Roslyn Russell, Kylie Winkworth
© Commonwealth of Australia, 2010
ISBN 97 80977544363 (pbk)
Copying and digitisation
Better knowledge of collections, within and between organisations, can lead to cooperative ventures, joint exhibitions and pooling of resources to deal with collections that have more than one custodian in common. A better understanding of collections across organisations can avoid duplication of effort and concentrate resources on the most significant items and collections, thereby enhancing sustainability.
Copying for safety and sustainability of collections
Copies of documents can be substituted for originals in library and archive collections where handling significant originals can place them at risk of damage or theft. Digitisation can make documents accessible to a wide audience without endangering the originals.
Note: Digitisation has many benefits, but care must be taken not to rely on carriers such as CDs and DVDs for long-term storage of digital collections. Digital files must be migrated regularly to mainframe storage systems, and care must be taken that formats do not become obsolete and therefore unreadable.
Collaborating on preservation treatment of a significant collection: James Gleeson Oral History Collection
The James Gleeson Oral History Collection held by the National Gallery of Australia comprises recordings by one of Australia's foremost artists, Dr James Gleeson AO, interviewing ninety-eight Australian artists represented in the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) collection. These interviews constitute a significant primary research collection unparalleled in Australian art history.
Surrealist painter, poet, critic, writer and curator, Gleeson, was a member of the National Gallery's Council at the time he conducted the interviews in the 1970s. His interviews provide profound and personal insights into the diverse creative processes, stories and meanings behind some of the nation's pre-eminent contemporary artists' works. The James Gleeson Oral History Collection was recognised as documentary heritage of world significance for Australia when it was inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2008.
The interviews are accompanied by transcripts and 2000 reference photographs of the relevant artworks in the National Gallery's collection. Originally recorded on audiocassette, the oral histories have been digitised by the National Library of Australia, as these significant interviews were at risk from format obsolescence.
Digitisation of the James Gleeson Oral History Collection served a double purpose: as a preservation strategy to ensure the survival of the interviews in a current format; and as a means of improving access to a significant collection.
1 Some of the artists included in the oral histories are: Charles Blackman, John Brack, Judy Cassab, Jock Clutterbuck, John Coburn, Tony Coleing, Noel Counihan, Grace Crowley, Lyndon Dadswell, Alexsander Danko, Bob Dickerson, Sir Russell Drysdale, Leslie Dumbrell, Brian Dunlop, Leonard French, Rosalie Gascoigne, Murray Griffin, Elaine Haxton, Dale Hickey, Ian Howard, Vincas Jomantas, Grahame King, Robert Klippel, Alun Leach-Jones, Rosemary Madigan, Rodney Milgate, Alan Oldfield, Lenton Parr, Paul Partos, Stanislaus Rapotec, Lloyd Rees, Ken Reinhard, Ron Robertson-Swann, Bill Rose, William Salmon, Gareth Sanson, Martin Sharp, Eric Smith, Tim Storrier, Guy Stuart, Imants Tillers, Albert Tucker, Tony Tuckson, Guy Warren, Frank Watters and Brett Whiteley.
Significance in action
Significance assessment applications and case studies
- Conservation treatment
- Collection risk assessment
- Collection care
- Copying and digitisation
- Collection analysis and policy development
- In situ collections
- Shared collections
- Exhibitions and interpretation
- Online exhibitions
- Online access and education
- Assessing cultural heritage website quality
- Nominating to a register
- Applying for a grant
- Advocacy and resourcing
- Fundraising and promotion
- Thematic studies and regional surveys
- Collections mapping
- Significance training