Dorset County Museum achieves highest national standard

Dorset County Museum achieves highest national standard

Dorset County Museum achieves highest national standard

First published in News

DORSET County Museum is celebrating achieving the highest national standard for museums.

The Dorchester museum has received full museum accreditation from Arts Council England in its latest round of awards.

The status is only given to museums that achieve a set of nationally agreed standards including meeting users’ needs and expectations, driving improvement forward and working with other organisations.

The accreditation will be valid for a period of three years, after which the museum will need to demonstrate that it is continuing to meet all the main management and service objectives whilst maintaining the highest levels of collections care.

Director of the Dorset County Museum Dr Jon Murden said that everyone at the museum was ‘proud’ to receive the recognition but vowed that they would not be resting on their laurels as they look to make further improvements.

He said: “We are very proud to have achieved the high standards necessary for Arts Council accreditation.

“To improve the museum even further, we are now working on a major new project which will result in the complete redisplay of our Archaeology Gallery – this will be a fantastic new resource for all our visitors and especially for our local residents, members and supporters.”

There are currently around 1,800 museums in the UK that are part of the Arts Council’s accreditation scheme, which was established in 1988.

Since then it has helped lead the way in raising museum standards across the country and has inspired similar schemes overseas.

The Dorset County Museum was established back in 1845 after poet William Barnes and the vicar of Fordington Reverend Henry Moule decided to form an organisation to protect the natural history and archaeology of the area in the wake of the industrial revolution.

The museum moved to its current premises from another site in High West Street in 1883, with The Rev Moule’s son – also called Henry – appointed first full time creator.

Last year the Dorset County Museum launched its development appeal to raise £6million for a new Collections Discovery Centre that will give greater public access to its huge collection of artefacts.

Comments (2)

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12:20pm Tue 20 May 14

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

Well deserved and congratulations to all concerned. I've visited several times, plenty of diverse exhibits, lots of detail on local culture and commerce, makes one proud to be Dorset.
Well deserved and congratulations to all concerned. I've visited several times, plenty of diverse exhibits, lots of detail on local culture and commerce, makes one proud to be Dorset. TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 2

1:40pm Tue 20 May 14

Harpya Orkinus says...

I think you'll find that Henry Moule was the Museum's first full-time CURATOR - Not *creator*!!
Local culture and commerce is all well and good - but what happened to those really superb bird displays downstairs, which lit up in groups of four cases when you pushed in a timer switch ?? I've never seen better examples of bird taxidermy ANYWHERE - and that includes the Natural History Museum at South Kensington.
In the late 1950s and up to at least the 1970s, there were some truly stunning displays of Natural History subjects - of insects as well as birds, and whenever I visited the museum, the doorman would always say *This way !!* as he handed me my ticket, indicating the archaeological section. *No thanks,* I would respond, *I've come to see the Nature section !!*
It was suggested to me by someone I knew, that in his opinion, the bird displays had been removed out of concerns about that damnable bane of modern 'life', *Political Correctness*. Whilst it is true that the majority of birds had undoubtedly been shot by collectors or whatever, the fact remains that they ARE dead, they have been beautifully and expertly mounted, and although collecting would rightly be unacceptable today, the hugely impressive cases on display at least up to around the end of the 1970s would, I feel sure, have inspired an interest in Nature in many a youngster - something of which our planet stands in some considerable need today....
I think you'll find that Henry Moule was the Museum's first full-time CURATOR - Not *creator*!! Local culture and commerce is all well and good - but what happened to those really superb bird displays downstairs, which lit up in groups of four cases when you pushed in a timer switch ?? I've never seen better examples of bird taxidermy ANYWHERE - and that includes the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. In the late 1950s and up to at least the 1970s, there were some truly stunning displays of Natural History subjects - of insects as well as birds, and whenever I visited the museum, the doorman would always say *This way !!* as he handed me my ticket, indicating the archaeological section. *No thanks,* I would respond, *I've come to see the Nature section !!* It was suggested to me by someone I knew, that in his opinion, the bird displays had been removed out of concerns about that damnable bane of modern 'life', *Political Correctness*. Whilst it is true that the majority of birds had undoubtedly been shot by collectors or whatever, the fact remains that they ARE dead, they have been beautifully and expertly mounted, and although collecting would rightly be unacceptable today, the hugely impressive cases on display at least up to around the end of the 1970s would, I feel sure, have inspired an interest in Nature in many a youngster - something of which our planet stands in some considerable need today.... Harpya Orkinus
  • Score: 2

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