The Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS) has now been officially accredited as a museum.
In 1903 a group of people in Bournemouth started collecting artifacts and met each other to discuss their findings. In 1919, the group bought a building in Christchurch road which is now called Bournemouth Natural Science Society.
It opened to the public in 1920 and it over the years the collections of artefacts has grown.
The oldest artifacts in the museum date to 500 – 600 million years in the geology section. From birds of a 150 years old to the Victorian era to a 4,000 year old mummy in the Egyptology section.. The specialty of the artifacts is that they are not just historically important but they are also scientifically important.
Curator and Trustee of the Society, Ray Chapman explains the importance of getting the museum officially accredited: “One of the reasons for accreditation is we needed to get grants – to develop the place and open it for the people more often. We open the museum only once a week and have few open days and lectures. The organizations provide us grants only if we are accredited.”
The museum is run by volunteers and BNSS are always looking to recruit more. Receiving accreditation will help with funding. Other ways to raise funds, includes, loaning out some of the artefacts to other museums. The accreditation process has taken three years to and the Arts council England, finalised and granted the accreditation last week.
Katherine West, communications officer for BNSS said: “we’ve improved a lot on our website and social media and have received a lot of followers since the accreditation. We also advertise our program of events quarterly. We do field trips, lectures, study groups so that people could attend and recognize this place as the keeper of not just local but international history as well.”
Jonathan McGowan, deputy curator at BNSS said: “The town always wanted a natural science museum. This museum has always been there but it is now that it has received the proper recognition.”
Mark Spencer, Entomology Expert talks about funding.
Ray and Mark point out that CCTV and proper security should be present in each section of the museum as these artefacts are extremely vulnerable and priceless.
The main goal of the museum is to educate people about science and history through the exhibits.