Museums Australia. (2005). Continuous culture, ongoing responsibilities. Retrieved from https://www.amaga.org.au/sites/default/files/uploaded-content/website-content/SubmissionsPolicies/continuous_cultures_ongoing_responsibilities_2005.pdf
This document provides in-depth information on the Museums Australia position on dealing sensitively with objects that were collected from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. Of particular note are the sections on protocols regarding to sacred and secret objects and ancestral remains (pp. 18 -20). These include culturally appropriate storage, accessibility, display and, as appropriate, return or repatriation to the appropriate cultural custodians. The preamble, especially pp. 6 – 9, provides a good grounding in the shift in the understanding of the role and responsibility of museums to serve as custodians and caretakers, rather than owners of local historical artefacts.
Bruns, A. (2019, March 14). The Australian Web Archive is a momentous achievement: But things will get harder from here. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/the-australian-web-archive-is-a-momentous-achievement-but-things-will-get-harder-from-here-113542
This article from The Conversation, a popular online current affairs journal, looks at one attempt to avoid a potential historical data “black hole” for future scholars of our era. It provides background both on the achievement of the National Library of Australia’s effort to archive websites from the past two to three decades and on the increasing difficulty of doing so as the internet gets increasingly “platform” based. Hyperlinks in the opening paragraphs provide the interested reader with an easy opportunity to browse various web archives, including the one mentioned in the title. Cross-referenced article links provide an opportunity to explore further on related topics.
Collections Council of Australia, Ltd. (2009). Part 3: Significance: Concept and process. In Significance 2.0: A guide to assessing the significance of collections. Retrieved from http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/112443/20101122-1236/significance.collectionscouncil.com.au/online/55.html
This excerpt from the Australian-developed standard resource for the assessment of collection significance gives more background on the concepts referred to in the press release. It provides definitions, a brief description of process and criteria and background information on the who, what, where, when and why of the significance assessment process. The online version is referenced here, but a printable pdf version is also accessible and can be linked to from the site.
Digital Preservation Coalition. (2015). Preservation issues. In Digital Preservation Handbook, 2nd edition. Retrieved from https://www.dpconline.org/handbook/digital-preservation/preservation-issues
This chapter, produced by the Digital Preservation Coalition – an established, respected UK digital preservation cooperative – gives a basic background in the key issues surrounding digital preservation in everyday language. It covers threats to digital materials, organisational issues, and resourcing issues. A relatively quick read, it provides more information on concepts such as corruption, format shifting and obsolescence that are covered in the press release as well as potential solutions and resources needed to meet these challenges. Readers with further interest can access the rest of the handbook through the sidebar menu.
GML Heritage. (n.d.). Heritage at Risk. Retrieved from https://www.gml.com.au/heritage-at-risk/
This webpage, from a heritage conservancy consultant firm, provides some examples of risk assessment and risk management planning for sites relevant to local history in NSW. It shows that risks include access and display of items, not just natural and man-made disasters. For those interested in an example of a plan to mitigate loss from disasters, there is a link to one prepared for The Mint, one of the heritage locations managed by Sydney Living Museums.
International Council of Museums (ICOM), & Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg. (2011). Checklist on ethics of cultural property ownership. Retrieved from https://icom.museum/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/110825_Checklist_print.pdf
This document provides a succinct summary of the ethical concerns involved in preserving and displaying historically significant items at all levels – local, national, or global. It provides background for the topics included under the heading “Doing Things Right and Doing the Right Thing”. More detailed information is available from the ICOM Code of Ethics, retrievable by linking from https://icom.museum/en/activities/standards-guidelines/code-of-ethics/. This code of ethics provides the basis for that of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association, which is currently undergoing revision.
Scott, M. (2003). Bushfires…Protect your precious possessions. Melbourne: The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne. Retrieved from https://aiccm.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/AICCM_Brochures/bushfire-protection.pdf
This resource is a practical application of the concepts of disaster management planning (prevention, preparation, response and recovery) to the protection of personal records from bushfires. It gives steps to take at various points in time, from before bushfire season through to practical tips for salvaging various types of items that may have been recovered from a bushfire. It demonstrates how the professional process of identifying and managing risks, such as considering storage environments and access issues or making backup copies of rare items to store offsite, can be applied in a personal context.
Sydney Living Museums. (2019, May 13). Heritage grant awarded to conserve Barracks clock [Blog post]. Retrieved August 31, 2019 from https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/2019/05/13/heritage-grant-awarded-conserve-barracks-clock
This news item from the Sydney Living Museums website shows a local history example of a significance assessment being put into action two ways. Initially the assessment would have formed part of the grant proposal, currently it informs this blog post and creates publicity and advocacy for this work of preservation. In this article we see valuation of the artefact on historic, aesthetic (sound and movements), and social merit as primary considerations. The secondary considerations offered are strong provenance, rarity, still working condition that can be conserved, and a prime role in the interpretive program of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum.