Four Tasmanian 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 $16 750 to four community groups and organisations around the state in 2008. The groups include museums, historical societies, and Indigenous, sporting and religious organisations. Each will receive funds to assist in the preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.

Tasmanian highlights include $4 000 to the Australian Script Centre for a significance assessment, $3 850 to the Friends of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens for archival materials and $4 500 to West Coast Heritage for a significance assessment of the material in the Mt Lyell Mining office.

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.

Sally Hopman, Media Liaison Manager, 02 6262 1704; 0401 226 697;
Erin Stephens, CHG Coordinator, 02 6262 1147;


St Helens History and Visitor Information Centre received $4 400 for a significance assessment of the collection. The centre contains a wide collection of archives and artefacts relating to the early pioneers, gold mining and Chinese settlements, shipping, agriculture and domestic life.

Friends of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Inc received $3 850 for a plan cabinet and mylar sleeves. The collection contains books dating from early 1800s to 1920s and maps dating back to 1856. Some of the books are rare and in poor condition. They include general gardening books and floras.

West Coast Heritage Limited received $4 500 for a significance assessment of the material in the Mt Lyell Mining office. The Mt Lyell Mining Office collection is held within late 19th century buildings and includes the Mt Lyell Company archive and material relating to Robert Carl Sticht, the first mining manager. The 101-year history of the Mt Lyell Railway and Mining Company represents the continued strength and eventual demise of the mineral and mining boom which took place in this country from the late 19th century.

The Australian Script Centre received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the collection. The Australian Script Centre holds one of only two collections of unpublished Australian plays dating back to the 1970s and is the only collection that is made widely accessible to the public. Playwrights throughout Australia have registered their plays with the ASC for 30 years, providing an important cultural resource that records the development and diversity of Australian writing for performance.