Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category

New – National Standards for Australian Museum and Galleries – Version 1.2

ANS_v1.2_2011

Version 1.2 of the National Standards for Australian Museum and Galleries has been released with updated resources and links. The release of this latest version continues the Taskforce’s commitment to continually review the document so that it remains relevant to the needs of Australian museums. This document is intended to be freely available to all of Australia’s many museums. We use the term museum to represent all collecting organizations in the sector

 

Download The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries version 1.2 

 

The Standards are focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection-based services to the community. They aim to support museums and galleries in carrying out their day-to-day activities, meeting their responsibilities, attracting support, and achieving their other organisational objectives.

 

The National Standards Taskforce (see Appendix B of the Standards Document) has developed the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries in consultation with the museums and galleries sector and with reference to current practice, existing core standards, development and accreditation programs. The result is an up-to-date set of agreed Standards that are broad in their scope and are designed to be an accessible tool for museums nationwide.

 

The three parts, nine Principles and thirty-nine Standards within the document capture and explain core industry standards and practices. Benchmarks, tips and resources provide guidance on attaining or researching specific Standards.

 

The Standards may be used to:
• Understand principles and standards of vital importance to museum development
and management.
• Identify what can be done towards meeting specific Standards.
• Review the museum. Staff or external reviewers might use one or all parts and/or Standards as a basis for a review of operations.
• Advocate for resources to meet Standards
to governing bodies, different levels of government, and departments, regarding museum needs such as equipment, facilities and staffing
• Gain leverage to enhance access to funding
by provide a rigorous context for funding applications.
• Help make the museum more sustainable.
by providing support or measurements for a museum’s commitment to this aim.
• Identify areas to improve.
by allowing museums to discover areas of
operation that could be initiated, developed or improved.
• Promote achievements within the museum through identifying, communicating, celebrating and promoting the benchmarks they have met.
• Raise the museum’s profile with local, state/territory or federal government.
through promotion and networking, as well as forward planning with reference to government strategies and policies.
• Enhance the museum’s credibility, recognition and status within its local community.
through long-term strategic planning and in positioning themselves within their local community.
• Increase community confidence in the capacity of the museum.

 

The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries are structured in three parts:
• Part A: Managing the Museum
• Part B: Involving People
• Part C: Developing a Significant Collection

 

For each of these areas of activity, this document presents five levels of information:
• Principles: the core principles of museum practice addressed by the National Standards
• Standards: the criteria to be met as museums put the Principles into action
• Benchmarks: points of reference to assist museums wishing to demonstrate that they are working towards meeting specific Standards
• Tips: practical pointers and suggestions relating to specific benchmarks
• Books and online publications and/or web pages: print publications and online resources relevant to museums activities encompassed by individual benchmarks
(for use in conjunction with Appendix E; all online resources are hyperlinked)

 

The first five appendixes contain at-a-glance reference information:
• Appendix A: What Is a Museum? – extended definition of a museum, developed
by Museums Australia
• Appendix B: The National Standards Taskforce – information about the nine
organisations represented on the National Standards Taskforce
• Appendix C: Key Acronyms – a list of acronyms used in this document
• Appendix D: Glossary – concise definitions of key terms used in this document
• Appendix E: Resources – full bibliographical details for all print publications and
online resources referenced in this document.

 

Collecting organisations of all kinds are invited to use the National Standards framework as a practical point of reference, and are encouraged to continue providing feedback, contributing their insights, and reporting on their experiences, as the Standards continue to be developed (see Appendix F).

 

Contact details for Taskforce members in each state and territory are provided on the website of Collections Australia Network (CAN), the host site for the National Standards, and in Appendix F.

 

Importantly, the Standards offer museums opportunities for development long term, and can help them to identify priorities and develop policies, plans and procedures that will allow them to manage their activities effectively and to achieve their goals.

 

Benchmarks identified in this document can be incorporated into a museum’s planning in manageable stages, as resources become available.

 

Post by National Standards Taskforce, Australia, November 2011

1

Digital Resources for Regional Museums

Last Friday I attended the Hot Science Global Citizens symposium here in Sydney and many of the presentations focused on the problems facing the museum world when it comes to branding itself in the digital age. The presentations made it clear that ‘Climate Change’ was a useful theme from which to approach how well – or not – museums were doing in communicating this contested issue to the broader community.

The speakers conveyed a clear feeling that museums were facing a crisis which demanded a redefining of relevancy, especially in terms of how they resourced current activities and reaching beyond the exhibition model currently driving most of their activities. Reflecting on the talks it also seemed discussion about change, adoption of new technologies, engagement of citizen-scientists and re-branding the museum focused almost exclusively on large museums.

This made me think that if large museums have problems with relevancy and are looking at redirecting funding resources to pre and post exhibition audience engagement, or reconstituting what a museum exhibition is, what did this mean for the hundreds of Regional Museums across Australia?

Already these often volunteer run museums are facing huge issues and my main concern is what will happen if these big institutions change the rules of the game without integrating their regional counterparts?

While larger museums focus on re-inventing themselves Regional Museums have been expected to navigate this new terrain with even less resourcing. Of particular concern to me is some of the current discussion surrounding the ‘end of material culture’ collecting by museums and its replacement with digital technologies, conversations, and interactive web-based projects. (see Stephen Ferber’s LinkedIn discussion ‘The end of material culture collecting – it’s here!’ and post by James Chung, Susie Wilkening and Sally Johnstone, ‘Coming Soon the Future’. Understanding how current technologies can affect the interpretation of museum collections is critical for smaller museums many of whom define the importance of the work they do against their collections.

There are currently many affordable web-based tools for changing museum models. These include Twitter or Facebook, Google docs, Wiki’s, free cloud based software tools for editing, managing collections, free websites, analytic software, and increasing online access to documentation and collections held across the world. But how are these tools being integrated into our Regional Museums?

At the ‘Hot Science’ symposium the final activity was a brainstorming workshop. Our group posited an idea for setting up a fund for Regional Museum staff to develop a travelling exhibition on climate change. In this scenario representatives of the winning entries would visit different types of museums (natural history, science, art) where they would work on a travelling exhibition based around a few objects from the museum but mainly focused on web 2.0 tools (Wiki’s, Google Docs , Dropbox, Twitter and Facebook). The final project would then be travelled by the representative, along with guest speakers (e.g. scientist, miner, farmer, and council officer), to other Regional museums to gather stories of climate variations, engage in debate and post this data to the centralized project site using the web 2.0 tools.

This would see skills and knowledge relating to new technologies shared as the exhibition travels. It could also have spin off benefits if more regional communities were engaged in citizen science projects to contribute to plant insect and animal identification in specific areas.
If there is any interest in developing this, or other ideas, I am happy to set up a Wiki or google group to help develop something more concrete. What do others think?

1

2011 Australian Floods – Current Status of Galleries Libraries Archives and Museums

The rains from 23 December through to mid-January have resulted in exceptional flooding in many parts of central and southern Queensland as well as Victoria and parts of northern New South Wales. As these floods had the potential to pose potential risks for heritage institutions in these areas CAN approached its Partner institutions in flood affected areas to ascertain if they had sustained any damage to their buildings or collections.

Much of the ground work has already been done by the Australian Library Information Association, the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material, Museums Australia, MA Nexus Q-Dis and particularly Museum & Gallery Services Queensland who provided the material for most of this list. CAN would also like to acknowledge the work of all those involved in putting together this information to enable the following list to be compiled.

Download the Google map based on most of the data

A pdf of the following list
2011 Flood Galleries Libraries Museums Archives

Artisan Gallery
21/1 – OK at Fortitude Valley but the South Bank store is still without power and will remain closed for another week.
From the artisan blog

Australian Catholic University Gallery
OK
Email from CAN

Brookfield District Museum
Flooding in surrounding areas, but the Museum and Showgrounds are OK.
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Commissariat Store Museum
15/1 – Water main burst in front of the building itself, took out the 1913 concrete retaining wall, which in turn caused the collapse of the convict-built retaining wall at the back of the Store. The falling debris punched a hole in the back wall of The Store itself. No damage to any of our collection, and everything in the building is secure. No flood water has entered the Store at all, though there is mud all through the yard from the burst water main, and rubble on the ground floor.

20/1 – Still no power. Cement block from retaining wall will be removed shortly, then repairs to the building can start. Collection is safe. Museum will hopefully reopen in approx 6 months.
From email Carolyn Nolan, President RHSQ, posted to Q-DIS.
Phone conversation with M&GSQ and Christina Michie, RHSQ

Cultural Centre, Brisbane (incl. QM, QAG | GoMA, SLQ, QPAC)
All State collections are fine. The assessment of damage and safety issues from flooding to lower levels and carparks, clean up and phased reinstatement of services is now underway.

21/1 – Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, State Library of Qld, Queensland Performing Arts Centre buildings at South Bank remain closed to the public until further notice, following the recent flood.
Update from Arts Qld on Q-DIS

Customs House
OK
Phone call Deannah Veith, MOB Heritage Officer

Mercy Heritage Centre
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Minerals Heritage Museum
OK. Water went to the bottom of their stairs.
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Miegunyah House Museum
OK
Deannah Veith
Museum of Brisbane
Museum is OK. The collection at Moorooka is OK as well.
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Newstead House
OK
Deannah Veith

Nundah & District Historical Society
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Old Government House
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

QCA Gallery
OK
Email from CAN

Queensland Maritime Museum
15/1 – Diamantina floated clear of her blocks and 2 small leaks were subsequently detected – a pocket of air was trapped in Carpentaria and she has rolled to a 45 deg angle. The Museum experienced approximately 30cm water through the ground floor admin and displays. The workshops and boat display experienced approx 10cm flooding. There has been an extensive deposit of mud everywhere.

20/1 -Open to the public.
Email from Ian Jempson, posted to Q-DiS Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Queensland Police Museum
OK
Q-DIS

QUT Art Museum
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

UQ Antiquities Museum collection
Located in the basement of the Art Museum and is being monitored as any time without air conditioning and air circulation increases the risk of mould developing.
Update from Kath Kerswell, Collection Coordinator, UQ Art Museum posted to Q-DIS

UQ Art Museum
The UQ Art Museum Collection is fine.
Update from Kath Kerswell, Collection Coordinator, UQ Art Museum posted to Q-DIS

Victoria Barracks Historical Society- Fortitude Valley
OK but closed for a month while collections are returned.
Deannah Veith

Windsor & District Historical Society
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Caboolture Historical Village – including Restoration Society
OK, no damage
Info from CAN & phone call with M&GSQ

Pine Rivers Art Gallery
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Tamborine Mt. Heritage Centre
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Ipswich Art Gallery
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Ipswich Historical Society
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Workshops Rail Museum
OK
Email to M&GSQ

USQ Historical Archives
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Athlone Cottage, Jandowae
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Australian Education Heritage Museum, Toowoomba (soon to be opened to public)
Water entered their storage building and display area. Some larger museum artefacts in the display area got wet but these will only need cleaning.
In the storage building, water seeped in and soaked boxes of books and papers, some paintings, furniture and display structures. These are currently being dried out.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Booringa Heritage Museum at Mitchell
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Bowenville Park History & Heritage Association, railway building
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Catholic Church Archives ( TMBA)
Fine
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Charleville Historical Society
No news

Chinchilla Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Chinchilla White Gums Gallery
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Cobb & Co Changing Station at Surat
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Cobb & Co Museum
1 foot of water through the new section of the building flooding the coffee shop, book shop and the factory. Fortunately the collections are all ok.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Crows Nest Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Customs House Musuem, Goondiwindi
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Dalby Pioneer Park Museum
Grounds flooded but buildings and collection OK
Info From CAN

Dalby Regional Gallery
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Dawson Folk Museum, Theodore
Collection is fine
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Dogwood Crossing @ Miles
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Gatton & District Historical Society Inc,
OK
Report form CAN & C Ianna

Glennie School Archive
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Goondiwindi & District Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Highfields Pioneer Village
Minor damage to the grounds but the collections are fine.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Inglewood & District Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Juandah Homestead, Wandoan
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Leyburn Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Maclagan Memories Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Main Roads Heritage Centre, Toowoomba
Some mould in the collections on display. No damage to collections stored at Darra, Barcaldine and Cairns
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Miles Historical Village
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Millmerran Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Milne Bay Military Museum
Had some roof leaks but the collection is fine
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Museum of Australian Army Flying
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Nobby Forge & Vintage Museum
Isolated but collection is fine
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Nobby Heritage & Development Assoc.’s Hall and Railway Station buildings
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Oakey Historical Museum Society
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Pittsworth Pioneer Village
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Roma and District Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

t. George Heritage Centre
21/1 – Still on tender hooks. The water has come up as far as the blacksmith building, and around the steam engine. All the low artefacts have been moved up and they are now waiting for the second peak.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

St Vincent's Hospital Archives
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Tara & District Historical Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Templin Historical Village at Boonah
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Texas Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba & Darling Downs Family History Society
The collection is fine. Some trouble with the earth wall, collapsed three times since Christmas, cascading mud and gravel across their property, up the ramp, and under the building. This blocked the main drain and undermined their tank, which is leaning with its down pipe broken. In addition, a Council drain pipe that runs under the footpath developed a leak and the footpath immediately beside their driveway caved in and water eroded under their driveway.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Fire Brigade Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba First Aid & Ambulance History Group
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Grammar Museum & Archive
Fine
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Historical Society
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Hospital Medicine & Medical Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Local History Library
6 litres of water in their archive room. They lost 8 items, mostly from the 1990s. All under control now.
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

USQ Historical Archives
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Warwick Art Gallery
Activated their disaster plan twice. OK
Email to M&GSQ

Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum
One room flooded; collection moved out and yet to be put back; damage to be confirmed
Phone call M&GSQ

Gympie Regional Gallery
OK, no damage
Phone call M&GSQ

Valley Rattler – Mary Valley Heritage Railway Museum Association
Damage to railway line $4000; now operating again but loss to revenue stream due to reduced patronage
Phone call M&GSQ

Woodworks Forestry & Timber Museum
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Wondai Gallery
OK
Phone conversation with M&GSQ

Wondai Museum
OK
Email Vicki Warden, posted to Q-DIS

Australian Sugar Cane Railway
Damage to tracks; train can't operate; train station and storage shed flooded
Phone call M&GSQ

Bundaberg & District Historical & Museum Society Inc.
OK – no water in museums but Botannical Gardens flooded & lots of damage
Phone call M&GSQ

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Fairymead House Sugar Museum
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association Inc.
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Hinkler Hall of Aviation
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Brennan & Geraghty's Store Museum
Above flood level but has experienced moisture being drawn up into the building through the ground – this dried out through the museum being open.
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

Grand Shirl's Doll Museum
Above flood level
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

Historic Baddow House
Situated above the flood level but has minimal damage to gardens.
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

Mavis Bank House
Situated close to the river and had water near its ground level – most of the problems were from humidity.
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

Military & Colonial Museum
OK
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

The Bond Store Museum
The Bond Store Museum had the lower level innundated but items were removed, damage cleanup is mostly in removing mud
Post Ken Brooks, Q-DIS

Banana Shire Historical Society
OK, no damage
Phone call M&GSQ

Baralaba History Group
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Biloela Library Art Space
OK, no damage
Phone call M&GSQ

Capricorn Coast Historical Society
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

CQ Family History Association
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

CQ University Art Collection
OK Facilitlies managment sandbagged and moved collection items to next level but water did not enter building.
Email Holly Grech-Fitzgerald
CQ University Art Collection Officer

Dawson Folk Museum, Theodore
Collection is fine
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Emerald Art Gallery
OK
Phone call M&GSQ

Emerald & District Historical Society
The pioneer cottage housing the museum displays just survived the rising floodwaters with water up to the floorboards but not coming inside. A shipping container holding some objects did go under.
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Gladstone Maritime Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Joskeleigh Soth Sea Islander Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Moura Coal and Country Historical Society
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Mt Morgan Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Rockhampton & District Historical Society
The council placed pumps under the floorboards and sandbagged/sealed doors, vents, etc which kept water out of the inside even though it rose to about 30cm above floor level. Need to monitor the collection for mould etc over the coming weeks.

18/1 – The power is still disconnected and some cleaning will need to be done before the collection is put back into place. Council has already pressure-cleaned the verandahs and laid gravel around the building so it is accessible without having to slip and slide through mud. This will enable some of the older volunteers to return safely to the site as well.
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Sarina Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Taroom Museum
OK
Post Bronwyn Roper, MDO C QLD, Q-DIS

Casterton & District Historical Society
OK
CAN

Warracknabeal Historic Centre
OK
CAN

Rochester Historical & Pioneer Museum
Of the four buildings 3 have had knee water flow through them. All the best colections have been moved to the unaffected fourth building. The local Council has been cleaning buildings with volunteers and help from Echucah Historical Society. The Machinery and wagons are being dried out and paper based frozen in glad wrap.
CAN

Echuca Historical Society
?
CAN

Port Echuca
?
CAN

Shepparton Art Gallery
OK
CAN

Shepparton Historical Society
OK
CAN

Glenelg Libraries
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Highlands Regional Library Clunes
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Warracknabeal Branch Library
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Goldfields Library Corporation
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Dept of Premier and Cabinet Library Brisbane
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Fairfield Brisbane City Council Libraries
FD
Australian Library Information Association

New Farm Brisbane City Council Libraries
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Stones Corner Brisbane City Council Libraries
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Brisbane
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Australian Catholic University
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Queensland University of Technology
OK
Australian Library Information Association

CSIRO Libraries Cunningham Library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

CSIRO Libraries Pullenvale
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Southbank Institute of Tafe library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

State Library of Queensland
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Thomas Dixon Centre Brisbane
OK
Australian Library Information Association

CSIRO Libraries Dutton Park
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Giffith University Conservatorium of Music library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Griffith University College of Art library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Logan City Council Libraries
OK

Australian Library Information Association
CSIRO Libraries Cleveland
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Gold Coast
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Bond University
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Esk Library
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Laidley Library
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Gatton Library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Toowoomba Hospital Medicine & Medical Museum
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Darling Downs Catholic Church Archives
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Toowoomba Australian Education Heritage Museum
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Toowoomba Local History Library
FD
Australian Library Information Association

Leyburn Historical Society
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Warwick Library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Goondiwindi Library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Chinchilla Dalby
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Moonie
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Jandowae
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Bell
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Dogwood Crossing
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Western Downs Regional Library Meandarra
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Fraser Coast Regional Library Tiaro
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Fraser Coast Regional Library Hervey Bay
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Fraser Coast Regional Library Howard
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Fraser Coast Regional Library Burrum Heads
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Bundaberg Regional Library Service
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Bundaberg
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Gladstone
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Rockhapmton
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Emerald
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Emerald Shire Library
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Central Queensland University Library Mackay
OK
Australian Library Information Association

Townsville City Libraries
OK
Australian Library Information Association

1

2011 Disaster Management – Conservation Resources

There are numerous sites from across the Galleries Libraries Archives and Museum sector offering advice on how to deal with water damage and CAN has compiled a list of some of these below.

NOTE: advice on the correct handling of water damaged photographs by freezing while sound for paper based photographs is not correct for glass plate negatives.

• Advise on stabilising and drying methods from the NSW State Records office
http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/government-recordkeeping-manual/guidance/guidelines/guideline-5/guideline-5-appendix-6

• Library of Congress – Emergency drying procedures for water damaged collections

• Sate Library of Queensland Salvaging water damaged collections

• Conservation Centre For Art and Historical Artefacts – Salvaging art on paper

• Conservation Centre For Art and Historical Artefacts – Salvaging books

• Conservation Centre For Art and Historical Artefacts – Salvaging photographic collections

• American Institute of Conservation – Salvaging photographs after the flood

• AICCM – Information, Factsheets on salvaging keepsakes and records after floods

• The Image Permanence Institute – A consumer guide for the recovery of water-damaged traditional and digital prints

• National Archives of Australia – Recovering flood damaged records

• National Archives (USA) – Saving family treasures guidelines

• National Film & Sound Archive – Stabilising audiovisual objects affected by floods

• Canadian Heritage Emergency Treatment of Water-Damaged Paintings on Canvas

• American Institute of Conservation – Tips for the Care for Water-Damaged Family Heirlooms and Other Valuables

• American Institute of Conservation – Salvaging Water Damaged Textiles
• U.S. National Park Centre – Emergency treatment for water soaked furniture

• Northeast documentation centre http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets/3Emergency_Management/08SalvageMoldyBooks.php

Another useful resource is the book just published by Heritage Preservation Implementing the Incident Command System at the Institutional Level: A Handbook for Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Other Cultural Repositories, by David Carmicheal, Director of the Georgia Division of Archives and History, and published in cooperation with RescuingRecords.com.

YouTube & Video Conservation Resources of Interest

Smithsonian how to remove your photographs from a sticky album

Smithsonian how to store your photographs

Salem Witch Museum repairing water damage to old masonry

Salem Witch Museum Restoration Project: Roger Tremblay demonstrates casting stone

Cleaning water damaged mobile phone LCD

How to fix a wet cell phone

Heritage Conservation U.S. – Coping with Water Damage 10 min video for museums archives and libraries

Disaster Management Plans

Unesco disaster Recovery Plan

A Disaster Recovery Plan for The Australian National Herbarium
Canberra
May 2008 A. Newey, B. Lepschi & J.Croft

1

CAN GLAM Sector News Nov 24 Dec 6 2010

This is my pick of the week – Phylo – free online interactive game that uses players in the community to help decipher the origins of genetic diseases. The game resembles a horizontal tetris but is actually doing some serious scientific work in the background. Genetic sequences are difficult to understand and so to decipher their structure, we need to compare them to detect any similar regions they may have. Similar regions may indicate important elements of our genetic code. We have several genomes to align and we call this the multiple alignment problem. In essence this enables you to help scientists solve these problems by moving coloured squares around. Have a look at it at http://phylo.cs.mcgill.ca/eng/index.html

The Victoria & Albert museum commission author of Girl with a Pearl Earring to write short story based on their Quilts: 1700 – 2010 exhibition http://tinyurl.com/37zwc38

Are you a volunteer in Victoria? Take the Victorian Volunteer Survey at La Trobe University and you could win http://bit.ly/e1esuY

A good article on the Tate’s Online Strategy can be found in its research journal 2010–12 http://tinyurl.com/2dkrhpb

Why Gawker is moving beyond the blog. Layout changes include moving the blog scroll, to the right column, still prominent but subordinate; that reverse-chronological listing of the latest stories goes from about two thirds of the active area of the front door down to one third; and only headlines are displayed. Every inside page will hew to the same template as the front page. No matter whether the visitor keys in the site address or arrives from the side by a link on Facebook or elsewhere, he or she will be greeted not just by a story but by an index of other recent items. http://lifehac.kr/fazvVM2011

Bob Dylan’s Handwritten Lyrics for “The Times They are A-Changin’” went up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York City at an estimated value of $200,000 to $300,000 http://twurl.nl/qorblr

The State Library of NSW rare first edition of The prophet went on show http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/future.html

Upcoming Exhibition On the 21 January 2011 london’s Art Sensus will showing the first comprehensive gallery exhibition devoted to the artist’s Rodchenko’s photographic work. Curated by John Milner, Rodchenko and his Circle will feature three hundred powerful photographs revealing the artist’s response to Communism in relation to the professional photographers he worked with: Naum S. Granovsky, Simon Fridland, Max Alpert, Evgeni Khaldei and Georgii Zelma. http://bit.ly/eMx7jP

I really liked this idea which saw Paula Hayes’ living terrariums installed at the Museum of Modern Art http://tinyurl.com/2fc46cx

Australian Woman’s Weekly 1933-1982 search online at National Library Trove. I have been a bit late picking up on this resource which has been on TROVE for sometime but its a great resource. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/title/112

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is commencing a review of the Telemarketing Industry Standard and has released a discussion paper which you can find at http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_312376

Tracking a rare tortoise? The latest example is an iPhone app called Mojave Desert Tortoise, which people can use to help researchers preserve the endangered species it is named after. With the app, visitors to the Mojave Desert (which stretches between California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona) can take photos of any desert tortoises they happen to encounter. The app adds GPS data to the photo and sends it to researchers at the Mojave Desert Ecosystem Program (MDEP) and Desert Managers Group. The information will then be used to track the turtles’ movements and habits. The data will also eventually be made public online. http://tinyurl.com/39eatb7

While we think we are consuming large amounts of data now the Science Daily believes the increased availability and access of broadband around the world could have serious energy implications for a society that is living within environmental limits. New research has analysed the potential future demand for downloaded data worldwide in 2030 will be around 3,200 MB a day per person and use around 1,175 Gigawatts of energy http://tinyurl.com/29hwre6

Something for the Christmas stocking for Sale by Tender HMS Invincible aircraft carrier 17000 Tonnes http://tinyurl.com/2eth37b

The Turner Prize winner for 2010 was announced. Susan Philipsz sound work of her singing an old Scottish song won the day. http://tinyurl.com/32tqcbu

The Australia Council announced some of its funded projects: residency in Antarctica, group exhibition in Croatia, Castlemaine Biennal. More at http://bit.ly/f4ZEvv

JuliensAuctions in Hollywood sold some Michal Jackson memorabilia this week included were his Smooth Criminal fedora which sold for $72,000 and a glove for 330,000. http://fb.me/HzWYpBmZ ps. An X-ray of Albert Einstein’s brain sold for 38,750

4 Photo Sharing Alternatives to Flickr and Facebook – http://on.mash.to/eQgskw

December 2 was the International Day of People with Disability

MOMA announce brief series on collectible contemporary art editions commissioned by trustee Peter Norton. http://bit.ly/eAvwBz

The Sew South Wales Government announced a plan to explore the use of Social Impact Bonds in which private enterprise invests in community-based projects. http://tinyurl.com/336a6my

In America the National Archives & Nat Tech Info Service have reached an agreement preserve digital Scientific Records http://tinyurl.com/2aq4sxd

Dürer’s Conserved Adam and Eve Unveiled at the Prado blog and photos http://tinyurl.com/25hh6me

The HornsbyCouncil in Sydney’s new website went live: http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au

Position Vacant Records Officer Remuneration, City of Wagga Wagga, Closing Date: Wed 15 December 2010 http://tinyurl.com/38wrat6

Historical Researcher, Canberra, Historical Publications and Information Section http://tinyurl.com/332eszf

Position Vacant Project Manager, Gen Operations Dept of Culture & Arts Perth, Closing Date Mon 20 Dec 2010 4:00 http://tinyurl.com/3yma492

Position Vacant Electrician, Sovereign Hill museums, Ballarat & Central Highlands App close Tues 13th Dec 2010, http://tinyurl.com/2c6rvdo

Position Vacant Tour Guides The Wax Museum, Gold Coast, part time, http://tinyurl.com/2wscs49

Position Vacant – Curator South Australian Maritime Museum, Port Adelaide, Closes 5pm Fri 7 Jan 2011, http://tinyurl.com/26bkk3l

Rotorua Museum is looking for a new public programmes manager http://bit.ly/eAYIVX

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The National Broadband Network

The Communications Policy & Research Forum 2010 was held the other week which saw a number of papers presented on the future of media and communications industry. My main interest was hearing the discussions surrounding the impact of social media on information exchange in government departments and between journalists. But it a the paper on the NBN by Paul Brooks called Possibilities and pitfalls of universal competitive broadband which is the main subject of this post.

According to Brooks’ the Federal Government’s NBN project , launched in April 2009, is expected to deliver optic cable to 93% of Australia and wireless and satellite to the remaining 7% by 2017. This network, expected to cost 43 billion dollars, is a wholesale only endeavour and as such is providing the infrastructure between the provider and the user but not the services.

Some of the benefits of the NBN are clear, current ADSL service slows down after 1km while fibre maintains full speed for up to 40 km and this means less transmitters and infrastructure cost. The up-stream speeds for ADSL are 1-2 megabits per second Mbps) while fibre optic cable can handle 100 to 1000 Mbps and can be upgraded to take even more data.

Fibre optic is also 1:1 symmetric which enables up-load and down-load speeds to be equal, this allows users to trust their services are capable of handling commercial business transactions, like hosting video conference without falling over.

The other point Brooks was clear to point out was that the NBN was limited to the infrastructure which supported end users and commercial service providers. The intent of the NBN is to sell access to the service, probably in the first instance to large wholesale companies who will then on-sell the services to thousands of new providers opening up a new realm of opportunities for business, and government agencies.

Aside from laying the cable the NBN will also install a box in every home, and these currently have four Ethernet and two PSTN ports. This will allow users to choose more than one provider, the example Brooks used was a person with an account with one provider could simultaneously test the services from another to compare services. While people will be able to hook up multiple devices such as a TV feed, a computer, and telephone Brooks also pointed out that people are currently using one device, the router, to service a number of devices around the home. The only problem with this current arrangement is that routers will need to be updated to take advantage of the four ports as currently they only have one connection out to the rest the world.

Personally I’m looking forward to the rollout of the NBN and the multitude of new options it will bring, especially for government funded bodies. Hospital & Community services; ABC and SBS feeds of interactive content; digital radio; video coferencing and educational content accessed by every house in Australia. Given its going to be up to us to populate this space it’s certainly an exciting time to be thinking about how we might integrate these new services and change the way we currently work.

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CAN GLAM Sector News 3 Nov 17 Nov 2010

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More news from our @Can001 twitter feed

Australian Major Performing Arts report Securing the Future 2002 –2009 download released http://tinyurl.com/3xn8jtr

Position Vacant – Te Papa Museum – NZ – Technology Solutions Engineer – http://tinyurl.com/265qaza

Position Vacant – Te Papa NZ – Manager Exhibition Maintenance and Installation http://tinyurl.com/32wbru4

Provenance Journal Article – The Demise of Bicycle George: A Life of Crime by Kirstie Close http://tinyurl.com/28abycy

Provenance Journal Article – Patient casebooks from 19thC Asylums inc Kew Hospital for the Insane – by Catharine Coleborne http://tinyurl.com/2e2r3p4

This is really amazing Every bus stop, train station, ferry port and taxi rank in Britain mapped and tagged http://tiny.cc/349jn

Historian Simon Schama’s vision for history in schools posted – http://tiny.cc/q1wbw

Interesting use of splash page on Westbury library web site http://www.westburylibrary.org/ 5 top trends in web design

National Museums Scotland website – HTML5 structured semantically for meaning of content blog http://tinyurl.com/22lexu8

List of winners from the 2010 SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS http://bit.ly/aPO4Yc

Books – released this week include, A History of the Internet and the Digital Future, Ryan, Johnny, 2010 – No Shelf Required: E-Books in Libraries, ed. by Sue Polanka – Studio Secrets: Millinery, Ramousse, Estelle & Fabienne Gambrelle. 2010 – The Simon & Kirby Superheroes, Simon, Joe & Kirby Jack, 2010

Australian Centre for the Moving Image – Posted 11 November – 1 week til Disney ‘Dreams Come True’ exhibition opens.

Apple adds special education section to App Store: http://bit.ly

Two examples of Museum Village interpretation plans http://www.mccastle.com/Public/WhatsNew.aspx

National Photographic Portrait Prize deadline was the 12 November http://bit.ly/61hj8e

Some discussion this week on archiving tweets. Can uses twapper keeper

Smithsonian Museums – November 12 – Responds to Deficit Commission’s Recommendation on imposing admission fees to recoup money – these would be the first in the Smithsonian’s 164 year history. There comments on the recommendations can be found at http://ht.ly/3anaE

Regan Forrest submitted her write-up Interpretation Australia National Symposium http://bit.ly/ah8fdr

Melbourne Museum – 480,879 visitors to the Titanic Exhibition

National Film and Sound Archive – The only known moving images of the 1915 campaign at Gallipoli http://bit.ly/9sXX30

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) – phone service available for non-profit sector http://ow.ly/36KaY

National Library of Australia – posted oral history interviews with forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. http://www.nla.gov.au/digicoll/ListentotheForgottenAustralians.html

Winners of the Powerhouse Museum Amped hack day challenge Andrea Lau & Jack Zhao interviewed http://tinyurl.com/36b3mww

Interesting release of source code for Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design web site to public http://ow.ly/37bA8

Government 2.0 – Presenters slides from the recent conference posted at http://tiny.cc/p44il

Who owns Antarctica graphic http://tiny.cc/ckebj

Google releases Hotpot – places recommendation engine that allows reviews through Google profiles http://on.mash.to/ddiLbe

Had a re-visit to UNESCO’s The Australian Memory of the World Register this week http://www.amw.org.au/register/amw_reg06.htm and immediately thought a few more items that might warrant submission.

Good idea from the U.S. – a Plain Writing Act of 2010 http://bit.ly/bd7bPp

Position Vacant – Education & Public Programs Officer Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Museum – http://tinyurl.com/37kyrxj

Position Vacant – Director National Motor Museum – ADELAIDE HILLS – http://tinyurl.com/2djdfxf

Position Vacant – Studio co-ordinator Australian Museum – http://australianmuseum.net.au/positions/Studio-Co-ordinator

Liz Pidgeon – Rising from the Ashes. DVD about Black Saturday fires about to be processed for local history collections at YPRL http://alturl.com/sjoo6

MCA Sydney – Director Liz Ann has just been elected to the #CIMAM Board, the International Council of Museums.

The Desktop Guide for Covering Science booklet was released this week. Is is “aimed both at the reporters on science, health and environment rounds, and also at general reporters who’d like to get the science right.” You can look at the booklet and read it online but need to register to download, that being said there are also lots of helpful tips you can access from this page. http://bit.ly/allT1V. Advice from former New York Times and Washington Post science reporter Boyce Rensberger:
• Science demands evidence, and some forms of evidence are worth more than others are. A scientist’s authority should command attention but, in the absence of evidence, not belief.
• There is no one scientific method, but all good science includes elaborate procedures to discover and avoid biases that might mislead.
• Uncertainty is a sign of honest science and reveals a need for further research before reaching a conclusion. Cutting edge science is highly uncertain and often flat-out wrong.
• The pace of science, despite the hype, is usually slow, not fast. Breakthroughs are never the result of one experiment.
• Balanced coverage of science does not mean giving equal weight to both sides of an argument. It means apportioning weight according to the balance of evidence.
• Virtually all new technologies pose risks along with benefits. Thus “safe” and effective,” whether applied to drugs or new devices or processes, are always relative terms. It is irrational to ask whether something is safe or not. Nothing is 100 percent safe. Policy decisions involving science must balance risks and benefits.
• Journalists and scientists espouse similar goals. Both seek truth and want to make it known. Both devote considerable energy to guard against being misled. Both observe a discipline of verifying information. Both insist that society allow them freedom to pursue investigations wherever they lead. Neither requires licensure or approval of an outside authority to practice its craft.
• News organisations usually invest too much importance in a scientific development and not nearly enough in the broader trends.

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CAN GLAM Sector News 28 Oct–3 Nov 2010

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The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) was established on 1 November 2010 by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and they have published a paper ‘Towards an Australian Government Information Policy – Issues Paper which is worth a read.

Regional Australians have new opportunities to participate in hands-on arts and cultural activities that explore community issues through their local festival. Minister for the Arts announces Festival Australia funding for 37 new community festivals. Find out more http://bit.ly/8XmYS3 . Arts Minister Simon Crean said local Festivals are opportunities for communities to come together to have fun, and also to share and participate in cultural and artistic experiences. Today I am announcing $540,000 from the Festivals Australia program for 37 new and diverse festivals projects that range from career development for young Indigenous hip hop performers, workshops for singers and songwriters, MP3 guides to community art spaces, and shopping trolley art works that raise awareness of homelessness.

UNESCO-Aschberg is offering bursaries for young Artists with the deadlines ending Nov: http://bit.ly/cKXkrG Residencies in different arts disciplines available in countries around the world for artists aged 25-35. Residencies offered in Asia and Europe include:
• Visual Arts at Changdong National Art Studio, Korea
• Visual Arts & Creative Writing at Sanskriti Pratishthan, India
• Visual Arts & Design at Camac, France
• Visual Arts & Writing at Civitella Ranieri Centre, Italy
• Visual/ video arts, photography, architecture, animation at UNIDEE, Italy

The Australian Aviation Museum is featured in a new iphone app on Sydney Kids Activities by Nasda Studios http://fb.me/K0ufSt43

Museums Victoria has two positions advertised MV/6589 – Coordinator, Live Exhibits Grade 3; Value Range 2, This Vacancy is Full Time and Ongoing. Applications close: Wednesday 17 November 2010 ; MV/8027 – Senior Event Operations Coordinator Grade 3; Value Range 1 This Vacancy is Full Time and Ongoing Applications close: Monday 15 November 2010.

An interesting book – Electronic Business Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century – by Peter Cunningham et al. http://amzn.to/8ZKQue

An interesting account of how Mosman Council has been using Social media can be found at http://tinyurl.com/23ofqvw

The CeBIT’s Gov 2.0 conference was also held and you can follow the tweets on this by using the #gov20cebit.

Sound Summit is looking for Festival Co-Directors on 2011 and 2012 festivals http://bit.ly/aY26nn Monday 15th November 2010.

Some great coverage of Phar Lap’s Melbourne Cup win in 1930 http://bit.ly/cCQ91e

World Wildlife Foundation posts 7 photos on Facebook in the album “20% of vertebrates (back-boned species) face extinction risk” http://fb.me/L9jEWkLv

The State Library is hosting a free exhibition of original artwork by the revered poet, Kahlil Gibran, from 4 Dec 2010. http://bit.ly/d17blg

The South Australian Zoo saw the arrival of their long awaited Sea-lion pup. The first pictures http://bit.ly/aCl4O8

EveryBlock partner API goes online to provide access to the latest neighbourhood news 24/7 – across 16 cities Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco ,San Jose, Seattle, Washington, http://tinyurl.com/3axwnu3

Senator Kate Lundy was named one of the Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics & topped the top 10, winning the International eDemocracy Award at the World e.Gov Forum in Paris. Craig Thomler online director at the Department of Health and Ageing & runs a blog called eGov AU, and was also named. Charlotte Harper’s article http://tinyurl.com/38ah2qj

Archiving the Web: Papers from the International Web Archiving Workshop (Vienna 2010) has put some papers online although 1 link appears faulty the others include: Archiving web video – http://liwa-project.eu/images/publications/ArchivingWebVideo.pdf , Terminology Evolution Module for Web Archives http://liwa-project.eu/images/publications/TerminologyEvolutionModule.pdf , Archiving Data Objects using Web Feeds http://liwa-project.eu/images/publications/ArchivingDataObjects.pdf

The Powerhouse Museum have just completed WaterWorx their first in-gallery iPad interactive http://bit.ly/aNj5v6

To support the development of inclusive practices and opportunities for all people with a disability living in NSW, Accessible Arts has developed a Rural and Regional Engagement Strategy 2010-12 http://bit.ly/bpn00H

Australia Council appoints Anzarts for Australian Performing Arts Market scoping study http://bit.ly/dlsLGc

Release of the draft for the proposed new National Arts curriculum http://icio.us/5wfrah
Australia’s average online connection speed is 2.8 megabits per second (Mbps) ranking it 48th in the world according to the Akamai Report: http://bit.ly/aNrXPm
A fantastic interactive graphic illustrating the scale of the universe by Cary Huang & Michael Huang http://htwins.net/scale/

South Australian Library & Information Network (SALIN) Committee wrote to tell us about the library infested with Zombies see Attack of the Zombrarians they even have their own calendar http://bit.ly/9iBR8u

Simon Collins wins the inaugural Hurstville Library St George Art Award.
An article on the end of textbooks as we know them http://bit.ly/aacxSy

One less login – you can now sign up for Flickr using your Google Account! http://cot.ag/8XGibT

The Smithsonian’s open source web development tools Omeka beta launches http://bit.ly/bBShhX

A nice BBC story on Ludwig Koch, the man pioneered nature sound recording: http://is.gd/gpbAX

Paper from Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission inquiry on Victorian tourism industry scopes public submissions http://tinyurl.com/392wt9d

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“La Stupenda” in Canberra – ACT Heritage Library

La Stupenda Mobile Quest Program

As we mourn the passing of Dame Joan Sutherland, Canberra remembers her performing at local venues at least three times in her career.

As one of Stars of the Mobil Quest 1950, a very young Joan Sutherland performed at the Albert Hall on 15 September 1950. It was also the first outing of the Canberra Concert Orchestra conducted by Les Pogson. The Canberra Times declared it a “delightful concert”.

Local audiences did not see the soprano again until 27 August 1976 at the Canberra when she gave a recital accompanied by her husband Richard Bonynge. Canberra Times reviewer, WL Hoffman said it was “La Stupenda at her magnificent best…”

The couple again played the Canberra Theatre on 31 August 1980, when Joan played the title role in the Australian Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor and Bonynge conducted the orchestra.

All featured programmes and clippings are part of the ACT Heritage Library’s extensive performing arts ephemera collection.

A list of holdings for performances at the Canberra Theatre and Australian National University venues can be found on the library’s website.

Submitted by Antoinette Buchanan
Senior Librarian, ACT Heritage Library
ACT Library and Information Services

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Museum3 – from network to not-for-profit!

Museums 3 Ning Logo 2010

Post by Associate Professor Angelina Russo.

It’s been just over two and a half years since we established Museum3.0. What started as an idea for connecting cultural professionals online, has grown to a network of over 2500 members and is still going strong!

Earlier this year, the network provider (Ning) announced changes to it’s structure. While these changes didn’t make a huge difference to us (we already paid for premium services) they came at the same time as we were realising that the network was now larger than we could have ever anticipated. With so many members, Lynda Kelly and I put our heads together to try and come up with a structure which would enable the network to grow and give us some entity through which to manage and sustain this growth.

The upshot?
We decided to incorporate as a not-for-profit organisation! This gives us a legal entity through which to advocate, create and develop new knowledge, projects and collaborations. It also means we can do simple things like book venues for conferences!!

With an initial executive board made up of the members of our current research project (Timothy Hart, Melbourne Museum; Sebastian Chan, Powerhouse Museum, Lynda Kelly, Australian Museum and myself, RMIT University) we are currently finalising the constitution so that we can establish ourselves in the next few weeks.

Why now?
To begin with, Museum3 was supported by our current collaborative research project Engaging with Social Media in Museums. This project explored the impact of social media on museum learning and communication. The project supported Lynda and my time to explore the potential of the network. As the project nears its end, neither of us would have a remit through which to maintain the network. By establishing as a not-for-profit, we are able to demonstrate an outcome of the project which, while unexpected, has benefits well beyond the academic papers which were written throughout the three year research program.

What came out of Museum3
Throughout the past 2 1/2 years a number of groups have formed on the network, enabling like-minded professionals to contribute to discussions surrounding the changes in the sector. Additionally, two specialised groups were formed by students to share their research and to create a global network of up and coming museum professionals. We are particularly proud of this outcome and hope to be able to support it further within the new organisation.

What’s next?
Earlier this week we published the ‘objects’ or aims of the organisation which will become part of our constitution. We asked the network for their thoughts and received terrific feedback which has enabled us to hone the objects to meet the needs of our network. It is this type of participation which is of particular interest to me as it demonstrates a dedicated, supportive and critical discourse within which to evolve.

We’re currently trialling the new graphics and establishing new features which will include tiered membership (an issue which we also posted to our network for feedback), our inaugural conference and first AGM (14 – 15 April 2011, Melbourne) and specialist research workspaces.

In the future we want to develop webinars, podcasts and teaching resources.

We’re very excited about these developments and are particularly proud of the thoughtful contributions we have received all the way along.

So, in the next few weeks, this is what we will become:

Museum3 – www.museum3.org

Museum3 is a global network for those interested in the future of museums, galleries, science centres, libraries & archives. It seeks to:

(a) Develop and maintain an engaged, creative and connected community of global cultural institution professionals and advocates; encouraging innovation through knowledge exchange, networking, research, design development and outreach activities.

(b) Provide an environment that promotes the evolutionary development of the cultural institution sector fostering the exchange of innovative online and onsite practices in a critical and supportive space.

(c) Develop positive perceptions by members, visitors and the broader community about the cultural sector’s role in inspirational and sustainable programs of communication, both onsite and online.

(d) Enhance and effectively share knowledge, ideas, skills and innovations about the cultural institution sector (libraries, museums, galleries, archives and broadcasters) by promoting movable cultural heritage.

(e) Provide advocacy and support to the cultural institution sector to develop and maintain partnerships with media, business, government and other cultural services organizations to facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas, information exchange and joint projects to the benefit of heritage collections and places.

In the meantime, you can find us at www.museum30.ning.com

All thoughts and comments greatly appreciated!


Associate Professor Angelina Russo, PhD
RMIT University
School of Media and Communication
Building 9, Level 2, Room 4

Phone +613 99252753
Email angelina.russo@rmit.edu.au

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The Quest for Quolls (aka native cat and tiger cat)

Quests are adventures usually with a cause and a redemptive goal and it seemed fitting to term this blogpost as a quest for quolls. CAN received an email recently from Dr David Peacock (Research Officer – NRM Biosecurity Unit Biosecurity SA) asking for help from the Australian collecting community with finding artefacts with quoll fur and historical evidence of quolls. Dave and his colleague Ian Abbott are collecting historical accounts of the “native cat” and “tiger cat”, animals now called quolls, to advance contemporary understanding of these species. They have found that the eastern quoll in particular, now only found in Tasmania, was extremely common and was generally mercilessly persecuted, for reasons such as to prevent their raiding of chicken coops, as well as for the fur trade.

Tiger Quoll | CC-BY | Pierre Pouliquin

Tiger Quoll | CC-BY | Pierre Pouliquin

 

During their searches they have come across numerous accounts of “native cat” and “tiger cat” skin prices; and their skins for sale, being made into “blankets”, “rugs”, “carriage-wraps” and the like, including a 1922 advertisement for children’s coats manufactured at a place in Geelong, Victoria, from The Argus, 6 September 1922. Another example of these accounts is from 1886: ‘… A very handsome and remarkable rug, made from Tasmanian furs, is exhibited by W. A. Gardner, Esq., of Launceston. The centre is of the fur of the native cat, and is surrounded by the fur of the tiger cat and common native cat, with border of opossum’. Tasmania, for one, exported “native cat” and “tiger cat” skins to England as early as 1826, with material sent to Europe for the trade exhibitions as early as 1854, so perhaps such an historical artifact has survived in a European museum?

The Argus, 6 September 1922

The Argus, 6 September 1922


For Dave’s talks on these historical quoll accounts he has wanted an image of one of these “native cat” or “tiger cat” skin coats, blankets, etc. to help people understand (visualise) one of the reasons for the decline and regional extinction of these species. However he has been unable to locate such an image and wants some help from the wider collecting community here in sourcing useful support material and images. Dave and Ian want to know if anyone on CAN have such a “native cat” or “tiger cat” skin rug or blanket image, or one of a pile of quoll skins (such as exist for the koala), or perhaps might know of such an image? They would of course appropriately cite the image. If such an image existed, they strongly advocate that it be added to a heritage collection as it would be a very rare record of what was a very common species and the usage of its fur here in Australia.

With accounts such as “In Western Victoria the stony grassy plains are their great haunt, and every station has a permanent barrel trap, near the slaughter yard, for the sole purpose of catching these animals. I have frequently, after slaughtering a beast, caught as many as twenty of a night in one of these traps” (from 1879), it is a shame they don’t have a photo, or surviving “barrel trap”, as an artefact of the early settlers efforts to tame Australia’s now regionally extinct fauna! Dave and Ian have already used museum specimens, c.f. artefacts in their work. In their recent paper just sent to Australian Journal of Zoology entitled ‘The mongoose in Australia: failed introduction of a biological control agent’, they liaised with the state museums to detail what mongoose were held in their collections. From this they hypothesised that the approximately 1000 mongoose introduced into Australia to control the rabbit plague were probably the Indian Grey Mongoose, as this is the species of which Australia seems to have the most specimens. For this quoll research, originally the purpose was to help justify the reintroduction of quolls to South Australia as a native rabbit predator. Dave and his colleague are so glad of the National Library of Australia’s efforts to digitise old newspapers! With a search word and much time, but inordinately less effort than having to use a microfilm reader and luck with visual scanning, they have sourced many hundreds of records, and with them much insight into Australia’s faunal history. Seeking out collection items (artefacts) have not been a part of their searching, yet they represent an important tangible visual record of Australian history, and somewhat validate the relevant historical accounts they have located in their work.

Just to give you a bit of background on Ian and Dave’s research and how using unique collection materials is key to their work. Ian has also utilised old explorer and surveyor diaries to establish the origin of the feral cat arriving in Australia from 19th century European releases and not Dutch shipwrecks of the 1600s as others have hypothesised. Ian’s original paper, culminating from significant time researching, is ‘Abbott, I. (2002) Origin and spread of the cat, Felis catus, on mainland Australia, with a discussion of the magnitude of its early impact on native fauna. Wildlife Research 29(1), 51-74.’. Dave when writing his PhD he spent weeks in the Battye library in Perth going through reels of microfilm, mainly of The Western Mail, for accounts of wildlife, such as bronzewing pigeons, being poisonous to cats and dogs from their feeding on the 1080 poison-producing Gastrolobium plants. That huge effort should finally be published next month in Australian Zoologist

Dr David Peacock, Biosecurity SA

Dr David Peacock, Biosecurity SA

 

Dave and his colleague Ian would love diary, newspaper or other accounts and artefacts (like rugs, or skins) the Australian collecting community might have, or know of. Dave’s details are below if anyone has quoll related collection material in their collection they’d like to bring to light to help with this research.

 

Postal address: GPO Box 1671 Adelaide SA 5001
Location address: Building 1, Soil & Water Environs, Entry 4, Waite Rd, Urrbrae SA
Phone: 08 8303 9504
Fax: 08 8303 9555
Email: david.peacock@sa.gov.au
Web: www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity

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Emerging technologies. Immaterial Matters?

 

A tweet from Lorcan Dempsey @lorcanD caught my eye this morning – it referenced an Ariadne article ‘Emerging Technologies in Academic Libraries (emtacl10)’ a new international conference for academic libraries held in April this year in Trondheim, Norway. The article is in fact a report from Andrew Walsh an academic librarian from the University of Huddersfield, England. Then I saw another tweet from @DigitalKoans about the value academic libraries offer to researchers being analysed to ascertain how what libraries do is beneficial to the research process.

Strikes me the word “research” itself implies that the researcher (party) has explored research materials (collection material) that are made usefully available (a library) to the researcher. This research was (I’m surmising) a means of exploring “how much” value academic libraries generate and therefore increase the potential and therefore value (tangible and intangible) of new research. Lastly I spotted a reference to ways to learning how to write good grant applications from Richard Urban @Musebrarian that I thought “ah ha!” and quickly retweeted the reference.

What struck me about the information in this Ariadne article was the radical changes occurring (impact and issues arising) at one part of the collecting sector and how different the working experience is in the other parts of the collecting sector. On occasion I have been asked to give a sense of what I think is happening in the collecting sector in Australia and I’m going to attempt to do so more here. I’ll come back to the second and third references on value and grant writing further along.


Image provided with a Creative Commons Licence from Jurvetson on Flickr

I’m going to break radical change (and issues) down into bite-sized chunks and use scenarios to think more broadly about the collecting sector and emerging technologies. The collecting sector is a very complex field to be working in and the word collecting is so widely applicable. To make distinctions in work practice and approaches it can therefore be important to see in what context collecting occurs and why.

 

Organisation Size

>> Small local volunteer supported collecting organisations

These collecting organisations can be found ALL over Australia and may have a library collection, an archive of primary materials, historic buildings, native or exotic trees, specimens, artworks or made objects. These organisations might be known as an historical society, a visitor centre, a cultural centre or a museum. Rather than focus on the name or type of the organisation I focus in on what is being collected and my thoughts wander back to why – what is driving this? Then I look at the scale, any public infrastructure, resources available (staff, recurrent budget or grant opportunities) and the services provided. Many issues are faced by volunteer based organisations, to name a few: secure and appropriate premises for keeping collection material, technical expertise to enable digitisation and practice guidance. Outreach supports are crucial for these types of organisations and good advice and support at critical times can mean the world of difference in terms of making progress and continuity.

The notion of emerging technologies might seem incongruent to talk about when organisations like this are faced with these bottom line issues. But… I have to say, I have been enormously impressed by the positive thinking, commitment and power to surprise of the volunteer workforce. In my limited experience working across the GLAMs I’m constantly staggered at the careful attention to core issues and the ability to clear some head space and explore social media.

 

>> Medium-large sized organisations with paid professional staff

These collecting organisations are established as regional, state and national entities often. The organisations may have a primary collecting domain but will often have adjunct and diverse other collections, e.g. a museum that has a library and an archive. It would be disingenuous to say that the same issues faced by volunteer organisations are the same for these medium to large sized collecting organisations. So to qualify this statement I’d say the issues may be similar but the capacity to resolve them and address the risks is greater in these organisations. This capacity arises from the fact that the organisations have been formalised as publicly funded entities, there is recurrent funding and people are specifically trained to undertake core collecting tasks.

The notion of emerging technologies doesn’t seem incongruent at all to talk about in the context of these organisations. What I really like about the collecting community though is that innovation, nimbleness and curiosity – isn’t – the preserve of the paid workforce and social media is increasingly a means of collecting practitioners in organisations large and small establishing new peer networks and drawing upon each others’ know-how (and ventures forth).

 

The Why: Sustainability and Relevance

In the base social/economic sense collecting organisations collect to provide resources for their community to exploit. When that idea is dug into a little more there are very specific reasons that collecting organisations collect and make their collections publicly accessible. What is behind this is the relevance to the community (there is an interest in accessing the collection) and that interest is sustained, i.e there is continued desire/need and therefore expectation.

This is where I’d like to draw attention to the second article – and that is the ability (and necessity in many cases) to be able to continue to demonstrate the sustained interest (desire/need) and relevance of maintaining a collection and providing access to it. It seemed extraordinary to me that after 20 years of working in this field I am still seeing reports like this emerging and I’m still inclined to respond with intensity when articulating and asserting the value I know so well that is generated through collecting.

 

Technology and Value


Image provides with a Creative Commons Licence from theplanetdotcom via Flickr

Australia currently has a hung parliament, one of the issues being debated was the National Broadband Network (NBN). Whatever comes out of the negotiations between the political parties here in Australia will be important for collecting organisations large and small in the longer term. The demand for online content (and by extension it is assumed virtual access to collections) isn’t showing any signs of going away. Opportunities for organisations large and small to secure funding and advice to digitise their collections is a prime means of making the most of this community desire/need to access content online. The pace and level at which this happens is where the sticking point is when the situation of these two collecting organisations is considered. I don’t have ready answers inexcept that I point back to: The Why and How. To sustain collecting and maintain relevance to audiences and user communities is about having a good understanding of what those audiences and communities desire/need and therefore will support with people power and/or $. Which brings me to the last tweet I mentioned with a link to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the US – which i explored a little and found some good sample grant applications to look at. While these resources are focused on the IMLS grants and US organisations, much of the same information required by the IMLS is the kind of information required by grant bodies here in Australia.

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One website for Victoria’s collections: Georgia Melville

Victoria will lead the way in taking responsibility for making its state’s collections available on one website. With the support of Museum Victoria and the State Government, the Victorian branch of Museums Australia is designing and building a website that allows galleries, libraries, historical societies, archives and museums to upload their own collections to the site. It will function in a similar way to Collectish but will be only available to publicly accessible collections. Georgia Melville is project managing Victorian Collections and offers some insights into the development phase of the initiative.

Victorian Collections is a free and easy to use online cataloguing system being developed by Museum Victoria’s team, and project managed by us at Museums Australia (Victoria). Once developed, the aim of the system is to assist community museums and galleries, keeping places and historical societies, sporting, church, military and other community groups in the state of Victoria to record their local heritage and culture, and ensure their collections are well-documented for the future. Victorian Collections is especially aimed at groups wanting to take that initial step from manual to digital cataloguing and all records will be password protected and securely and permanently stored online. This is possible thanks to funding received from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development and in-kind support by Museum Victoria and DELL.

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The MA (Vic) Victorian Collections Team – Laura Miles, Peta Knott and Georgia Melville. Image courtesy of Jon Augier / Museum Victoria

Each participating group will most probably have a publicly accessible organisation page comprising contact, location and collection details. We then plan to link this page to any catalogue records that the group wishes to make public. Website visitors should also be able to search the online catalogue by organisation or across the entire Victorian Collections catalogue by region, keyword or theme. Publicly available catalogue records may also include functions to tag and comment on items to encourage dialogue between the public and collection organisations. We also hope to include a forum space for organisations to discuss their collections and seek advice about cataloguing methods.

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The MV ICT Victorian Collections Team – Frank Radocaj, Tim Hart and Forbes Hawkins. Image courtesy of Jon Augier / Museum Victoria

Tim Hart, Forbes Hawkins and Frank Radocaj from Museum Victoria’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Department are currently developing the software component of Victorian Collections, which will be available to community museums and other collecting organisations by mid 2011. Meanwhile, Peta Knott and I from Museums Australia (Victoria), under the guidance of Laura Miles, our Executive Director, are providing training and advice on different aspects of cataloguing to interested organisations in preparation for the online system.

Further information about the project is available which over the coming months will be regularly updated with ongoing project developments and cataloguing advice. Please feel free to contact Peta or I at anytime on (03) 8341 7344 or info@victoriancollections.net.au

Georgia Melville

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Outreach builds audiences in children’s museum: Jane Cush

JaneCushrestinguponsidewalkNewYorkNov09
After a visit to the Boston Children’s Museum last year, gallery director Jane Cush has decided to target three year olds as the organisation’s new audience. Ms Cush, who runs the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery (GRAG), believes they are the ones who feel the least inhibited in a gallery environment. Older visitors often say they feel alienated by art or do not understand what it means. By inviting young children into the gallery, it has the opportunity to interact with parents. Ms Cush tells children there are no rules in the gallery except not to trip up old ladies or touch the artwork. Often school children tell each other to be quiet in the gallery but she insists that they should feel at home and loves hearing them babble on about something they have discovered in an artwork in the gallery.

Ms Cush brought back a list of ideas on how to build a community after a two-week Museums and Galleries NSW fellowship at the children’s museum last year. Her detailed report about her experience can be found on the MGNSW website.

She arrived home feeling that GRAG needed to engage more with youth. ‘We were just paying lip service really. Now, amongst several strategies to develop audiences, we are looking at how to engage more with mothers and babies. Outreach was already set-up but now we are drilling down.’ Ms Cush said. ‘We have also beefed up the information day for teachers at the start of each semester, and every exhibition now has an interactive children’s programme.

Boston Children’s Museum focuses on supporting marginalised or under-represented groups. It has sensitively developed programs that empower those who participate without drawing attention to the fact that they are in need. For example, the Museum runs a teen ambassador programme which mentors teen students to work with migrant families who visit the museum. The scheme invites bi-lingual teenagers to join the program – looking at the positives rather than focusing on the fact that they themselves usually come from poorer migrant families. If the students stick with the ambassador program for two years, various Boston companies sponsor them with a US$5000 scholarship to go on to college. There is no dedicated children’s museum in Australia but many of Boston’s initiatives can be applied to institutions offering edu-tainment.

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Macroscopic Views? Allsorts Online!

Matt Webb, a British designer for Berg a design consultancy company, gave the keynote presentation at the Web Directions South conference in Sydney (October 2009). Matt had some good points to make about design per se and the direction of web design in general and in playful ways used both science fiction and hiking as pivot points to discuss design. He used his experience of crossing and seeing the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the USA more poignantly to illustrate the idea that design is part of a significant grander scale shift socially that is only perceptible over long distance and time.
 
Matt is inspirational, because he is passionate about design and underlying that passion is a very clear understanding of the principles of flexibility and efficiency in form which underlies great design. The examples Matt drew upon were intriguing and unexpected. Public housing in Levittown, developed in the late 1940s for returned servicemen in the USA was his standout example. Matt drew parallels between the modularity and utility in the modern design of these homes; the potential to extend and modify and decorate was left in the hands of the owners – a point of difference for each family.

Levittown, PA

Levittown, PA

 
So… how does this relate to the collecting sector? Rather than get into great discussions of aesthetics, function and form in relation to web design and development…what I think also can be taken from Matt’s talk is the need for strong but flexible foundations that can evolve as needs evolve from the community or consumers or sector or industry you serve. I drew out this point in a presentation called ‘Eternal Cities?’ about moving from – being online – to – living online at the National Digital Forum in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand in November. Using a quote from a text called ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ (based on an exhibition at MoMA in 2008) I hoped to get the practitioners from across the collecting sector in the room to think about what it takes to be practitioner (or designer/shaper of collections and access to them online) in a time of great social change.
 
..one of design’s fundamental roles: “the translation of scientific and technological revolutions into approachable objects that change people’s lives and, as a consequence, the world. Design is a bridge between the abstraction of research and the tangible requirements of real life.” Foreword, Glenn Lowry, Director, MOMA, Design and the Elastic Mind, 2008.
 
The Allsorts Online forum organised by CAN in partnership with the State Library of South Australia and the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) in Adelaide this week (1 Dec) at the State Library of South Australia was also kicked off with this quote. The forum was organised to allow diverse practitioners from across the collecting, academic, arts and media to step back and take a macroscopic view and spend time thinking about what it means go to online and how the lines between different sectors and professions seem to be blurring (or is it just that we are using the same tools of trade and having similar experiences and our points of difference remain intact?). The Twitter hashtag #allsorts09 from the forum is a cascade of tweets documenting the many ideas and diverse perspectives offered by the participants (audience, presenters and panelists) on the day.
 
While forum participants pondered and asked themselves questions, having listened to a mixture of experiences in working online, elsewhere, and earlier, debate about social change and what working and living online means had already emerged at Sydney Media140 focused on the future of journalism (as another profession heavily implicated in this shift to operating online). Seems digital culture is high on allsorts of minds… people are online and finding out what that means and/or well past wondering – see Stephen Collins’ acidlabs blog in response to Lyndal Curtis’ column ‘Too tired to tweet’ (ABC) for different perspectives on this.

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection. Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001.

High heeled shoe on tricycle, `Liquorice Allsorts’, designed by Ross Wallace, used in `Parade of Icons’ Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, Sydney 2000. Collection: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection. Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001.

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