Monday, 25 May 2015

Small Museums and Collections Program open

Inline Image
Image credit: Ship’s Log, T. Massey & Co., London, c.1857,
from the collection of the Burnie Regional Museum. Photographer: Rick Eaves.

The Small Museums and Collections program provides grants and loans to assist the curatorial and collection management practices of smaller public and community collections and museums. This program is particularly focussed on improving information about collections, increasing public access to information and enhancing curatorial practice and collection management. This program is unique in that you can apply not only for funding, but also for the time of Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curators who can assist with any projects that are concerned with the development, care and/or use of a collection.

Applications close 6 July 2015

"21 Objects-21 Stories" National Recognition

The Museums & Galleries National Awards, or MAGNAs, began in 2011 and recognises excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects. This year the entry from Arts Tasmania was:


21 objects - 21 stories: celebrating community collections displays a remarkable selection from 21 small museums and collections around the state, celebrating the important role that the community museum sector plays as storytellers and custodians of our state’s unique cultural heritage. The exhibition was curated by Arts Tasmania’s own Roving Curators, Melissa Smith and Veronica Macno.

Judges' comments: This is cleverly constructed project and exhibition and given the modest budget achieved considerable outcomes. The range of content, presentation and overall interpretation all demonstrate a thoughtful approach and it appears to have been a successful elaboration on the earlier exhibition of ten items. The context of the MA conference guaranteed a wider museum-interested audience for the exhibition while the local strategies to engage audiences through events and the education program were sound and the visitation appears to be fairly substantial. The lack of more formal evaluation of the exhibition with audiences was understandable given the small budget but it would have added to the overall standard of the project if undertaken. Overall, an innovative idea for engaging with regional collections and thereby audiences which seems to have achieved a high level.

These museums hold the objects displayed and also share the recognition:
·         Bass Strait Maritime Centre, Devonport
·         Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, Beaconsfield
·         Burnie Regional Museum, Burnie
·         Circular Head History Centre, Smithton
·         Friends of the Theatre Royal, Hobart
·         Furneaux Historical Research Association’s Museum, Flinders Island
·         Heritage Highway Museum and Visitor Information Centre, Campbell Town
·         Hobart Bellringers, Hobart
·         King Island Museum, Currie
·         Low Head Pilot Station Museum, Low Head
·         Australian Fly Fishing Museum – National Trust of Australia (Tasmania)
·         Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site – National Trust of Australia (Tasmania)
·         Pearns Steam World, Westbury
·         Sound Preservation Association of Tasmania, Hobart
·         Southern Midlands Council, Oatlands
·         St Helens History Room, St Helens
·         Tasmania Cricket Museum, Bellerive
·         Tasmanian Fast Ferry Museum, Hobart
·         Ulverstone History Museum, Ulverstone
·         Wilmot Museum, Wilmot
·         Woolmers Estate, Longford
·         Wilmot Museum, Wilmot.

If you missed the exhibition you can watch the AV here and/or download the catalogue here

Check out all the best and brightest from this year's awards here

Oral History Workshop

This workshop will cover all aspects of oral history practice. Topics include: interview technique, possible pitfalls, use of a digital recorder, ethics, transcription and publication. Participants will be able to listen to interview excerpts and do practice interviews. The Making Museums Work: Oral History Workshop is presented by Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curators in association with Museums Australia (Tasmania).

Download the flyer here

When: Tuesday, 16 June 2015 9:30 am – 4:00 pm Where: Mission Room Josephite Mission and History Centre 67 Clare Street New Town

When: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 9:30 am – 4:00 pm Where: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery – Inveresk 2 Invermay Road Launceston

$10 Museums Australia (Tasmania)
Members $20 others

Questions: email them to

Registration is due by Monday, 8 June 2015
By Phone: 03 6165 6666

Enquiries and tickets:

Morning tea will be provided - please BYO lunch
There is a maximum of 14 participants for the workshop so please register promptly if you wish to
participate. Registrations will be taken in the order they are received.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

NEW Resource: Make museums your own

'Make museums your own' resource was one of the outcomes of the Family Literacy Project funded by 26TEN

The NEW resource added to the site is a short animation and 4 page downloadable PDF for museum workers and teachers to show to families considering visiting a museum.

You can find it under the Resources tab. It was one of the legacies of the ‘Family literacy’ research project supported by Mission Australia and funds from 26TEN grant (from Skills Tasmania, a business unit of the Department of Education). The resource content was based on the experiences of the nine families who participated in the ‘Family literacy’project from Mission Australia Language and Literacy classes and the Hobart Women’s Shelter. Some families arrived in Australia as refugees or from the mainland whilst others were born and bred here in Tasmania. Families visited the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery or the Museum of Old and New Art.

The project hoped to help make better family literacy programs and museum exhibitions for everyone and not just for those who regularly visit. Literacy these days is more than reading a book, as important as that can be. Adults and children use technology, solve problems and communicate with each other in their day-to-day literacy practices. Many family members in this Project had never visited a museum before and it was clear that some of the things museum workers know about museums was not so clear to them. Nevertheless everyone brought their own literacy skills and experiences into the museum and art gallery mix.

The 26TEN grant supported doctoral research for the University of Technology Sydney and was primarily for materials, equipment and other costs to the research and participants. Families gave their time freely and generously. This research is yet to be completed but hopefully you can make use of the Resource.