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Speed to the West: A Nostalgic Journey

19 March 2016 - 7 January 2017

Nothing is more evocative of the golden age of travel than the railway poster.  This exhibition features over 50 famous examples spanning a whole century, along with locomotive nameplates, old station totem signs and diverse railway publicity materials and ephemera. 

Wessex Museums Spotlight Loan Tour

For the next twelve months five leading museums of the Wessex Museums Partnership Dorset County Museum, Poole Museum, Russel-Cotes Gallery and Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum will be sharing the story of Wessex in the wider world by showcasing an artefact from their own outstanding collections to the other partner museums.

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Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary history

Temporary Exhibition from 1 - 31 October 2016

The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.

DCM / Jonathan Gooding © 2014

Katherine Hardy's Dress

Dorset County Museum’s textile archive includes a significant collection of clothing originally owned by Thomas Hardy’s family. Among the pieces is a stunning red bustle dress worn by his sister Katharine.

Until now most of the collection has remained in storage but a generous grant from the Daphne Bullard Trust has enabled the dress to be specially prepared and placed on display in the Museum’s Writers Gallery.


Swanage Crocodile

A 140 million year old crocodile found on the Jurassic Coast is now on display at the museum's Jurassic Coast Gallery.