Rate books - our joint project
A rate is a levy for local purposes based on an assessment of the yearly value of property. The earliest rate assessments were written into Churchwardens' and Overseers' account books; they usually list the householders' name and the amount payable for their property. From about 1840 printed books were used and these usually list the houses, street by street, the value of the property, the householders' name and the amount assessed.
A run of Rate books can be enormously helpful for researching house history or family history - they give an idea of when someone lived in a parish or when family property changed hands.
The survival of Rate books depends on circumstance and chance - many have been lost as population growth especially in urban areas led to a huge number being produced and many authorities simply destroyed the records rather than find storage space.
The Sensory Trail
In each gallery you will notice a wooden box with carefully rounded corners and carpeted insides; you can either look down into it through a viewing panel or reach into it from the front through a large hole, covered by a red curtain, to feel the objects within. Underneath there are trays holding specially selected items. These are our sensory trail "touchy-feely" boxes, constructed by local craftsman Julian Bennett with grant-aid from the 106 Fund maintained by West Dorset District Council.
Digitalisation of the photographic archive
This is a huge undertaking, ably led by research/support worker Dave Tuffin, to make accessible to the public our photographic archive which contains over 10,000 items. So far financially aided by the 106 Fund and the Digby Memorial Trust, the first phase of scanning and saving images has begun, on brand new computer equipment supplied by our consultant and principal contractor Simon Nash of Banshee Technologies.
Archive photograph of The Parade
Samian ware AD 120-130 made by the potter Austrus of Lezoux and found in Pinford Lane
Accessible Archaeology in Dorset (AAD) aims to make the significant collections within Dorset County Museum available in a range of accredited museums throughout the county. Sherborne is one of the four partner museums chosen to lead this project in its first phase.