Join us in #collectionfishing on Twitter

The Collections Australia Network has been collectionfishing on Twitter. Each day a different organisation organically comes up with a theme for the day. Participants fossick around online collections for related material. Synesthesia took hold of the cultural sector online last week with the days of the week taking on different colours. Te Papa, New Zealand, started the week off with blue, Museum Victoria saw Tuesday as blue / red and Wednesday as red, CAN nominated Thursday as green and Friday yellow.

CAN is using #collectionfishing as a form of collection research, as its starting point for sourcing psychiatric hospital collections that could be uploaded to the CAN collection database.


Monday / Blue: @staterecordsnsw licence for the Coolamon Golf Club (Blue Light Disco)
Tuesday / Blue:@museumvictoria Oh the nostalgia, a lovely Bondi Blue iMac
Wednesday / Red: @CAN001 Old Gippstown on CAN A slightly different drum with red and blue
Thursday / Green: @CAN001 from the UTAS Fine Art Collection on CAN, thanks to Rachel Rose, Spit Bay, Heard Island
Friday / Yellow: @TePapaColOnline What will make you iron faster? Yellow racing stripes Iron, His Masters Voice, circa 1955

@MigrationMuseum, South Australia, took photographs within its exhibition space of a collection of items from the Polonia Soccer Club and uploaded it to Twitpic. Very resourceful – proof that anyone can play this game and participants are not confined to those with collections online. @lifeasdaddy, aka Bob Meade, is a well-known citizen researcher of cultural collections. He has been yelling out cries of encouragement from the sideline but we would love him to search across the nation’s collections on CAN and tweet them.

To participate, search a cultural collection online with the theme of the day in mind. Briefly describe the item, add a tinyurl to take the reader directly to the artefact (shorten the web link at the website and finish the tweet with #collectionfishing. Remember, CAN is looking for any reference to mental illness or psychiatric hospital collections.

2 Responses to “Join us in #collectionfishing on Twitter”

  1. Bob Meade Says:

    Thanks for that recognition. I feel the onus to respond.

    I would like to help and join in the fun, but … but … the timing of the daily game doesn’t fit in with my current media consumption and production habits.

    Through the day I view most online media, including twitter via a mobile device. An iPhone and an iPod touch. Yes, I have and use both simultaneously. The reason I use both is not relevant to this issue, but I’ll explain afterwards.

    But there are a few tasks where the mobile device becomes painful to utilise.

    When I’m doing the type of research which interests you here – say, looking for cultural items of a particular colour or for psychiatric stuff – my two main workhorse websites are the wonderful Trove and Picture Australia websites, both hosted by the National Library of Australia.



    A third workhorse is Flickr the photo sharing website.

    [ ]

    All three websites are best viewed and used on a desktop or laptop computer screen. Not on a mobile device.

    The course of my day sees me usually on the move and using my mobile devices. My tweets during the day are thus mainly comprised of:

    - You may be interested in what I just thought

    - Here’s a photo I just took with my iPhone which you’ll like.

    - What do you think of what I just heard on the radio?

    - Here’s a good retweet. (Retweet is something I saw someone else or an institution tweet which I think you’ll like)

    Generally, I don’t tweet stuff during the day which requires much online research, or copying and pasting to a link shortening service for the purpose of tweeting (tinyurl for you, usually bitly for me). Which is just what you require of someone helping with #collectionfishing

    Come 8pm in the evening I have time to sit down at a larger computer and do the sort of thing #collectionfishing requires.

    In the evening, you’ll see me tweeting more of:

    - Look at this interesting library/museum/archive thing I’ve noticed – with link.

    - Look at this interesting newspaper item – with link.

    - Here’s the link I was tweeting about earlier.

    In general, your collection fishing topic of the day for the colours theme was announced in the morning. I’m using my mobile devices then, and like as I would to join in the fishing I don’t have the time, nor am I sitting at a suitable device then. I can see the tweets of those fishing during the day and click through to some, and comment on some.

    For most of the professional #collectionfishing tweeters the fishing stops at around 5pm.

    Mine would not start until about 8pm, and others who are interested in my tweeted results would have moved onto the next daily fishing expedition by the time they look at twitter the next morning.

    So I generally don’t bother. It’ll be yesterday’s news.

    The pattern of my tweet reading also plays a part. During the day I mark tweets I want to follow up later as a favourite and then read them in depth when I have time. Like this one, after 8pm. So, it wasn’t until now that I realised that you’ve actually got a weekly theme. So I can play within the deadline.

    And I’ve got something good for those Victorians already. I grew up in Victoria so I’ve got some ideas

    And why do I use two mobile devices at the same time? Because I’m studying the French language and I use one to translate English to French and the other to translate French to English while I’m reading and writing French.

    It save me a lot of time using both at once instead of waiting whilst the device clicks over to the reverse language.

    If you want to know more then you can ask me on twitter here:

    or at my blog here:

    But I probably told you more than you wanted to know anyway.

  2. Kate (@museumvictoria) Says:

    It’s great to see that what started as a fun wander through our collection also has research applications. I’d love if all kinds of folks – those linked to collections and those who aren’t – start #collectionfishing!

Leave a Reply