Twenty-one NSW groups will receive grants to help preserve the state’s heritage following the announcement of the 2008 Community Heritage Grants.
The successful and popular program is providing grants worth $103 790 to 21 community groups and organisations around the state in 2008. The groups include museums, libraries, historical societies, migrant and religious organisations. Each will receive funds to assist in the preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.
Highlights include $4 400 to the New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum for a significance assessment; $4 950 to the Aquarian Archive for a preservation needs assessment and $4 000 to Rookwood Anglican and General Cemetery Trust to assist with the conservation and preservation of the Burial Records Collection 1867-2006. The Nutcote Trust has also received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the collection housed in the former home of Australian children’s author May Gibbs.
Recipients attend a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.
National Library Director-General Jan Fullerton said the Community Heritage Grants program showed the commitment by the National Library, along with its partner institutions and the Federal Government, in encouraging communities to care for the nation’s heritage, be it in small country towns or capital cities.
“It is all about working together to help spread the message that if we don’t preserve our history now, it could be lost forever,” she said.
“Through sharing this knowledge, the information can be taken back to the communities where it is most needed to ensure that local heritage collections are still there for future generations.”
The grant money is used for significance assessments, preservation needs assessments, conservation treatments, preservation training, digitisation, and purchasing quality storage materials or environmental monitoring equipment.
The Community Heritage Grants Program is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.
Lockhart & District Historical Society received $5 000 for a preservation needs assessment of the Brookong Collection. Brookong Station was settled in the 1840s and the collection includes original photographs, documents and metrological records, and material concerning the 1888 shearers’ strike.
New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated received $4 400 for a significance assessment of the collection. The 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers is the Australian Army's oldest surviving regiment, with links to the military volunteers of the 1870s. A collection highlight includes the personal diary, scrapbook and photo album of Major Lee, who commanded the second half squadron of Lancers who departed Sydney accompanied by Banjo Paterson as war correspondent. Lee's diary contains Paterson poems of the time, dated before their official publication dates and variously signed “AB Paterson”.
Uralla Historical Society received $7 260 for a preservation needs assessment of the McCrossin's Mill Museum Chinese Collection and a training workshop in preventative conservation. The Chinese Collection contains objects relating to the history of the Chinese on the Rocky River goldfields in the 1850s. Many items are of rare cultural and religious significance, including joss house relics.
Australian Tennis Museum received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the Australian Tennis Museum's clothing collection. The collection holds items worn by many Australian and international tennis players including Ken Rosewall, Margaret Smith-Court, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Bueno, Jennifer Capriati, Karen Krantzcke, John Newcombe and Chris Evert.
Rookwood Anglican and General Cemetery Trusts received $4 000 for a contribution towards conservation and preservation of the Burial Records Collection 1867-2006. The Rookwood Necropolis was founded in response to Sydney outgrowing its first two cemeteries, located where Sydney Town Hall and Central Railway Station now stand. Rookwood’s first burial took place in 1867 and is still a working cemetery. It is the largest cemetery in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.
The Oaks Historical Society Inc received $4 400 for a preservation needs assessment of the collection. The collection includes artefacts and documents relating to local history such as industry – timber getting, mining, orcharding and poultry farms, education, farming, and local military history represented from the Boer War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam and on the home front. The Oaks Historical Society was formed in 1979 to research the history of The Oaks and the Burragorang Valley which was flooded by Warragamba Dam.
Millthorpe & District Historical Society Inc received $13 000 for a mobile storage unit and archival materials for the Golden Memories Museum. The social history resources include the J.H.A. Lister collection, which marks the discovery of the first payable gold, by Lister and his brother Tom in 1851. The Sixth Light Horse Regiment Millthorpe Troop is described through photographs, medals and tokens, ephemera, uniform accessories and personal equipment.
The Croatian Archive Association of Australia Inc received $4 400 for a significance assessment of the collection. The association was formed in 2005 at the Croatian Club in Punchbowl, in order to preserve the history of Croatians in Australia. The Association is working closely with the community, collecting material relating to the lives and achievements of Croatians in Australia and making it available for research and exhibitions. The collection includes correspondence, minute books, souvenir booklets, sporting programs and photographs.
Port Macquarie Historical Society Inc received $5 500 for a significance assessment of the collection. Significant items in the Society’s collection include Aboriginal artefacts, original Lionel Lindsay watercolours c1916-1920, convict relics c1840s from the Port Macquarie Penal Settlement, books from the library of Major Archibald Clunes Innes, Commandant of the Port Macquarie Penal Settlement from November 1826 to April 1827 and an extensive costume and textile collection.
Lake Macquarie City Library received $4 000 for a preservation needs assessment of the Coal and Power Collection. The collection consists of a wide range of plans and diagrams relating to coal mining and electricity generation in the region. The mining collection contains approximately 6800 documents and the power station collection contains approximately 5000.
Aquarian Archive Inc received $4 950 for a preservation needs assessment of the collection. The collection contains research records and artefacts relating to the New Settler and Intentional Communities movements in the Northern Rivers region of NSW since 1973 after the Aquarius Festival. The festival introduced alternative living styles to the wider Australian community, ranging from care of the environment, alternative energy sources, low cost housing, and the development of communes, or intentional communities, which explored organic food production, produced their own styles of fashion and practised alternative medicine.
Bathurst Regional Council received $3 500 for a preservation training workshop for staff and volunteers of various organisations in the Bathurst region. The collections involved in this workshop include the School of Arts Collection, the Bathurst Family History Society Collection, the Chifley Home (home of former Prime Minister Ben Chifley), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum and the National Motor Racing Museum.
The Scout Association of Australia NSW Branch received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the collection. The collection contains artefacts dating back to the foundation of Scouting in Australia in 1908, including uniforms, flags, plaques, banners, photographs, film reels, audio tapes and glass negatives from the early 1900s. Significant collection items include a Changi Rover Scout Scarf from World War II; a trophy shield presented by Dr J.J. Bradfield, chief engineer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in 1932 and a photograph album from the 1920s which includes some photographs of Scouts taken with Australian artist Norman Lindsay in the grounds of his Faulconbridge estate.
Nutcote Trust Pty Limited received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the collection. 'Nutcote' was the home of the prominent Australian children's author and illustrator, May Gibbs (1877-1969). May Gibbs was Australia’s first professional female illustrator. Many of her postcards were sent to troops serving in World War I but she is best known for her 1918 book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. This collection includes early 20th century Gibbs postcards, early publications including first editions, late 19th and early 20th century original photographs, original May Gibbs' furniture and small original artworks by Herbert Gibbs, BJ Waterhouse and others.
Blue Mountains Historical Society Inc received $4 730 for a significance assessment of the collection. The society’s collection contains manuscripts, records, photographs and relics that record the history of the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas. Significant events recorded in the collection include the establishment of hospitals and sanitoriums for the treatment of tuberculosis, the evacuation of Sydney residents and private schools to the Blue Mountains during World War II and the employment of many local residents in the Lithgow Small Arms Factory.
The Rabbi Falk Memorial Library, Great Synagogue Sydney received $4 000 for a preservation needs assessment of the books and serials in the Rabbi Falk Memorial Library. The library is owned by the Great Synagogue, the oldest continuing Jewish congregation in Australia. The collection contains several works held nowhere else in Australasia, including over 200 old and rare books, some dating from the early 16th century.
Randwick City Library and Information Service and Randwick and District Historical Society Inc received $8 000 for significance assessments of the Randwick City Library and Randwick and District Historical Society collections. The Randwick City Library local history collection includes books and newspapers relating to the historical and contemporary life of the City of Randwick, and original photographs and city and community archives. The Historical Society archive contains photographs, documents, oral history tapes and objects linked to Randwick. The City Library and Information Service is one of the largest in metropolitan Sydney. The Historical Society Inc. collects, promotes and preserves the history of Randwick.
Hellenic Historical and Cultural Centre NSW received $4 000 for a preservation needs assessment of the collection. The Hellenic Historical and Cultural Centre provides a resource for all Australian Greek communities, with a collection containing costumes and textiles, shadow theatre artefacts, ecclesiastical artefacts, photographs, printed materials and wedding artefacts.
Arts Northern Rivers received $1 700 for a textile conservation workshop for 21 museums in New South Wales. Organisations participating in this workshop include: Alumny Creek School Museum, Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum, Casino Folk Museum, Evans Head Living Museum, New ltaly Museum Pacific Railway Society Museum, Port of Yamba Historical Society and the Tweed Regional Museum.
Lithgow City Council received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the Lithgow City Council Textiles Collection. The collection contains more than 2000 pieces produced or associated with the Lithgow Valley Pottery, a Suttons Crazy Patchwork Quilt dating from 1893, the Lithgow Woollen Mills Collection, the Sir Joseph Cook collection, the Eskbank Ironworks Blast Furnace Collection, a fully restored hansom cab, wooden sulkies (circa.1900), and 1500 pieces donated by the community of Lithgow.
Forbes and District Historical Society Museum received $4 950 for a preservation needs assessment of the collection. The collection contains many items relating to the gold rush, French migrants and their wine making endeavours in the region, the Italian and Chinese influence in the area and bushrangers, namely Ben Hall and the Gardiner Gang. Ben Hall was shot by the troopers at Forbes and is buried in the Forbes Cemetery.