Dorset Museums

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Did you know that at the last count Dorset has well over 800 volunteers dedicating their time and skills for free in museums throughout the county?

Over 70% of museums in the county are run entirely by, or are heavily supported by, volunteers. Volunteering has a massive social benefit and economic impact in Dorset and is vital to the cultural and tourism industries.

Are you fascinated by Dorset’s history? Do you want to give something back to your community? If so…volunteer! Get involved with your local museum.

Types of volunteering

Volunteering in museums can involve a wide range of tasks, from front-of-house to conservation, running family events and doing publicity.

Volunteer Profile

Marjorie Bailey, Volunteer Learning Assistant has volunteered at Priest’s House Museum and Garden for 7 years. A typical day volunteering at the museums involves working on school visits, running Victorian, WW2 kitchen and toy handling sessions. Marjorie also helps out behind the scenes, preparing resources and doing admin as needed. Marjorie first got involved with the Museum by becoming a Friend of the Museum. She knew from this involvement that volunteers where important to the running and the success of the Museum.
As a teacher Marjorie brought classes for Victorian sessions, so when she retired she want to make a contribution to the Museum and joining the Learning and Outreach Team as a volunteer seemed the obvious choice. She loves being involved in the Museum and seeing the children that she has worked with bring their parents in is rewarding too. As Marjorie says ‘I enjoy it all!’

As a volunteer you would work with:

  • Objects, books and documents

  • Historic sites and buildings

  • People learning about their history

  • Local press and publicity providers

Skills Required

You don’t need to be an expert in history to become a volunteer! All you need is the enthusiasm and willingness to help your local museum.


Volunteering is all about you. Even one hour will help, so tell us how much time you can spare and we’ll find the perfect role to suit you.


If you interested in finding out more and potentially becoming a volunteer, have a look at the individual museums and contact them directly for further information.