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Introduction to 'Dorset and the Sea'


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Background to 'Dorset and the Sea'.

Dorset’s rich maritime heritage is enjoyed by many visitors to museums throughout the county, but because the collections are dispersed it is sometimes difficult to get an overview. The ‘Dorset & the Sea’ web site links collections from across the county, co-ordinating access and providing a meaningful context for the objects on display. It is part of a wider package which includes children’s activities linked to the web site which museums and schools may borrow, and training for museum staff and teachers.

‘Dorset & the Sea’ has been funded by the Department for Education as part of Phase 1 of its Museums & Galleries Education Programme. It has been co-ordinated by Janet Bell, former Museums’ Adviser, Dorset County Council, and Linda Poulsen, Dorset LEA’s Museum Education Adviser / Dorset County Museum Education Officer.

The project has involved the collaboration of numerous Dorset museums, Weymouth and Dorchester reference libraries and the Dorset Record Office, all of whom have been very generous in facilitating access to their collections. Many individuals have also been involved who have willingly shared their enthusiasm and expertise, including several authors who have allowed extracts from their books to be reproduced. Details of contributors are included in the Acknowledgements section.

The purpose of the web site is to:

  • Provide access to factual, historical information, linked to the National Curriculum, which is freely downloadable.

  • Encourage the development of investigative skills through refining searches, interactive problem solving and searching data bases.

  • Provide a resource that targets local and national educational priorities, including literacy skills, improving boys’ academic performance, and life long learning.

  • Stimulate interest in Dorset’s maritime history through the use of original sources, notably museum and archive collections.

  • Promote public awareness of Dorset museums and their role in interpreting the county’s heritage.

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