Collections MOSAiC software training workshops in Adelaide

Training workshops for users of Collection MOSAiC Plus, the collections management software for small museums, were held over 5 days at the end of July in the RSL Memorial Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide.

The sessions were run by MOSAiC’s Perth-based supplier, Rew and Sally-Anne Whittington from ISTechnology and over 15 participants attended each day from all over the State.   These included many representatives from the National Trust of South Australia who have recently adopted this database for use in all their SA branches.   Some members of our CMP museums – from the National Railway Museum, Friedensberg Historic German School Museum, Old Highercombe Hotel Museum, Ayers House Museum, the Tramway Museum, Norwood History & Archive Centre, as well as Gawler and Goolwa Museums – also took advantage of refreshing their skills or learning from scratch this popular user-friendly cataloguing system.

Over half our CMP museums now use MOSAiC for cataloguing their collection.  The sessions cost $132 a day and History SA were able to offer a ‘buy one day, get one free’ to our CMP members.

With titles such as Data Entry & Querying or Data Retrieval, Reporting and Exporting or Administration & Configuration, the daily courses could have been mind-numbing.  However Rew’s sense of humour and years of teaching experience combined with Sally-Anne’s one-on-one help meant even the most dyed-in- the-wool Luddite both enjoyed and benefited from the training.

Collections MOSAiC Plus is currently installed at 530 sites throughout Australia & New Zealand and beyond, in museums, historical societies, galleries, libraries and private collections.  You can now use MOSAiC to put your collections online.

You can find out more about the software and the costs involved at their website or contact Sally-Anne for assistance or ask about their free demonstration packs of the software.

Some members have expressed interest in forming a SA MOSAiC users group to share and discuss issues relating to the system.  If you would like to be part of this, please contact us

Stories of Italian market gardeners

Today I visited the Findon Community Centre to see the exhibition From the Veneto to Frogmore and Findon Roads: stories of Italian market gardeners 1920s -1970s which was launched last weekend.

It’s a great example of a community coming together to create, display and share their history – simply but professionally done.

Consisting of an introductory panel and then a series of 6 storyboards set on 2 simple hinged wooden frames, this small exhibition tells the story of a group of Italian men who migrated from the Veneto region and arrived in Adelaide in 1927.  Within a few years they established market gardens with their wives on Frogmore and Findon Roads and formed a close community of families.

The exhibition was developed by local oral historian Madeleine Regan and the Veneto Community Research Group formed a few years ago.  Since 2007 Madeleine has been gathering oral history interviews with the sons and daughters of the pioneer market gardeners.  Over 25 hours of interviews have been collected and are now held in the State Library of South Australia’s oral history collection.

The exhibition describes life as an Italian migrant in Australia during the 1920s and 30s as well as giving us a picture of ‘Little Italy’ – the market gardens and the glass houses in the Frogmore and Findon Road areas.  Along with text and quotes from oral histories, there are also several images from many of the families’ photo albums.  I particularly like the one of the children riding the Marchiori family’s horse on Frogmore Road in 1946. Difficult to imagine that happening now!

The exhibition will be at the Findon Community Centre at 222 Findon Road, Findon until next Friday 19 August and then at the Findon Library from Friday 19 August to Friday 16 September, and at the Hindmarsh Library from 16 September to Friday 30 September.

State History Conference brings out new perspectives

This special State History Conference to mark 175 years since the official foundation of the Province of South Australia was held over three days, from 5 to 7 August, at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide, in conjunction with the inaugural national Australian Council of Professional Historians Association conference.

A total of 224 delegates attended, and heard papers on a range of topics across the two conference streams. Many of the State History Conference papers took the opportunity offered by the conference theme (‘rethinking South Australia’s history’) to present new perspectives or research as thought-provoking papers on topics including identity, migration history, planning and architecture, and Aboriginal rights. Delegates followed with engaged questions, and lively discussion continued into breaks.

This year we extended an invitation to join us to the many historians in other parts of Australia who have lived or worked in South Australia, or worked on South Australian sources. As a result, we welcomed many interstate presenters and delegates, including eminent historians who contributed to the wide-ranging discussion. Conference presenters enjoyed the generous hospitality of Governor and Mrs Scarce at a vice-regal reception on the Friday evening, and many conference delegates enjoyed the conference dinner at the Wine Centre on Saturday evening.

History SA is grateful for the support of our conference sponsors: the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the History Council of South Australia, the Historical Society of South Australia, State Records of South Australia, Museums Australia (South Australian branch) and Wakefield Press.

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