Cultural Collections in the Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle (Australia) has been awarded a $4,000 federal Community Heritage Grant to fund a Significance Assessment of the Margaret Senior illustration collection.
The grant was announced at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, on Tuesday, 29 October, 2013.
This year, grants worth $426,000 have been distributed to 77 community groups and organisations from around Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections. In addition, University Conservator Amir Rezapourmoghadammiyandabi from the Auchmuty Library’s Cultural Collections attended a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.
Dr Anne Llewellyn Head of School of Design Communication and IT said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the Margaret Senior Collection at the grassroots level. “While the grant provides the funds, the workshop offers the expertise to help us protect our collection and make it accessible while it remains in the local context,” she said. “This grant will enable a professional assessment to be conducted for the Collection, in order to plan its ongoing preservation and conservation needs into the long term”.
Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, said the CHG program showed the commitment by the National Library, along with its partner institutions and the Federal Government, in encouraging communities to care for the nation’s heritage, be it in small country towns or capital cities.
“It is all about working together to help spread the message that if we don’t preserve our history now, it could be lost forever,” she said. “Through sharing this knowledge, the information can be taken back to the communities where it is most needed to ensure that local heritage collections are still there for future generations.”
The grant money is used for significance assessments, preservation needs assessments, conservation treatments, preservation training, digitisation, and purchasing quality storage materials or environmental monitoring equipment.
The Community Heritage Grants Program is funded by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia; Ministry for the Arts, Attorney-General’s Department; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.