Small Museums Conference 2020

This past Friday and Saturday, I was thrilled to attend the Small Museums Conference, hosted at the Historic Ormiston House. Even more exciting was to have one of Gaia Resources’ projects, Q-Album, presented at the conference by the Queensland State Archives.

Q-Album was developed by Gaia Resources in conjunction with Queensland State Archives to provide a platform where small and medium-sized organisations can share the “gems” in their collections.

Screenshot of the home page of Q-Album

Screenshot of the Q-Album home page

It provides contributors with a web presence, the ability to curate their content and to engage with added-value functions: then-and-now photos using Google Street View, geo-tagging with Google Maps, timeline filters, and News of the Day – an integration with Trove.

The project went live at the start of this year and currently has six organisations contributing content. Q-Album is free for contributors and everyone involved in the project hopes to see this number grow over the coming months.

You can explore Q-Album for yourself here: https://qalbum.archives.qld.gov.au/.

There were other engaging talks at the conference which also discussed the use of technology in the heritage sector. We discussed podcasting, the pros and cons of particular collection management software, and the discrepancy between tourism and heritage tourism. Further topics recognised the importance of volunteers, the challenges of fundraising, and sharing difficult-to-tell stories. Common to all was how museums, large and small are using technology, innovating tools, and looking ahead to the future. You can find abstracts of the presented papers here.

With a conference theme of Environment – Heritage -Sustainability, the talk ‘At the Intersection – Sustainability, Climate Change & Collection Care’ was particularly poignant. Presented by Amanda Pagliarino, Head of Conservation and Registration from Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the talk informed attendees about recent studies at the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) and the Environmental Guidelines Project. As a past Archivist/Collections Manager, it was encouraging to hear that museums are reflecting on their carbon footprint, adjusting collection care standards accordingly, and democratising their policies.

Thank you to the Historic Ormiston House and others for making the in-person Small Museums Conference possible in 2020! I look forward to staying in touch and engaged with the heritage and museum sector here in Queensland.

As always, if you’d like to know more about this event or if you have perspectives you would like to share on museums in Queensland, then please drop me a line at sarah.aldrich@gaiaresources.com.au, or connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook..

Sarah

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