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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org