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David Dawson

David has been the Director of the award-wining Wiltshire Museum in Devizes since 2008. He is an archaeologist who has worked in museums in Sussex, Canterbury and Oxfordshire, as well as in cultural policy at a national level.

Full details:


  • Trustee – Wessex Museums Trust
  • Honorary Lecturer – Institute of Archaeology, University College London
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Member of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Steering Committee and the Avebury and Stonehenge Archaeological and Historical Research group

David has been Director of the Wiltshire Museum since 2008 and has a wide range of experience in museum management, from practical curatorial work to national and international policy and the use of digital technology. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and an Associate of the Museums Association. He holds a BA in Archaeology from Durham University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Leicester. He has worked as a field archaeologist on a number of excavations in the UK, France and Italy, which included several seasons as a Site Supervisor for English Heritage. Beginning his museum career as a cataloguer for the Sussex Archaeological Society he later become a curator at Canterbury City Museum and then for the Oxfordshire Museums Service. He then moved to the Museum Documentation Association (MDA) to give advice and provide training for museums on the use of information technology, whilst also contributing to the MDA’s work on the development of documentation standards.

He was a senior policy advisor with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, working in a number of roles including acting as advisor to DCMS and DfES, supporting the development of the successful Portable Antiquities Scheme, which funds Finds Liaison Officers throughout the country, and exploiting digital technology to improve public access to museum and archive collections. He acted as an expert advisor for the New Opportunities Fund programme for the Digitisation of Learning Materials as well as on the creation and implementation of technical standards. He managed the ‘Their Past, Your Future’ programme for the Big Lottery Fund commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the end of WW2. In addition he has represented the UK on a number of international expert and advisory panels including as the UK National Representative on EU Digitisation Programmes and was the first Chair of the UK UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

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