Come Alive! 2016

This past Saturday, the curtain came down on the Come Alive Festival of Museum Theatre, following its seventh annual run.

Come Alive is a performance festival where students gain inspiration from the exhibitions and collections of cultural institutions and create theatre performances that have drawn on a variety of characters, objects, events and stories from our history.

In 2016, Come Alive was hosted for the first time by the National Library of Australia in collaboration with the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) at Old Parliament House.

Animate Trove images and win

In October we want you to explore and play with public domain and openly licensed images from Australia’s cultural collections. Turn them into GIFs and enter the international competition, GIF IT UP, hosted by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and supported by Europeana and Trove. A GIF is an image file that has been animated in some way and loops continuously. Using a few free tools, anyone can make one.

Here’s an example from one of last year’s GIF IT UP entries that used a Trove image: 

Accessing born-digital content

In light of Born Digital Week, it seems appropriate to write a blog on some of the challenges we and other institutions face when it comes to looking after born-digital content. So let’s take a closer look at a born-digital item in our collection which highlights some of the processes and challenges of preserving and maintaining access to digital content.

Managing your digital records

Most of us have moved into the digital world in order to work, communicate, take photos, and generally to run our lives. But the huge storage capacity of contemporary computers and other devices, and a sense of being too busy, mean that many people have chaotic personal digital archives, disorganised and prone to accidental loss.

If our digital archivists could be angels on the shoulders of digital content creators, they would bestow 4 pieces of wisdom.

Where are our boys?

Maps conveying news of war are as old as Ptolemy. In the second century AD, his map of the Middle East spread the news across the Empire of victory over the Judeans, and the redrawing of boundaries for the new Roman province of Syria Palestina. The map was part of an ancient media campaign to quell any similar unrest. Over many centuries since, maps have led the public war story, bringing a sense of order at home while the situation in the field was anything but.

‘Hitherto unvisited by any artist’

Artist Augustus Earle’s life was in many respects so remarkable that if it wasn’t true it would have had to be invented. Born in London in 1793, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from the age of 13 and is acknowledged as the first independent, professional artist to visit all continents. He documented his travels with candour and honesty. Loving travel and immersing himself in the worlds he encountered, he captured them in luminous watercolours.


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