Museum and wanted to show his support for the project.  His plaque has been named in memory of his great uncle Lewis who died during the Battle of the Somme.

Museum director Jon Murden said, “We are hoping for a good response to this new appeal – the money raised will be used to kick-start the project and we will then be seeking financial support from major trusts and fundraising bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund.“

Further fundraising events are planned for next year. Jon added, “We want to get local people involved because the project will include new galleries and archives which will be accessible to the public. Ultimately everyone will benefit because we will be able to display many more objects from our unique collections.“

Anyone wishing to support the campaign by buying a plaque should contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or see the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.