What do Berrima, the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, Thredbo and Wangaratta have in common? Community groups from all these places have received Community Heritage Grants (CHG) to assist them to care for their unique collections. In fact, over 1000 organisations have shared in almost $5 million of funding since 1994. Community Heritage Grants are used to assist with the preservation of, and improved access to locally owned, publicly accessible and nationally significant collections. Applications for the 2014 round are open as of today from our CHG guidelines and application form page.
As the coordinator of the Community Heritage Grants I see many fascinating collections cross my desk. One which caught my eye recently was the Thredbo Historical Society who received a grant in 2012 for a Significance Assessment of their collection. Items of national significance noted in the report include Laurie Seaman's Kodak Camera from 1928. The photographs Seaman and companion Hayes took of each other on reaching the summit of Mt Kosciuszko just before they died in a blizzard remain with the camera, as a poignant reminder of this early alpine tragedy.
Across the country in New Norcia, Western Australia, a superb collection of ecclesiastical textiles, including this magnificent chalice veil from the Benedictine Community, was the recipient of a grant for a Preservation Needs Assessment in 2012.
A photograph of "Wombateers" from the collection of the Berrima and District Family History Society is another example. This organisation has received grants for Significance Assessment, Preservation Needs Assessment and finally for digitisation of their collection of photographs, now available through Trove.
The image chosen for the promotion of our 2014 grant round is the result of a grant made to the Wangaratta Historical Society. The Marianne Gibson Quilt, made in 1891 is an example of crazy quilting with Australian motifs included in the panels; King parrots, a spray of wattle and Sturt's Desert Pea. The grant enabled the repair and conservation of the quilt. In the words of project manager, Val Gleeson, "the quilt is now breathtaking and glorious in its rich colours and sumptuous embroidery".
[Edit: To learn more about this quilt Culture Victoria has the full story and documentary video.]
You can find out more at the Community Heritage Grants page. It's a great opportunity for community organisations anywhere in Australia to seek assistance with the preservation of their collections.
You can see all of the previous recipients and their projects on our website.
Some of the 78 recipients in the 2013 CHG round while visiting the Library for the awards ceremony and workshop program.
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