Roslyn Russell, Kylie Winkworth
© Commonwealth of Australia, 2010
ISBN 97 80977544363 (pbk)
Online access and education
Many collecting organisations make collection records and information about significant collections available online. Increasingly, these organisations are inviting members of the public to contribute knowledge about displayed collections. A good example is the Powerhouse Museum Collection Search. The growing availability of collection records online assists in the comparative analysis that is essential to significance assessment.
Significance, digital access and education
Olympic torch, used by Cathy (Catherine) Freeman Sydney 2000 Olympics, metal, designed by Blue Sky Design, made by GA & L Harrington, c. 2000. Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection. Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001 2001/84/267
Photo: Marinco Kojdanovski. Reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Statements of significance have educational potential to share the meaning of collections with users across Australia and the world. The Powerhouse Museum's website explores the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games through the lens of the design and creative processes that were central to the image and identity of the games.
Excerpt from the statement of significance
This torch is perhaps the most compelling object of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It signifies the precise moment when the Games officially opened, and when the world focussed its attentions upon Sydney and Australian culture as a whole.
This Olympic torch was used by Cathy (Catherine) Freeman on 15 September 2000 to ignite the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony. It was designed by Sydney company, Blue Sky Design, and manufactured by GA & L Harrington in anodised and textured aluminium. Its tiered rim emulates the sail-like roofline of the Sydney Opera House, its curving body reflects the shape of a boomerang and its blue aluminium surface symbolises the waters of Sydney Harbour.
As the Sydney Olympic Torch Relay drew to a close in the stadium, speculation surrounding the lighting of the Olympic cauldron rapidly intensified. Emerging from the darkness in a white, flameproof bodysuit, Cathy (Catherine) Freeman, Indigenous champion of track and field, ascended a staircase and stood within a reflective pool. Here, above the audience, she immersed the flame in the liquid surrounding her feet and ignited the Olympic cauldron.
The selection of Freeman to light the Olympic cauldron seemed highly appropriate to most Australians—she excelled in her sport, protested against injustices to Aboriginal people, and spoke proudly of her Aboriginal heritage. These qualities stirred a nation that was debating reconciliation with its Indigenous people. Freeman's prominence at the opening ceremony encapsulated the Olympic ideals of promoting sport and celebrating the history and culture of the host country.
1 Powerhouse Museum Collection Search, viewed 15 March 2009, http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/
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
Links to another web site
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