April 3, 2013

Collections Management - Just say no!

Participants of the workshop. Photography by Tamara Lavrencic.
Image courtesy of Alan McRae.
On 15 March, M&G NSW hosted a workshop, Introduction to Collections Management, at the Orange Regional Gallery, with the generous support of the Sustainable Collections Project. This is the fifth of six workshops funded through a Community Heritage Grant from the National Library of Australia. 

The presenter was Margot Jolly, a Museum Consultant with years of experience working with museums large and small, in a broad cross-section of museum practice. Margot’s experience as a Museum Advisor working with community museums around Bland, Orange and Cabonne Local Government Areas, makes her very approachable and the workshop participants responded with enthusiasm, contributing their own anecdotes and experiences.

Of most interest was the session, Just Say No, where participants focused on refusing a donation and explaining why the object is not being accepted into a collection. It's never easy dealing with the disappointment from someone who has treasured an object and is looking for a safe home for it.

The following organisations were well represented: Carcoar Hospital Museum, Bloomfield Hospital Collection, Millthorpe Museum, Blayney Family History Group, Molong Museum, Orange City Library, Orange & District Historical Society, Canowindra & District Historical Society, and Bathurst District Historical Society.

The success of the workshop is expressed in the following email received a few days later:

I just wanted to let you know how much I really enjoyed this workshop. Margot is a terrific presenter and she really made a lot of things much clearer...It's great to hear someone who knows what sort of things we have to deal with, and the sorts of problems we have to solve. We really appreciate all that M&G NSW does for small museums, and particularly all the help and assistance we get from you and the others personally.

- Tamara Lavrencic, Museum Programs and Collections Manager, Museums & Galleries NSW 

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