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BBC One show set to feature Lichfield museum

Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language

Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language

A Lichfield museum is set to star in a BBC documentary.

Presenter David Dimbleby has travelled across the country in pursuit of art treasures that tell the story of our nation in The Seven Ages of Britain – and Lichfield is on his schedule.

The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum will be featured in the episode The Age of Money to be shown on BBC One at 9pm on March 7. The programme will explore the 18th century through a selection of objects including Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language.

Dimbleby recently included the Dictionary in his top three highlights from the episode, describing it as “a powerful influence on developing English and people wanting to be educated”.

The scenes, which were filmed in May 2009, show the presenter reading a first edition of the Dictionary in the very room in which Johnson was born in the Museum, and will also feature Lichfield’s historic market square.

City Council Museums and Heritage Officer Joanne Wilson said:

“Johnson’s Dictionary had a major influence in the 18th century and we are delighted that the BBC chose to film the scenes in Johnson’s home city.

“The Birthplace has a very significant collection and it is wonderful to see it featured beside major national attractions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum on the programme.”

Other items featured on Sunday’s programme include Wedgwood’s Portland Vase and landscape painter Gainsborough’s fascinating show box.

Visitors can see what David Dimbleby found so fascinating about Johnson’s great work for themselves at the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, where the Dictionary is just one of many treasures on display.

Admission to the Museum is free and it is open every day of the week. The winter opening hours are 11am to 3.30pm. Visit for more information.

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