Covid-19: The Dorset Experience

The new Dorset Museum will tell the multi-faceted story of Dorset’s people, natural world, and culture. The experience of Covid-19 will have an impact on all of these areas, possibly for years to come. At the Museum we’re thinking about how we represent the experience of Dorset people, and need your help.


We’re looking to collect objects that help to tell the story of the county during Covid-19. Over the coming months, we would love you to keep in mind material you can donate to reflect your experiences when the Museum is fully operational again.

We want to show a broad range experiences, but are particularly interested in the following themes:

  • How agriculture and tourism in the county is being impacted by the virus. How are these industries having to adapt and change?
  • How is Dorset’s large elderly population being impacted?
  • We’re interested to see how rural, village and coastal communities have responded. What have the challenges been of increased isolation, and how are communities pulling together?
  • What are disabled people’s experiences of the current situation?
  • How Dorset’s people’s relationship with the natural world has changed during this period

While these themes are our priority collecting areas, we are keen to collect any experiences that relate to the experience of living, working and learning in Dorset during this time.

What types of things do we want to collect?

Our main focus is on collecting objects that help to tell stories about personal experiences. For example:

  • a new type of product that your company produced to respond to the new situation
  • a personalised, home-made facemask which was used by you
  • an artwork that you created and hung in your window
  • a sign that was put up in your village
  • or something else you made or used to help you through the experience of lockdown

We would also like to collect photographs taken by people in their homes during lockdown, or on their daily walks, particularly those showing how life in Dorset has changed (empty streets, notices, street art etc).

We’d like to collect items, for example written accounts or artworks, to help tell the story of how disabled people in the county have experienced this time, and what additional challenges they have faced.

How to donate material 

Please email us at to let us know a bit about the objects or photographs you would like to donate. We will get back to you as soon as we can to let you know if the material is suitable for the collection.

What will happen to material collected?

If agreed by you, the material collected will become part of our local history and photography collections at the Museum. We are hoping to display at least one of the objects collected in our new People’s Dorset gallery, and are planning to develop a small temporary exhibition in our new Community Space to showcase some of the stories collected as part of this project.