Utilising material from the Bankes Archive, we can offer a wide range of learning opportunities to schools, colleges, universities and community groups.

Learning sessions

Activities can include:

  • Visits to the Dorset History Centre, which can include a ‘behind the scenes’ tour to learn about how we care for and protect the county’s archives. Visitors can see historical documents first-hand and hear some of the stories behind them.
  • Induction sessions that demonstrate how to use the Dorset History Centre, and what sources are available to help with research projects. The content of these sessions can be tailored to particular themes or periods drawing on material from the Bankes Archive.
  • Workshops on skills and techniques that aid working with archive documents, such as palaeography.

These sessions usually last around one to one-and-a-half hours. Please note that there is a charge attached to learning activities, which will depend on your requirements.

To book learning sessions with our project partners please see the relevant websites for Kingston Lacy and Priest’s House Museum.

Learning packs

As part of the project we have created a cross-curricular learning resources for teachers. These downloadable resource packs covers a range of topics, from the English Civil War at Corfe Castle, to the Ancient Egyptians and World War 2.

Bankes Archive Schools Learning pack

The following pack consists of 30 lesson activities for a variety of age groups, each rooted in the local history of the Bankes family and using original archive material.

A journey through Egypt

The following pack uses letters, notes and images from the Bankes collection alongside supplementary material to document the travels of William John and his associates through Egypt. William John visited several temples and Ancient Egyptian monuments through the early 1800s as these sites were being rediscovered by himself and his contemporaries.

These learning materials will give you a flavour of what the collection has to offer. If you have any questions regarding the material or would like higher resolution versions of the resources available in the pack please do not hesitate to contact us.

Top Teaching Topics newsletters

These newsletters are aimed directly at schools and teachers. Each newsletter focuses on a different area in the National Curriculum or Exam Boards, and the documents found in the Dorset Archive relating to them. We hope that you will find them interesting and informative, please do contact us if you have any questions, or are interested in any services that we offer.

Extend Project Qualification

We can offer advice and topic suggestions to help students complete the Extend Project Qualification.


Please contact us if you are interested in arranging a visit or learning session.



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