I recently visited the South Australian Police Historical Society Museum (SAPOL Museum), which has premises within the police barracks complex at Thebarton. Tram tracks built since I last visited the museum two or three years ago stopped me turning right into Gaol Road, so I took a bit of a detour around some parklands on my way to the museum.
The SAPOL museum is a registered museum in the CMP and is wanting to work towards accreditation, so we met to have a look at what the museum has been doing in the last couple of years and to give some thought to what areas the museum needs to focus on to move towards accreditation. Thanks Tony and Geoff for having this conversation with me – we identified some areas that need focus and also some other areas of museum management/practice that the museum has made great progress with and that are real positives in thinking about accreditation.
An incredible amount of work has been done on the extensive archives the group holds. The museum has a number of licences for the MOSAIC database program and a significant group of volunteers who are learning to use the program. Another group of volunteers is sorting through the archives and arranging disposal of irrelevant and duplicate items – what’s left will be a much ‘tighter’ archive – and it will fit easily into the museums new, grant funded compactus.
Another big project that has been taken on is rationalising the collection of hundreds and hundreds of police uniform items, down to about one third the original number and moving them from racks to archival boxes. Both these projects have cleared up a lot of space and improved collection management. SAPOL Museum is certainly the place to go for South Australian police history and records.