Museum of Australian Democracy Oral histories

In December the The Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) at Old Parliament House in Canberra announced: “We are gradually putting our ‘open access’ oral histories on-line in full. MoAD records and collects interviews relating to Australian parliamentary democracy, political party activism and the story of the Old Parliament House heritage building, which was home to Australia’s national parliament from 1927 to 1988.

Our first batch of on-line interviews include three legends of the Australian Parliamentary Press Gallery (Wal Brown, Rob Chalmers and Bernard Freedman), memories of the 1954 ‘Petrov Affair’, and a long-time policeman Jack Dealy.

You can check out the on-line delivery here:

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Menus, maps and manuscripts

My presentation: Menus, maps and manuscripts: telling stories via heritage collections together with the other presentations presented at the Leading Lights seminar at the State Library of Victoria in October are now online at Victoria’s Virtual Library Infonet 


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Maps, menus and manuscripts: telling local stories via heritage collections

My presentation at the recent seminar for Victorian public library staff: “Leading Lights seminar: scholarship and award winners share ideas and lessons learned” showcased particular heritage collections or significant items within them and included the following:

Life and Loves of a Victorian Clerk

Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Cholera and Thames

The People’s Record: recording the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

West End at War

Library Time Machine

What’s on the menu?

Lincoln Collection

Picture Norfolk


Historypin – libraries, archives, museums

History Mysteries – San Francisco Year of the Bay

Flickr State Library of Victoria

Pinterest –  Guildhall Library Great Plague 1665

Alistair Knox

John F Kennedy Presidential Library – Hemingway’s scrapbooks

Australia’s community heritage


I look forward to hearing about your storytelling projects.


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Darebin Heritage


Darebin Libraries recently relaunched their local history portal – Darebin Heritage.  The new fresh and clean look site has a host of resources available.  It is fully searchable.

The library has always played a proactive role in telling the local history stories of its community through its range of publications in particular.  This has been important as there are no local history groups active within the City of Darebin.   The library has worked with local historian Brian Membrey who has contributed a number of his research projects including local World War One servicemen.

Other features of the website include:

*local history publications, a number of which can be downloaded in their entirety from the site

* A number of subjects are listed in the articles section, including buildings, events, industry and business, land, memories, people, places, sport and leisure and transport.

*Over 1500 images can be accessed including school photographs from the 1920s and 1930s which include some names,

*Special collections include:

High Street Preston 1892 – 1975

Darebin’s Great War 1914-1918 – Of Affairs Local

In Memoriam  which will include details of over 700 servicemen

*The Northcote Leader 1888 – 1939 is available as a browesable PDF.  While some of  this title is available via trove, other issues can be accessed in person at Preston Library.  The site also includes   transcriptions of some articles including personal reminiscences

* The Kids corner is a terrific resource for local schools. It includes a quiz, life in the past, old fashioned parade, top ten jobs for girls and boys.

* An Ask a question research query template on the site may lead to further articles added to the website

* Further links include a range of resources for Victorian history which includes Wikinorthia: documenting life in Melbourne’s north.

Darebin Heritage makes history accessible and indeed  fun.  Local history know no boundaries,  so if you have research interests in neighbouring Whittlesea, Nillumbik or Banyule, along with Yarra Plenty Regional Library –  be sure to check out Darebin Heritage.  You never know what you mind find.

This blog post was first published at Yarra Plenty Local History on 7 October 2013

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Leading lights: library scholarship and award winners share ideas and lessons learned

Bookings are now open to Victorian public library staff for the next free public library seminar at the State Library of Victoria, under the banner of the Statewide Public Library Development Projects:

Leading lights: library scholarship and award winners share ideas and lessons learned

Friday 25 October 2013, 10.00 am – 3.15 pm State Library of Victoria Conference Centre

Each year, the Library Board of Victoria presents several significant scholarships and awards to the Victorian public library sector. These scholarships and awards have been the catalyst for innovative research and program development in Victorian public libraries.

This day will include an inspiring showcase of recent and past winners who have produced outstanding work exploring a diverse range of intriguing and relevant topics. Their ideas and learning will inspire all public library staff interested in community engagement, new technology and improved service delivery. Those thinking of applying for a scholarship or award are also encouraged to attend to meet past winners and the scholarship administrator.
This seminar is open to Victorian public library staff. Lunch will be provided. Please book online by Thursday 17 October 2013.
About the Library Board of Victoria scholarship and awards

The Margery C Ramsay and Barrett Reid Scholarships, offered in alternate years, support the leadership development of Victorian public library staff. The scholarships are valued at up to $30,000. Applications for the 2013 Barrett Reid Scholarship opened on 17 September 2013 and close on 10 December 2013. For more information, visit Ramsay & Reid Scholarships.
The biennial Pierre Gorman Award, valued at up to $25,000, funds initiatives that improve public library service delivery for people with a disability. Applications for the 2014 Pierre Gorman Award are now open and will close on 8 October 2013. For more information, visit  Pierre Gorman Award

Michelle McLean (2006 Ramsay Scholarship) Michelle’s study tour of US public library services looked at new ways of servicing virtual users through the latest technologies, equipment, training and professional development.

Catherine Killmier (2010 Ramsay Scholarship) Catherine toured libraries that have implemented community-led service delivery models, and developed a community development framework for Victorian public libraries.

Patti Manolis (2003 Ramsay Scholarship)
Patti’s study tour of East Timor helped her better understand the needs of the East Timorese in the Maribyrnong community and to establish a network of contacts for sourcing library materials in relevant languages.

Leonee Derr (2011 Reid Scholarship)
Leonee investigated library services and spaces for young adults in the US, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Estonia and Croatia.

Jane Grace (2012 Pierre Gorman Award)
Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Connected Community – Auslan and Voice Unite project provided high quality library services to adults and children with a hearing impairment.

Liz Pidgeon (2012 Ramsay Scholarship)
Liz researched leading local and family history programs in the UK and US.

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A wordle toy created to illustrate posts so far posted on this blog.

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Content Curation

I have been invited to speak at the upcoming LibMark conference: Content Curation: marketing our collections online. 

Content curation is about collecting, organising and presenting information and collections to engage our users.  Curation is now a necessity.  The web is full of content.  Our role as public libraries is to manage and present content in a meaningful way to meet our community needs.

Speakers will include Beth Kanter, Felicity Gilbert and Suzanne Male from Yarra Plenty Regional Library,   Daniel Wilksch, Coordinator Digital Projects, Public Records Office Victoria  and Kate Chmiel, online writer and editor for Museum Victoria

I will be speaking about Local and Family History projects, in particular showcasing the   Wikinorthia website, a joint project with Yarra Plenty Regional Library, Darebin Libraries and Moreland Library, as well as some projects I learned about while on my study tour.

The following is a list of the websites I will discuss or refer to with links for easy access.

Wikinorthia: documenting life in Melbourne’s north

Culture Victoria

The Lives and Loves of a Victorian Clerk

Flickr: Illustrations for Nathaniel Bryceson’s Diary


Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Cholera and the Thames

Map Warper

What’s on the menu?

Direct me NYC: 1940

Family Search indexing

Family Search indexing projects (Includes links to Australian projects)

Citizen Archivist Dashboard


Wikipedia Commons

The ArcHive



Ryerson Index

Internet Archive

Digital Public Library of America

UPDATE: The powerpoint presentation I presented along with other presentations have been uploaded to Slideshare by Libmark and can he accessed here

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