Reopening of Rejuvenated Latvian Museum

On Saturday 11 December, the History Trust of South Australia’s Community History Officers, Amanda James and Pauline Cockrill attended the reopening of Adelaide’s Latvian Museum, which has been closed to the public for around 5 years.

Visitors view examples of national costume and ceramics, representing Latvia’s cultural heritage, displayed in new cabinets.

Located at 36 Rose Terrace in Wayville, the museum was officially reopened by His Excellency Marģers Krams, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the Commonwealth of Australia, along with Ilze Radzins, President of the Latvian Association of SA.

Housed in a 19th century stone-fronted villa, the museum aims to reflect the heritage of the post WW2 immigrants who brought their culture and art to South Australia from Latvia.  Prior to COVID and some necessary building renovations, the History Trust had been closely involved in the rejuvenation of the museum, with both funding and expert advice. In 2017-19 Community History Officer, Pauline Cockrill worked with the museum volunteers to clean, catalogue and review the displays in preparation for Latvia’s centenary celebrations taking place 2017-2021. In 2018, Latvia celebrated a hundred years since it became an independent state.

The Latvian Museum has had close connections with the History Trust for many years, being part of its Community Museums Program, (now the Museums and Collections (MaC) Program), the development and funding program for community museums and historical groups that manage collections.  We should like to acknowledge the many years of sterling work undertaken by previous volunteer curator Mara Kolomitsev who sadly passed way in 2020.

Fascinating memorabilia relating to Aldona Laurs (nee Muizniece) born in Riga in 1911. She was a Red Cross nurse during WW2 and afterwards worked at the DP Camp Insula, near Berchtesgaden in Germany. She migrated to Adelaide in 1948.

We look forward to the Latvian Museum joining MaC and being able to assist them in incorporating into the museum displays, the many oral histories of the Latvian community being ably gathered by Marija Perijma.

Saturday’s event was a memorable occasion for the local Latvian community, and many of the hardworking volunteers involved in the museum’s rejuvenation were in attendance.  After an opportunity to view the museum’s displays, attendees were invited to the Latvian Association’s meeting rooms next door for refreshments including traditional Latvian  specialties: Piragi (bacon filled buns) and Klingeris (a sweet bread served at birthdays and other celebrations).

L-R: Ilze Radzina, Marija Perejma, Pauline Cockrill, His Excellency Mr Margers Krams and Mrs Sandra Krama

Gifts were exchanged between the Ambassador and the Latvian Association, and the museum also received a fascinating donation to the collection from a local member of the Latvian community in the form of a pair of binoculars belonging to his father. They had been requisitioned from a Russian soldier during the reoccupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union in 1944 following the withdrawal of Nazi German troops.

HE Ambassador of Latvia, Margers Krams looks on as the President of the Latvian Association, Ilse Radzins is presented with some WW2 memorabilia for the museum.
Slices of celebratory Latvian cake (Klingeris) are passed around at the reception afterwards

Grants Roundup

We know it can be tough keeping body and soul together in small collecting organisations and history groups. Knowing where to look for grants and funding is half the battle, so we’ve put a few together here to get you started.

AMaGA CHART grants

green background with government logo and text 'AMaGA CHART

$3000 up for grabs

This is another reminder that the one-off federal Cultural, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) grants have just become available.  Your organisation may be eligible for up to $3000. Check the details below regarding eligibility and how to apply.  But don’t delay: the round will close on or before 29 April 2022 once the funding allocation has been expended.

The Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program is a $3 million Australian Government program that aims to support community cultural, heritage and arts organisations in regional Australia as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19. A wide range of projects are eligible for funding including signage and equipment.

The Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) is administering the CHART program on behalf of the Australian Government.

Visit the website to view the guidelines, FAQ and scenario examples and to test your eligibility. We have regional coordinators ready to take your enquiries.

SA’s regional coordinator:

Justin Croft

M: 0488 732 766 or E: jcroft@amagavic.org.au

You can find more information and apply on the AMaGA website.

Historical Society of South Australia Grant Scheme

The Historical Society of South Australia is pleased to announce resumption of its Grants Scheme in 2022 for research, publication or promotion of South Australian history.

Closing date for applications: Monday 28 March 2022.

Successful applicants will be announced at the lecture meeting during the annual History Festival on Friday 6 May and all applicants will receive notification by Monday 15 May 2022. Payment of the monies awarded in grants will happen in June 2022.

Applications should be addressed to:

The Convenor, HSSA Annual Grants Scheme

PO Box 519, Kent Town SA 5071

Contact Dr Bridget Jolly, Secretary, Historical Society of South Australia

Email: brimar@esc.net.au

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HistoricalSocietySA

More information and application details on the Historical Society of South Australia website.

Black and white image of two women in front of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens Palm House

Small tourism grants now available

Two additional grant programs are now available to support tourism operators to activate nature-based and heritage-based tourism initiatives: the Nature-based Tourism Small Grants Program and the Heritage Tourism Grants Program.Many operators may be eligible for both grant programs – and can choose to apply for both grants or only one.

These grants are only available for a limited time – applications close on 2pm, Friday 3 December 2021.

More on the National Parks and Wildlife Service, South Australia, website.

History Trust Grant Funds

We hope by now you’re all familiar with the South Australian History Fund and the Museums and Collections (MaC) grants offered through the History Trust of South Australia.

The History Trust is seeking feedback on these two grant funds, and we’re keen to hear from you whether or not you have ever come across or applied for one of our grants.

The survey will take just 5-10 mins to complete. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Closing date: Tuesday 30 November 2021

Some of you may have already received an email about this survey, and we really appreciate those who have already completed it. The information you provide will help us support you and your organisations in more meaningful ways in the future.

Complete the survey online now.

Visiting the City of Adelaide

On 22 September the History Trust of South Australia’s Community History Officers, Amanda James and Pauline Cockrill were delighted to be given a personal tour of the Clipper Ship, City of Adelaide by Director Peter Christopher.

The City of Adelaide is currently berthed in Dock 2, Honey Street in Port Adelaide. The volunteer not-for-profit organisation which preserves this historic vessel, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd (CSCOAL) recently joined our Museums and Collections (MaC) Program, the History Trust of South Australia’s development and funding program for community museums and historical groups that manage collections.

Peter talking about the composite hull – wood and iron frame.

The ship was purpose-built in Sunderland in the north of England to transport passengers and goods between the UK and South Australia and was named after its capital city.  The world’s oldest composite clipper ship (wooden hull on iron frame), and one of only two to survive, the other being the famous but younger Cutty Sark.

The City of Adelaide’s maiden voyage was in 1864 and for over 20 years she played an important part in the immigration of Australia. Later she worked as a cargo ship, then an isolation hospital near Southampton before being taken over by the Royal Navy.  The ship was left to rot on a private slip on the River Clyde in Scotland before being rescued by a group of Australian volunteers headed by Peter Christopher and brought to Port Adelaide in 2014.

Peter and his volunteers gave a fascinating tour of the ship and we discussed the restoration and future plans for interpretation.  Their aim is to make the ship the centre-piece of a seaport village in Port Adelaide’s inner harbour.

The area of the vessel that tells the story of when it was an isolation ship

We are pleased to learn that the group are already taking advantage of their MaC membership, applying for a MaC Small Project grant to assist their upcoming Descendants Day in November. The History Trust looks forward to assisting this enterprising group in the future.

Amanda with volunteer Ian inside the storage container that is the museum shop
Ann Margaret Bickford supplied 3 casks of lime juice cordial for each of the 23 voyages of the City of Adelaide as a medicine to avoid getting scurvy.

New Interpretive Trail launched at Milang

Last Sunday 30 May, as part of South Australia’s History Festival, a new interpretive walking trail at Milang on the Fleurieu Peninsula was officially launched by Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie MP. An initiative of the Port Milang Railway Museum, the trail was funded by the History Trust of South Australia through our Museums and Collections (MaC) program.  This is a development and funding program for community museums and historical groups that manage collections.

Visitors walking Nuggett’s Trail can read about the history of the tramway and the lakes on the 10 interpretive signs

The History Trust’s Community History Officer Pauline Cockrill was delighted to cut the ribbon and meet champion Clydesdale Wheelabarraback Hugh Barry aka Harry who, with his owner Mike Connell of the SA Working Draught Horse Association, took the lead along the new trail down to the jetty.  Harry was taking the part of Nuggett after which the trail is named.  Nuggett was the last horse that was used for over two decades, until his death in 1934, to transport goods to and from the jetty.

In the form of ten signs constructed along the 400m route from the railway station to the jetty, Nuggett’s Trail tells the story of the tramway. The jetty was built in 1856 and for many years horses were the motive power to convey goods, later replaced by a 1923-4 Chevrolet car until the tramway was removed in the 1960s.

The Port Milang Railway Museum is free and open from noon to 4pm at weekends, with Devonshire teas and free train rides available on Sundays.

Launch of the Rejuvenated Round House

Welcome to Country at the beginning of the launch

The CEO of the History Trust of South Australia (HTSA), Greg Mackie OAM launched the rejuvenated historic Round House on 5 May during South Australia’s History Festival.  The launch had been postponed from the previous year because of COVID.

 

Since early 2019 HTSA has been working with the Rural City of Murray Bridge (RCMB) who own the Round House to assist in the rejuvenation of this State Heritage and National Estate listed building. It is one of Murray Bridge’s oldest surviving buildings, completed in 1876 during the construction of the first bridge to span the Murray River.

HTSA and RCMB team

The project utilised skills of the History Trust’s Public Engagement branch led by Community History Officer Pauline Cockrill.  HTSA undertook several tasks on behalf of RCMB: a review of collection records; a significance assessment of Round House collections; an Interpretation plan for the Round House and the development of museum and collection skills of volunteers.

Taking a selfie with bridge engineer Henry Parker – Bec Turner, Christeen Schoepf and Pauline Cockrill

When the project commenced very little was known about the collections at the Round House, the many previous uses of the building, or the many people who had lived and worked there throughout its almost 150 year history. Professional historian Christeen Schoepf was subcontracted to do further research into residents of the Round House. Council received a $5,000 grant through HTSA’s South Australian History Fund to engage Christeen to undertake oral history interviews to support best practice interpretation, encourage community participation and to incorporate into the new display.

 

Implementation of the Significance Assessment and Interpretation Plan developed by has been led by Bec Turner and has involved a team of volunteers and collaboration/consultation with other organisations such as the National Railway Museum, museum design company Synthetic Creative Services, landscaping design company  WAX Design, the National Trust of South Australia and HTSA

The newly rejuvenated hallway of the Round House

The Round House project demonstrates successful collaboration between HTSA and a local council.  First occasion of such a collaboration and we are now working with Adelaide Hills Council on an exciting interpretation project at Fabrik, the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mill site.

The newly revitalised Round House stands as an excellent example of meaningful collaboration between state and local governments, of how it is possible to tell authentic, significant stories through connecting well-researched history with best practice, creative methods of interpretation, on a relatively low budget.

The RCMB’s short promo trailer about the Roundhouse can be seen here 

Trees: Who Gives a Root?

Who Gives a Root? is the engaging title of a new fun, informative and interactive exhibition about our humble leafy friends – trees – which opened at Unley Museum last Thursday 28th January. The launch party was held appropriately in the shade of a large tree on the village green at the back of the museum.

Innovative way of displaying information in this exhibition about trees

This new exhibition takes up the main display area in the centre of the building, once Unley’s old fire station.  It has been transformed into a forest setting with replica trees, soft green lighting and the sound of birdsong.  Information is innovatively communicated using overlays of printed paper on the walls (like photocopies – a clever reminder of the way sadly many trees end up these days). However, we are told that the entire exhibition is printed on Carbon Neutral Paper and utilises reused materials. You can learn fascinating facts such as one established tree can provide enough oxygen for ten people to breathe each year; as well as schemes such as Unley’s Tree Tag project, and  Trees for Life’s  Trees for Carbon project. Using the Eye Jack App, obtained by scanning a QR code, you can also search for 10 native Australian, tree-dwelling animals hidden around the room. There is also a large interactive table top touchscreen that enables visitors to find out about Unley’s significant trees.  Did you know that within the council area lives a River Red Gum on Wilberforce Walk, Forestville, believed to be the oldest living thing in South Australia! Estimated at 800 years of age, it is also one of the largest, with a circumference of seven metres. Before leaving, visitors can write thoughts or comments about the exhibition on ‘leaves’ to attach to a tree, while later joining in on a photo challenge, involving taking a selfie with your favourite tree and bringing the photo back to add to the wall.

Visitor using the touchscreen within the exhibition

Designed by Exhibition Studios, the exhibition was part-funded by the History Trust through their Museums and Collections (MaC) standards Program.  Unley Museum is one of eight Accredited Museums within this program.  Unley’s curator Karen Paris was assisted by researcher and self-confessed ‘tree hugger’ Marian McDuie, GIS lecturer at TAFE SA – Regional Urrbrae Campus, who was also the guest speaker at the launch.  As well as talking about the importance of trees, Marian also told us the fascinating origins of the phrase ‘tree hugger’, which dates back to an event involving several hundred Indian villagers in 1730. City of Unley’s Mayor, Michael Hewitson also gave an impassioned speech.  This council is serious about its trees. It has a Tree Strategy and in 2020, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation recognised the City of Unley with Tree Cities of the World designation for the care and planning of urban trees and forests. This international program celebrates cities across all continents that meet core standards.

Exhibition researcher and guest speaker Marian McDuie giving presentation at the launch

Delayed by almost a year because of COVID, the exhibition will remain open for the rest of 2021. It can be seen Monday to Wednesday 10am – 4pm, Thursday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 2-5pm. It is closed on Public Holidays.

Collections, Projects and a New Exhibition

As 2020 progresses into the final quarter plenty is happening in the SA History Network!

Big splash after months of closure

The Tea Tree Gully Museum recently held their first public event in six months, welcoming around 500 people to the outside areas of the museum site only and opening the museum’s latest exhibition ‘Pioneers to Producers’. A hugely successful day! During Covid closure the museum team has been taking the time to paint the entire Old Highercombe Hotel Museum, pack and store collection items, and will now gear up for reinstating the various displays.

Hands on station part of new display at Tea Tree Gully Museum

History for the very young

In Naracoorte the development of the Children’s Museum at the Sheep’s Back Museum is coming along well with lots of work being done to repair the building and verandah area.  Working with artist Rod Bax, the museum has held community workshops with students, teachers and care givers as part of the process of developing this new section of the museum.  The model native birds (pictured) are the result of one of these workshops.

Aimed at the 0 – 7 years age group the Children’s Museum will include a making space and themed areas where local history can be introduced to the very young in age appropriate ways. From its extensive collections the museum has selected a range of duplicate/unprovenanced objects that will be used for activities such as identifying shapes – a clever entry point for younger audiences.

Display of old household objects on a table
It’s surprising how many different shapes can be found in collection objects!

Boost for family history in Moonta

Meanwhile in Moonta, the Moonta Family History Research Centre is busy responding to recommendations in their recently commissioned Significance Assessment. Extensive organising, cleaning up of spaces and the purchase of a fabulous new compactus are already making a difference to the accessibility of local history archives and images.

Members of Moonta Family History team

Racing towards 150th

Did you know the Onkaparinga Racing Club has an historical collection at the Oakbank Racecourse?  The Racing Club committee is preparing well ahead of time for the club’s 150th anniversary in 2026 and are planning a coffee table style history book. They are also looking into setting up a publicly accessible small museum and running tours of the racecourse site with its heritage listed grandstands, dedicated casualty room and own former police station that operated just on race days!

Artefacts from the first Great eastern Steeplechase, 1876

 

 

MaC Funding and Membership on the Rise

A further $42,886 for eight MaC Projects grants was approved last month.  The projects each reflect the priorities of MaC members at the moment and include digitisation, storage, collections management, conservation, web development and audio interpretation.   A great range of projects and many from some of our newest MaC members!

The full list of all project grants supported in MaC Projects round 3 is available here.

Membership of the History Trust’s MaC (Museums and Collections) program is continuing to grow and all community groups that manage an historical collection and/or operate a museum are eligible to join. In July we welcomed Marion Historic Village Museum (pictured) to MaC.

MaC membership is a great way to be recognised as part of the SA History Network as well as being a key source of funds for collections and history projects of many types. MaC program information is available here – where you can also see the current MaC membership list – and interested groups are welcome to contact the History Trust to find out more.

Online Training and Resources

Back in April we shared a few thoughts about working with museums and collections from home. While here in South Australia we’ve been able to get out and about a bit more under current COVIDSafe conditions there are still plenty of great opportunities to get online and up-skill, or just learn more on topics of interest. We thought we’d do a quick round up here while we work on a few things ourselves (more on that another time).

Oral History Australia SA/NT are always a great resource, and they have an online ‘How to do an oral history interview’ workshop coming up. Bookings close 5pm Monday 24 August so get in quick for this one!

The Australian Copyright Council are running Webinars in September. If you’re confused about copyright the Copyright Fundamentals workshops are a great place to start, and if you need more there are focus workshops for museum and gallery professionals, library and archive professionals, educators and administrators in educational institutions.

The Marsden Szwarcbord Foundation have a YouTube series called ‘Make History at Home’, a free ‘how to do your own history’ series presented by historians Susan Marsden and Sandra Kearney. They say:

Through the Covid-19 lockdown, we’ve posted videos, photos and advice, so you can use the time at home to arrange your records and photos, and share your own histories.

Session one below for an introduction.

Of course there’s always something to see, hear and more on the History Trust website as well, and we’ll be talking to you soon about what else we might offer there!

MaC Funding for Community History Projects

MaC members are benefitting from the MaC projects grants fund, with a little over $70,000 being allocated for eleven projects in June.  MaC funding will enable a variety of projects to go ahead including major new interpretive walking trails for the Mary Mackillop Museum Adelaide and the Port Milang Railway Museum.

Mary Mackillop Walk will start at the Museum in Kensington and encourage visitors to discover the impact of St Mary Mackillop in the Kensington Norwood area. At Port Milang ‘Nugget’s Trail’ will traverse the railway yard precinct and is named for the long-serving railway horse (seen in image).

Significant archiving and collections management work will also be undertaken by the Mount Gambier History Group and the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide.  Both collections contain thousands of archival items and both of these groups have been making the most of MaC funds in recent grant rounds.

Capitalising on their location adjacent the primary school, Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum will be working with teacher Hugh Benger to map their collection against the curriculum and start to plan for innovative education programs at the museum.

Upgrades of essential equipment, security improvements, interpretation at a cemetery and a publication about Coober Pedy history are other ways that MaC members will be telling and preserving history with MaC funds this year.

The range of grants this year promise to add a great deal of value to community history around the state and the History Trust looks forward to seeing the outcomes of the latest funded projects!

A list of grants allocated in June can be seen here.

 

Vale Margaret Tiller

The Community History team of the History Trust of South Australia are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Margaret Tiller on the night of Sunday 31 May at the Mary Potter Hospice.

Margaret in discussion with Amanda at the Succession Planning workshop in 2018 – the last time we were able to catch up.

Margaret was a much valued member of our South Australian History network, a long time committee member and volunteer at the Mallala Museum.  An untiring advocate for the museum, she still carried on an active role there despite being ill for some time.  The success of this mid north community museum has been largely due her tireless enthusiasm and dedication. She was a school excursion volunteer at the museum and as a former, education was always central to the museum ethos.  She is remembered as Miss Field teaching at Mallala School in the late 1950s. She was not afraid of embracing new ideas and skills playing an important part in the establishment of the Mallala Now and Then community heritage wiki website in 2010, which helped put Mallala on the map. We also made great contributions to our Once Upon a Time: Stories of South Australian Childhoods travelling exhibition, and the subsequent pop up display during the 2014 History Festival.

Margaret’s ingenious display case for protecting precious ‘Thread Bear’.

We shall miss the welcoming country hospitality that she always gave us when we arrived after the long drive to Mallala for a meeting or workshop. And we shall fondly miss her enthusiastic lengthy phone calls to keep us up to date with museum news or to run past innovative ideas for new displays.  The use of Cheap as Chips aquariums for making quick and easy display cases for small objects is something we still cite in our list of tips for small museums. We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues at the museum and within the Mallala community.

Poetry Takeover – South Australia’s History Festival

South Australian students engaging with history through poetry

Change – It’s the only constant! Now that COVID-19 is with us, we’ve had to adapt to new habits and make new plans.

The Poetry Takeover Challenge was originally meant to be a new young people’s component to South Australia’s History Festival. Even though the festival won’t be going ahead, the Poetry Takeover will be!

During May 2020, the History Festival team invite young people to take inspiration from the collections of the History Trust and other museums and galleries across the state of South Australia. Students will be encouraged to engage with objects, think creatively, connect those thoughts to the theme ‘change’ and then develop a poem of any kind.

 

How can museums get involved?

Originally, one of the aims for the Poetry Takeover Challenge was to provide a way for museums to connect with their local schools during South Australia’s History Festival. While most museums and galleries are currently closed, and in-person visits are not possible, here are some ways you can still participate in the Poetry Takeover:

  • Send the History Festival team a link to your online collection to add to the website poetrytakeover.com.au
  • Add collection images to the Poetry Takeover Flickr group 
  • Create an album of collection images on Facebook (don’t forget to tag @historyfestivalpoetrytakeover)
  • Contact your local school and work with them directly using photos of objects from your collection.

Also, be sure to let your social media followers know you’re taking part and invite them to check out your online collections.

Poems and the objects of inspiration will be displayed on the Poetry Gallery on the website poetrytakeover.com.au and shared on social media. Entrants will also go in the running to win one of six $50 Dymocks vouchers.

When

The Poetry Takeover Challenge will open for entries on Friday 1 May and close on Sunday 31 May.

Who

All South Australians students in years 4 to 11 can enter the challenge. Museum staff, parents, carers and teachers can provide support – resources are available on the Poetry Takeover website.

Museums, galleries and other collecting institutions can get involved by making objects in their collection available to students as inspiration.

Families, friends and communities are encouraged to share their favourite poems on social media and vote for the Community Choice prize.

Where

For more information and resources visit the website: poetrytakeover.com.au
Like Poetry Takeover on Facebook
Contact the History Trust if you have any questions: historyfestival@history.sa.gov.au

A Toast for Sturt’s Birthday

28 April marks the 225 anniversary of the birth of Charles Sturt, one time owner of The Grange homestead, managed by the Charles Sturt Memorial Museum Trust.

For many years the Trust has celebrated Sturt’s birthday with a big event on site at Grange. Not possible this year but the Trust has shared some images from past events to give a sense of the pomp and ceremony that usually accompanies the annual event.

Charles Sturt (1795-1869), explorer, soldier and public servant, was born in India, eldest of eight sons and one of thirteen children of Thomas Lenox Napier Sturt, a judge in Bengal under the East India Co. His regimental posting to NSW in 1827 was the start of his career in exploration through the southern interior of Australia, and a period as surveyor-general for South Australia. A brief biography of Sturt is on the SA History Hub and, when museums reopen later this year pop down to visit the Charles Sturt Memorial Museum.

Thanks to Charles Sturt Memorial Museum Trust for sharing Sturt birthday images with us

 

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Museums and Collections at Home

How is your organisation adjusting to the new world of isolation?

Managing collections ‘behind closed doors’ presents new challenges for engaging your communities. Are you looking for ways to innovate, keep collections visible and share local histories over the next few months? Now is a great time to bump up your social media and/or website activity, share short videos of highlights from your collections, set up a Facebook page or reinvigorate one that has been on the back-burner.

We thought we’d share a quick round up of ideas and initiatives to inspire you. We’d love to see your contributions too!

Training opportunities

If you can’t get into your organisation to continue your usual work, there are some great opportunities for upskilling online.

South Australians stay home

There are some great initiatives already online that you can enjoy at home.

Keep connected with people around South Australia through Social Media

Hahndorf Walking Tours have come up with a neat idea – sensory boxes home delivered with historical storytelling over Skype. Check out the short promo video here.

Contemporary collecting

The FAHS (Federation of Australian Historical Societies) is promoting history organisations contributing to collecting materials relating to the current pandemic. They suggest collecting hard copy items, and/or form a digital archive for future reference and research. FAHS also recommend groups add digital material to A Journal of the Plague Year: an Archive of COVID-19, which is a collaboration between universities worldwide, including the University of Melbourne.

Still missing your local museums?

You can see thousands of images from museums and collections throughout our state and the people who work with them on the South Australian History Network Flickr page. https://www.flickr.com/photos/communityhistorysa/albums

Of course we’d also love you to stay in touch with us at the History Trust of South Australia.

Let us know what we’ve missed!

 

 

Be Connected Digital Mentoring Opportunity

The FAHS is offering Be Connected Digital Mentor Training to South Australian historical societies and community museums.

Be Connected is a set of fantastic easy to use resources covering a wide range of digital skills including using apps, setting up wifi, online safety, social media and using all sorts of digital devices, such as smart phones, tablets and computers. Community organisations can become Be Connected Digital Mentors and access grant funds for equipment or other purchases that help them to share digital skills within their communities. $2,000 is offered to sign up 30 people (or 15 if in an outer-regional area) to the Be Connected Learning Portal https://beconnected.esafety.gov.au/help-others

On Friday 27 March the FAHS’ Online Outreach Officer, Sophie Shilling, will be in Adelaide to introduce the Be Connected resources and show you how to access funding and sign–up your organisation to be a digital mentor in your community.

Click here for more information and to register to come to the workshop.

Grants Awarded for SA History, Museums and Collections

The History Trust distributed $150,000 in grants at the end of 2019, supporting 39 separate SA history focused projects in communities throughout the state.

The 23 recipients of annual South Australian History Fund (SAHF) include clubs, societies, local government, community organisations and individuals.  Approaches to SA history that we have been able to support this year include research, digitisation of collections and archiving, publications, performance, preservation and exhibitions.  You can see the list of successful projects SAHF Grants List December 2019.

Round Two of the MaC (Museums and Collections) grant fund is supporting 16 projects being undertaken by community and historical societies that are members of the History Trust’s MaC standards and funding program.  Through their grants MaC members will be using research, historical stories and objects in a variety of ways to connect to aspects of local history.  Topics include Eyre Peninsula railways, trees, Lutheran missions and soldier settlement on Kangaroo Island.  You can see the list of successful projects MaC Project Grants round two December 2019.

 

 

Funding for Communities and History

The History Trust of SA has its two main grant funds open NOW and applications to both are welcome until 28 October.

The South Australian History Fund (SAHF) is the Trust’s annual publicly accessible competitive grant fund that supports publications, research and projects that enable communities to explore, interpret or preserve aspects of their history and make South Australian history accessible to the public.

MaC (Museums and Collections) Project grants is a closed competitive grant fund specifically for community collection organisations and museums that are members of the MaC standards and funding program. Grants support strategic, innovative projects that help sustain and promote the value of South Australian community-held historical collections.

Further information and application details for both funds can is available here and you are welcome to contact us to discuss project ideas or check-in about applying.

 

             

Images: top right – historic scene of Semaphore relating to the Semaphore Mainstreet Association’s historical walking tour app (SAHF); left to right – selection of recent publications that received some SAHF funding; part of the Little River display at Bay Discovery Centre (MaC); MaC funding also supported the development of a community history research room and temporary exhibition space for Angaston & Penrice Historical Society.

 

 

Project Grants Around the State

The History Trust of South Australia is delighted to share the range of projects that have received funding in the innaugural Museums and Collections (MaC) Project grant round.

A touch over $205,000 has been awarded to 26 projects.

Special congratulations to the Sheep’s Back Museum in Naracoorte, which has received the largest grant of $25,000 for an innovative and exciting children’s museum project.  More news will be shared about this project as it progresses.

The focus for MaC Project grants is:

  • creating sustainable collections
  • presenting collections in relevant and accessible ways
  • demonstrating current standards for collection management and care practices
  • engaging communities, wherever they be, with collections

Projects this year traverse all of these areas and many relate to more than one.  There is a strong focus through the grants on enhancing access to collections, telling historical stories in engaging ways, developing collection storage and community history spaces and meeting high standards for safeguarding South Australia’s distributed collections.

See the full list of grants awarded.

          

The Angaston & Penrice Historical Society (Left) have funding to transform two rooms of this main street cottage into a local and family history research centre and temporary exhibitions space; (centre) the Beachport Museum will be following their successful railways exhibition to tell the story of the Bevilaqua family who were central to the grain store building where the museum is located; (right) the Port Milang Railway Museum will be rolling on from light railways and diesel engines to focus on the steam era in South Australian railways; (below) The SA Police Historical Society will be creating digital products online and at the museum site in order to better share their extensive object and archival collections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MaC Membership on the Move

The last three months have seen plenty of activity around the History Trust’s Museums and Collections (MaC) standards and funding program for historical groups that manage collections.  Between March and May we welcomed eight new MaC Member groups and several museums in the outgoing Community Museums Program also made the switch to MaC.  We are getting some very encouraging feedback from members about using the MaC membership process for a bit of a ‘check-in’ about how and where they are heading.  It is great to see such a variety of community history groups taking an interest in MaC and wanting to discover more about standards for collections practices.

For more about our latest MaC members, take a look at their profile pages on this website.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network Heritage Office

Clare National Trust Museum

Macclesfield Community Association History Group

Mount Pleasant District Historical Research Group

Peterborough History Group

Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society Archives

SANFL History Centre

Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum

The MaC program is relevant to South Australian community museums, history groups and collecting organisations at whatever stage of their development.  Community history groups that would like to find out more about MaC membership are very welcome to contact us.

The collection of the Macclesfield History group includes many images like this one showing the opening of the swimming pool.
The collection of the Macclesfield History group includes many images like this one showing the opening of the swimming pool.
Part of the Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum’s Legendairy display

 

Ethical Storytelling Workshop

Around ten participants gathered in the Hetzel Theatre at the State Library’s Institute building on Monday 18 February eager to learn about Ethical Storytelling. It was Oral History Australia (SA/NT branch)’s first workshop for the year, and the beginning of a very special year for the organisation, being its 40th anniversary.  Catherine and I from the were amongst the attendees of the workshop which was led by freelance Adelaide-based writer May-Kuan Lim.

Many of us were working or had worked on projects that involved interviewing people and telling their stories, sometimes poignant, sensitive stories – to relay in a publication, website or exhibition. How can we ensure we do this ethically?

With the help of a power point presentation as well as some sample published passages to provoke small group discussion before reporting back to the main group, May-Kuan guided us through the duty of the writer and oral historian.  We considered what made a good story as well as the ideals in relation to the subject before outlining the process for fact finding, and what one should bear in mind when searching for the story.

May-Kuan recommended that we should always have in our minds when telling a story ‘Would I want myself/my children portrayed in this way?’  Her main take away message was that it should always be ‘people before projects’.

May-Kuan graduated in Computer science from the University of Melbourne. She was working as a broadcast engineer in a small regional TV studio in Sarawak, Malaysia in the late 1990s when she realised she would rather be writing stories than broadcasting them.  Since 2010 she has been teaching part time at Port Adelaide TAFE. Many of her students were former refugees and she was drawn to their stories particularly in light of the then current boat arrival debate. She started interviewing and writing refugee stories to try to understand why people fled and what life was like for them now.  Her book ‘Australia: Island of Refuge’ was released serially online from 1 March. Her presentation also drew on her experience helping her father write his life story, Fish in the Well: A memoir of faith and aspiration in which he recalls his early years around the Malaysian tin-mining town of Ipoh, and his search for a way out of poverty.

You can contact May-Kuan Lim via her website The Curious Scribbler or her Facebook page

Additional resources

 

 

 

Robe Welcomes Tombstone Tourists

Tombstone Tourists has been created by the Robe community to celebrate the stories of people who have lived and died in the popular seaside town and historic port of Robe. The name was inspired by the media headlines the project generated during its development in 2017.

The project combines a website and a smart phone app which make it easy to access information about people buried in the town’s cemetery, including both the heritage-listed historical section and newer sections established since the 1950s.

Visitors to the cemetery are encouraged to download the app so they can listen to the stories and see the faces of those buried, as they explore the graves, gaining fascinating insights into the lives of the men, women and children who have been part of the Robe community since the township was proclaimed in 1846.

Funded under the auspices of the Robe Local History Group, the project was supported by the District Council of Robe and the History Trust of South Australia. The content continues to expand, with stories and images relating to more graves being added. The History Group is also encouraging council to place markers on unidentified graves, which have been mapped using available records.

The cemetery is open every day so there are lots of opportunities to be a Tombstone Tourist in Robe.

People with family members buried in the Robe cemetery are encouraged to get in touch, and provide information so their stories can be added.

Communities interested in using the same digital framework to create a website and app for their cemeteries are also welcome to contact project coordinator Kim Kelly or call 0419 855 537 for further information.

 

 

We Welcome Our First MaC Members!

The History Trust is excited to announce that Angaston & Penrice Historical Society and the Mount Torrens and District Community Association are the first two organisations to join the Museums and Collections (MaC) program.  Both quickly put their hands up to complete the MaC membership process. Angaston & Penrice Historical Society is well established in managing archival and object collections and presenting the Doddridge Blacksmith Shop as a museum and for tours.  Mount Torrens is in the process of establishing a community archives and interested in pursuing ways to make their collections accessible in digital formats.  Both organisations are eligible to apply for a MaC project grant this year and we wish them every success.

The MaC program is relevant to South Australian community museums and collecting organisations at whatever stage of their development.  Community groups that would like to talk about MaC membership are very welcome to contact us.

Old Coach House Mount Torrens – the archives will soon be moving to a purpose built building.

Among many activities, Angaston & Penrice Historical Society maintains the Doddridge Blacksmith Shop.

Grants to support Museums and Collections

The inaugural grant fund aligned with the History Trust’s Museums and Collections (MaC) program has opened.  Applications for project grants will be accepted online until Friday 12 April.  Organisations need to be members of MaC to be eligible to this grant fund.  Applications must be made online.

The History Trust’s Community History Officers (Amanda and Pauline) are very happy to talk about applications, and MaC membership, with you.  Give them a call on 08 8203 9888 or email to community@history.sa.gov.au

 

Grants for Heritage Places

Owners of State Heritage Places may be able to secure funds through the Department for Environment and Water for projects that contribute to the longevity of these places.

To be eligible the project has to relate to a place that is on the State Heritage Register, or located in a State Heritage Area.  Throughout South Australia there are many community museums and societies located in such places, so if there are some building works that need doing this may be an avenue to fund them.

Grants can be for conservation projects including conservation of significant building fabric or reinstatement or protection of significant features, such as verandahs.  New roofs, guttering, window frames, damp treatment, underpinning and repointing are all activities that could be eligible for funding.  Details and the application process are available here.

SA Heritage Grants also has a focus on community projects, such as works that support adaptive re-use of heritage places, or that promote the development of heritage tourism or skills in heritage trades, so the fund is a good fit for historical organisations.

The History Trust’s community history officers are always very happy to talk with community organisations about grant funding opportunities and making applications.  We can be contacted on 08 8203 9888 or community@history.sa.gov.au

Museums and Collections Program Launched

The History Trust’s Museums and Collections (MaC) program is up and running!  MaC is a standards and funding program for incorporated historical societies, community museums and community archives.  It replaces the long running Community Museums Program (CMP) and offers greater opportunities for a wider range of participants.

The purpose of MaC is to recognise and support the development, sustainability and community impact of South Australian community history organisations.  Expert assistance from History Trust staff, online resources (coming soon), workshops, and substantial annual grant funds underpin MaC and support the work of MaC members.

The process of joining is the first step on the MaC journey, and involves completing a self-review.  The self-review prompts reflection on developing, caring for and sharing collections, governance, sustainability and future planning.  It is an accessible format and recognises the individuality of the community history and collecting groups that make up the dynamic South Australian History Network.

MaC embodies the principles and benchmarks of the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries (NSAMG) and is an active program that will evolve over time.

Organisations that manage community history collections are warmly invited to work with the History Trust through MaC.  Information is here or contact Amanda James or Pauline Cockrill at the History Trust on 8203 9888 or community@history.sa.gov.au .

Stay tuned for an announcement about the inaugural MaC grant round soon.

 

 

All Aboard! 50th Anniversary Last Passenger Service to Milang Re-enactment

On Friday 30 November 2018, 67 railway enthusiasts, friends and relatives were transported to Milang from Mount Barker via Strathalbyn on historic railcars, to commemorate the closing of the Milang railway station which took place 50 years ago to the day in 1968.

Organised by the Milang Historic Railway Society in collaboration with SteamRanger Heritage Railway, this fundraising event for the Port Milang Historic Railway Museum began at the Mount Barker railway station where participants were presented with authentic vintage tickets before boarding an historic ‘Red Hen’ railcar.  On this glorious sunny day, passengers rattled along to Strathalbyn watching the passing scenery and listening to talks about the historic railway line along the way as well as having the opportunity to buy a special stamped anniversary envelope to be posted at Milang that afternoon. It was all change at Strathalbyn for a comfort stop plus a group photo at the ‘Change for Milang’ sign on the platform; then all aboard again on a ‘Barwell Bull’ railcar heading for Finniss with a stop at the now deserted Sandergrove Junction where passengers alighted to take photos and reminisce.

Coaches at Finniss then took everyone to Nurragi where they were treated to an informative talk about the Nurragi Conservation Reserve by Gerry Thompson. Then on to a delicious lunch at Milang Bowling club followed by a visit to the Milang Railway Museum and Light Railway Centre where volunteers enthusiastically showed off their work.  Milang Railway Museum is registered in the History Trust’s former standards Community Museums Program and has received grants and support in kind but much of their success is due to the efforts of the volunteer team.

At 3pm Allan McInnes played the part of the last stationmaster as he ceremoniously re-enacted the locking of the stationmaster’s office door as Ted Pattenden had done on 30 November 1968.  With that, participants then boarded the coaches again for a tour of Milang before heading for Finniss and taking the ‘Barwell Bull’ back to Strathalbyn Station.  Here they were allowed to witness the turning of the railcar on the historic turntable before taking the ‘Red Hen’ back to Mount Barker.

Here’s a short film which captures the highlights of this wonderful event, with its glorious weather and smooth organisation by a great team of passionate volunteers, headed by President Allan McInnes and Secretary Peter Lucas at the Milang Historic Railway Society.

National Grant Funds for South Australian History

The Peterborough History Group, Embroiderers’ Guild Museum and the History Trust of SA have each received a grant in the 2017 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) grant round. The CHG program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material. This year Peterborough History Groups has been awarded the largest grant to an SA organisation: more than $12,000 to continue recording the contents of the Peterborough Times Office Job Dockets. This is an ongoing and very exciting project to identify, record, digitise and safely store many thousands of individual documents, creating a tremendous archive for research and for highlighting aspects of Peterborough history over more than 100 years. Information about the project can be found on the History Group’s Facebook page

The Embroiderers’ Guild Museum at Mile End has received $3,040 to run disaster preparedness workshops for their volunteers. This follows on from their 2015 CHG grant for a Preservation Needs Assessment. The History Trust has also received a training grant ($4,450), which will enable the Trust to run a new workshop about creating digital products in two regions of the state. Many groups around SA have already attended workshops run by the Trust in partnership with the State Library and Artlab Australia in how to ‘do’ digitisation, and the new workshops will go a step further and focus on ways to use digital records to make collections more accessible. For these workshops the History Trust will be partnering with David from Digital Barn.

CHG is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts; National Library of Australia; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Museum of Australia. Full lists of grant recipients are available on the NLA website.

Preserving and Accessing Collections

Digitisation has proved to be a popular topic with two workshops held in March booking out fast. Run as a partnership between the History Trust of South Australia and the State Library of South Australia the workshops were held in the north of the state at Port Augusta and in the south at Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The Willunga workshop attracted around 30 participants mainly from the wider Fleurieu and Adelaide regions and from Kangaroo Island, while 40 people attended the Port Augusta session, hailing from a wide variety of organisations and travelling in to Port Augusta from as far away as Port Lincoln and Leigh Creek.
The History Trust of SA has run similar workshops before (in Adelaide and in the south-east at Millicent) but this time a new session was added to explore the ways that digital material can be used for displays and community engagement activities and the day finished with this session and small groups planning scanfests of their own.
Before that though the emphasis was firmly on the process of digitisation, digitisation standards and the different requirements between digitising and preservation and digitising for access, types of scanners, file naming, file storage and gaining an understanding of the creation of digital files and how to manage them in the long-term.
The workshops attracted enormous interest and participants represented historical societies, family history groups, local museums and community libraries. Funded by a National Library Community Heritage Grant and the History Trust of SA the workshop was led by Lindy Bohrnsen, the State Library of South Australia’s Senior Reformatting Coordinator and the History Trust’s community history officers Amanda James and Pauline Cockrill.  The funding support enabled the workshop to be delivered in regional areas and the feedback from Port Augusta especially is that this was much appreciated.

South Australian History Fund 2016-17 Grants

The South Australian History Fund (SAHF) 2016-17 grant round is now open and closes on Friday 19 August 2016.

The South Australian History Fund (SAHF) is History SA’s annual grant fund supporting community groups to undertake small South Australian history projects. Funding for up to $2,000 for projects, $3,000 for publications and $5,000 for research projects is available. Guidelines for the SAHF are available here and you can apply online here. In previous years the SAHF has funded oral history, archiving, digitisation, conservation and interpretation projects, along with a range of publications and key research projects. Groups can also apply for funding up to $5000 to hold public events during the 2017 South Australia’s History Festival.

Intending applicants are very welcome to contact Pauline and Amanda to discuss possible projects and to get advice on putting an application together. The 2016-2017 SAHF grant round closes on 19 August 2016.

There are several help sheets available on the South Australian Community History website that are relevant to the types of projects frequently applied for, including display development, collection storage and interpretive signs.

Railway History is made at Milang

Port Milang Historic Railway Museum officially received their registration certificate marking their entry into the Community Museums Program, History SA’s Museums Standards program last Monday. The occasion was as unique as it was auspicious.

The framed certificate was presented by History SA’s new CEO Greg Mackie to the museum’s President Allan McInnes, whilst standing on the front of the museum’s latest exhibit, their historic diesel Loco 351 before His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO Governor of South Australia and Mrs Lan Le, Mr Adrian Pederick MP, State Member for Hammond and Councillor Katherine Stanley-Murray, Deputy Mayor of the Alexandrina Council and a large gathering of locals and railway enthusiasts.

The world and his dog (actually several dogs) seemed to be present at the Port Milang Railway Museum for the event, gathering along the line in front of the old railway station on Daranda Terrace to not only welcome South Australia’s Governor to their small town of just over 500 people but to also celebrate the museum’s 25 years of development.

The sun shone on Loco 351 in its new orange livery which brightened up the skyline and backdrop of Milang’s holiday shacks alongside the shores of Lake Alexandrina.  Museum secretary Peter Lucas welcomed guests and introduced the two members of Milang School who did a great job telling the history of their town to the audience. Following the certificate handover, His Excellency the Hon Hieu Van Le addressed the guests also from the front of the train, reminding everyone that he was following in the footsteps of former Governor, Dame Roma Mitchell, who had performed the re-opening ceremony of the railway station as a museum in 1992.

However 25 years later, His Excellency had a different unveiling to perform.  Accompanied by Peter Lucas and Allan McInnes, he proceeded to the other end of the Loco 351 where he cut the ribbon across the cab’s steps to officially open South Australian Railways locomotive 351 and its driving simulator.

SAR Loco 351 was recently gifted to the Milang Railway Museum from the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide and restored by Milang volunteers.  With the introduction of some simple but clever electronic gadgetry, it is now possible to ‘drive’ the loco using the simulator. Visitors can sit in the driver’s seat, appear to start up the train, sound the horn and drive the loco along the line, all without leaving the station!  Appropriate sound effects and a large computer monitor showing a film of the train moving in sync with the steering mechanism simulates the driving experience.

A tour of the museum and a delicious afternoon tea completed the successful afternoon proceedings.

History SA’s Community History Officers are currently working with Milang Railway Museum to complete their new Light Railway Centre, the interpretation of which is being part-funded by a Community Museums Program (CMP) grant.

More pictures of Milang Railway Museum’s 27 June celebration can be seen here

Dressing Up the History Festival

To create a big splash for the start of the History Festival History SA held a major event on the theme of dressing up.

Held over three days, the Dressing Up program included a fashion parade of Victorian-era costumes and a workshop about underwear, a host of short talks and demonstrations on a huge variety of topics including millinery, steam punk, kimono, swimwear, and making replica period costume, and a temporary exhibition of costume and other items on the theme of dressing up.  More than 20 individuals and groups contributed to the wonderfully diverse program.

The Dressing Up exhibition presented objects and stories from History SA’s own collections (from the Migration Museum, the National Motor Museum, and the SA Maritime Museum) along with objects from community museum collections.  Much more than a costume display, the exhibition included objects relating to three themes: dressing up to go travelling, dressing up for fun, and dressing up for milestones in life.  The choice of themes meant that as well as some wonderful examples of clothing from the late 1800s through to the 1970s some more unexpected items could be included – water skis, Latvian mittens, a school satchel and travelling trunk fitted out as a portable wardrobe were among objects displayed.

More images from the Dressing Up event and exhibition can be seen here.

 

Caring for your family treasures

There will be a special free conservation clinic on Tuesday 31 May at Mount Gambier City Hall offering expert advice to those in South Australia’s southeast, about caring for your family treasures.

This clinic is ideal for those living in the South East who are concerned about those precious family heirlooms that are perhaps stored in the back of a wardrobe; stuffed in boxes or suitcases in the garage or attic. These might be old wartime diaries and letters, family photograph albums and postcard collections; or children’s Christening gowns or first pairs of shoes, a family wedding dress, or even a childhood teddy bear. They’ve been kept ‘for future generations’ but you’re not sure how the best way to preserve them; or worse still, mould, moths or mice have got to them first.

This special conservation clinic is part of South Australia’s History Festival and has been organised by the Mount Gambier History Group in collaboration with History SA and Artlab Australia. Principal Textile Conservator Kristin Phillips, and Principal Paper and Books Conservator Helen Halley will be available to give advice as well as offering a series of short workshops and demonstrations throughout the day including the best way to surface clean textiles, to store or display your historic costume and textiles plus documents, photographs and books.  History SA’s Community History Officer and museum curator Pauline Cockrill will provide advice re display, research and project funding.  Displays from South East local history groups can also be viewed and light meals and refreshments purchased during the day.

The clinic will take place from 10am-3pm.

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