August 31, 2011

History Week 2011

History Week is only days away!
Have you received your FREE History Week 2011 Programme? Contact the History Council if you would like one.
Visit to view the full Programme of events.
History Week 2011: Eat History runs from Saturday 3 September until Sunday 11 September.

Are you a fan?
History Week is on Facebook and Twitter!
Like History Week on Facebook and follow History Week on Twitter.

Recipes Through Time Competition :: WIN two tickets to Tony Bilson’s The Art of Living in Australia History Week dinner
Weekends  with Simon Marnie is has giving one lucky couple the chance to win a dinner for two at Bilson’s Restaurant in Sydney. 
Weekends is looking for a recipe that's survived time - It can be a favourite from the CWA's 1940s cookbook, or it can be an old Convict Recipe you've tried (Kangaroo tail soup perhaps) Maybe your Great Nan's Impossible Pie, Grand-dad Bill's rabbit stew or Aunty Krissoula's Fasolada.
To enter, email your recipe to
Entries close: 31 August at 5:00pm. For more details visit the ABC702 Weekends website.

Mrs H. F. Wicken –  EAT History Poster girl

Have you seen Mrs H.F. Wicken around Sydney?
Harriett Frances Wicken (1847–1937) is History Week’s poster girl for Eat History.
Mrs Wicken’s many books including Kingswood Cookery Book (1895) is full of fantastic tips regarding nutrition and recipes including ‘Imitation Sweetbreads’ which features in her poster (left).You can read all about her fascinating life in the Australian Dictionary of Biography article:Harriett Frances Wicken, written by Beverley Kingston. 
Become Harriet’s Friend on Facebook!
Harriet is on facebook! To add her login to Facebook and search ‘Harriet Frances Wicken’ or go to
NB: Harriet changed the spelling of her name from Harriett to Harriet when she moved to Australia from England in 1884. This is why her name is spelt ‘Harriet’ not ‘Harriett’ on Facebook.

Source: [Enews] This month in history... 31 August 2011

August 26, 2011

IMAGinE awards 2011 - inspiring museums & galleries in excellence

The IMAGinE awards are an annual event that strengthen and promote the NSW and ACT museum and gallery sector by celebrating the wonderful institutions, collections, exhibitions, education programs, outreach projects and individuals that make up our industry.

With the awards closing date fast approaching on Tuesday 30 August, now is the time to get those nominations in! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create great exposure for your organisation and gain recognition amongst the museum and gallery sector. Past awards winners have used their success to gain media coverage, raise the profile of their museum or gallery in their community and as an advocacy tool to funding bodies.

You can nominate for Collection Management, Exhibitions & Public Engagement, Education & Audience Development and Individual Achievement. These categories are broken down into four sections depending on the size of your organisation.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from the M&G NSW website:

Nominations close on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 (nominations postmarked with this date will also be accepted). Winners will be announced at a gala event to be held at the Australian Museum on the evening of Friday 30 September.

The IMAGinE awards are presented by Museums & Galleries NSW in partnership with Regional & Public Galleries NSW, Museums Australia NSW and Museums Australia ACT.

Source: can-notices newsletter

August 18, 2011

Update: Digital camera in the reading room at State Records

It was some time ago now but you might remember the post we wrote in April 2010 asking your opinion on providing a digital camera in the reading rooms for researchers to use. We received some great advice and suggestions in that post on the possible pros and cons and we are happy to announce there is now a digital camera up and running in the Kingswood reading room.

Digital camera in the reading room

The set-up is slightly different to what was initially imagined:
  • a DSLR instead of a point-and-shoot, and
  • instead of selling memory cards, a USB is the key to researchers taking digital copies (bring one in or buy one over the counter).
We hope this new, free service will be as useful to our researchers as that at the Public Records Office of Victoria (now with two cameras in the reading room and one recently installed at their Ballarat office).

The USB stick can also be used in conjunction with another digital services now provided in our reading room-  researchers can now make digital copies from fiche or film.

Source: State Records NSW 

August 17, 2011

Museums and Galleries NSW Grants

Closing anytime up until 30 September 2011: Volunteer Initiated Museums (VIM) Grants - VIM Skills Initiatives Grants

Provides funding to volunteer museums, museum networks and Keeping Places for regional or state-focused skills development training and networking events. More

August 13, 2011


Museums Australia NSW Tour and Talk
Wednesday 7 September 2011 4pm

Scott Wajon will lead a tour of the State Library's digitisation facilities and discuss the library's digitisation strategies, management of resources and technical questions. 

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street, Sydney
Meeting point: Mitchell Library steps, opposite the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Get together after at the
Nippon Australia New Zealand Club
229 Macquarie St, Sydney

The event is free, but bookings are essential and places are strictly limited.
Please send RSVPs by Monday 5 September to:

Paul Bentley
Executive Officer
Museums Australia (NSW)
Phone: 02 9387 7307
Mobile: 0416 121 347

August 11, 2011

Regional museums in an online future

Getting it into the ether

We distributed draft information sheets on some of the essentials — developing web- sites with little money, social media, systems, standards and other topics. Ingrid Mason, from the Collections Australia Network, and Joy Suliman, from the Powerhouse Museum‘s ThinkSpace, led us through some of the fundamentals of creating sites and using social media. The branch will be using the sheets and suggestions at the conference, among other sources, in developing printed and online publications and as touchstones for future workshops.

To get a better understanding of online approaches by museums in New South Wales, we invited a few colleagues to talk to us about their experiences.

Maree Clutterbuck, Collections Manager, Sydney University Museums, outlined the development of a more integrated approach to managing cataloguing records in the 3 public museums and 50 smaller department museums at the oldest university in Australia ( The museums purchased KE EMu in 2006 to replace a number of separate systems. Cataloguing policy questions revolved around the fact that the museums primarily serve university staff and students rather than the general public. Opening access to some materials called for circumspection. These questions and data migration issues have now been resolved and the catalogue is expected to be available on the museums‘ website soon.

Geoff Barker has been working on a total asset management (TAM) project at the Powerhouse Museum (www.powerhouse The museum has an international reputation for innovative use of technology. Its catalogue is a richly layered presentation of catalogue records and images of museum objects, comple- mented with links to user tags, related subjects, similar objects, auto-generated tags and sources such as Wikipedia, WorldCat records and the Library of Congress Authority File.

The TAM project is an externally funded project which is working on collections and objects whose current storage, age, and state of documentation is exposing them to risk. As well as addressing this primary objective, Geoff has been exploring options for improving the quality of data and enhancing the online experience. As better elements — significance state- ments, themes, images, tags and links — are generated, these are harvested automatically monthly from KE EMu database into the museum‘s server. This has significantly improved searching. It has also highlighted different practices of different depart- ments within the museum — such as the archive. This in turn may lead to breaking down some of the walls between them..

Other notable online strategies by the museum include use of Flickr to publish images and uploading content to other government projects—such as About New South Wales (about. Its Australian Dress Register (www.powerhouse is expected to be launched as a public site this year. The museum's partner- ships on the Sydney Sidetracks web- site ( sidetracks/) and the Dictionary of Sydney (www.dictionaryofsydney. org/) are indications of wider collaboration.

Source: Museum Matters Vol 19 no 1 July 2010

August 8, 2011

Collection Management Workshop

Saturday, 17th September 2011 to be held at the Kandos Bicentennial Museum

The Central Tablelands Chapter of Museums Australia NSW in conjunction with the Mid-Western Regional Council will be conducting a Project Day - 9.30am to 3.30pm. 

This workshop will be on ‘Collection Management’ and presented by a representative from the Powerhouse Museum.  The workshop is free to all financial members of the Chapter.

Cost for lunch and morning tea is $15.00 payable on the day.  

Please register your attendance to the Secretary, John Broadley by Friday, 9th September 2011,  02.6372 3365 or 0429 708 218 or

August 3, 2011

Edmund Capon AM OBE to retire as director of Art Gallery of NSW

Director to retire

Edmund Capon AM OBE to retire as director of Art Gallery of NSW after 33 years

3 August 2011

Edmund Capon AM OBE will retire as director of the Art Gallery of NSW at the end of this year after 33 years in the role.

The President of the Board of Trustees of the Gallery, Mr Steven Lowy AM, made the announcement today at a media conference with the Premier, Mr O’Farrell, and Mr Capon.

Mr Lowy said Mr Capon’s service to the Gallery and the cultural life of Australia had been extraordinary.

“Rarely, if ever, has a single person so embodied the spirit and ambition of an institution as has Edmund with the Art Gallery of NSW,” he said.

“Edmund’s achievements are many, but his single most significant achievement has been to make good on the goal he set for the Gallery soon after he was appointed in 1978.

“Back then, Edmund made it clear he wanted the Gallery to pursue quality and not, to use his words at the time, ‘a broad expansion of all areas at a mediocre level.’

“As we look around the Gallery today, and reflect on all that has happened under Edmund’s leadership, there can be no doubt that he has more than fulfilled that early ambition.”

Mr Lowy said Mr Capon’s more notable achievements were to:
  • create a sustainable funding base for the Gallery, primarily by establishing the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation in 1983 to raise and invest money for the purchase of major art works.
  • make the Gallery more accessible and more popular. In 1978 there were around 300,000 admissions. In 2010-11 there are 1.3 million, an incredible result even allowing for natural growth.
  • maintain and improve the quality of the collection, including major acquisitions such as Bords de la Marne by Paul C├ęzanne, Nude in a rocking chair by Pablo Picasso, Three bathers by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Five bells by John Olsen, First-class marksman by Sidney Nolan, Three studies from the Temeraire by Cy Twombly, Standing Buddha, China Sui dynasty, Waterbrain by Rusty Peters and Haft by Anthony Gormley.
  • stage quality major exhibitions, including The Chinese Exhibition, Gold of the Pharaohs, Masterpieces from the Guggenheim New York, Michelangelo to Matisse: Drawing the Figure, Jeffrey Smart, Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, Caravaggio and his world: darkness & light, Pissarro: the first Impressionist, Bill Henson, Giacometti: sculptures prints & drawings from the Maeght Foundation, The Arts of Islam: Treasures from the Nasser D Khalili collection, The Lost Buddhas and The First Emperor: China’s entombed warriors.
  • double the Gallery in 1988 with the new Bicentennial wing, opened the Asian gallery in 1990 and expanded it in 2003, created the new contemporary galleries including the John Kaldor Family Gallery in 2011.
  • create a purpose-built collection store to safely house the Gallery’s growing collection and free up more public space within the Gallery for exhibition.
  • build the Asian collection and Asian exhibition program.
  • grow a thriving Gallery membership which now stands at 30,000 members.
  • develop an engaging, accessible public programs including the unique Art After Hours program.
  • triple the collection from 10,000 to 30,000 works and now valued at $825 million.
  • publish scholarly collection books and exhibition catalogues for national and international distribution.
Mr Lowy said that listing Mr Capon’s achievements did not fully describe the impact he has made on the Gallery and the city of Sydney.

“Under his direction the Gallery has built a collection of quality and has a committed and highly motivated professional staff.

“But Edmund has made the Gallery greater than the sum of its parts. He has weaved a certain magic in the way he’s nurtured the institution over the years.

“He has made the life of the Gallery something that the community feels part of and is proud of.

“Quite simply, the Art Gallery of NSW is one of the most treasured institutions in Australia, and especially in Sydney, and Edmund deserves most of the credit for that.”

Mr Lowy said it had been a privilege for him as President of the Board of Trustees to have had the opportunity to work with Mr Capon over the past six years.

“It has been the great good fortune of the Board of Trustees to have overseen the governance of the Gallery while Edmund has been at the helm.

“His expertise, and the stability and continuity provided by his many years of dedicated service, have made the role of everyone associated with the Gallery that much more pleasurable as well as productive.

“It is fitting that we are able to coincide Edmund’s departure from the Gallery with the upcoming Picasso exhibition – a stellar exhibition for Edmund to sign off on a stellar career.”

Mr Lowy said the Trustees would immediately establish a process to select Mr Capon’s successor, including a global search to identify suitable candidates.