Sunday 1 January 2023

Our Most Popular Online Content in 2022

With 2022 done and dusted, we've dived into our online statistics for the year. We were delighted to have welcomed 48,655 people to our website 63,718 times! If you're counted in that number, thanks for stopping by!

Below are the top ten most popular pages on our website in the year that was 2022, which is a nice blend of state-wide and local history content.

1. Index of Western Australian Teachers
Topping the list was our index of state school teachers in Western Australia from 1900 to 1980, which was compiled from historic editions of The Education Circular.

2. Biographical Dictionary
Our continually expanding Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs comes in at number two. We've listed the most popular biographies in a supplementary list further below.

3. Index of Western Australian License Plates
Number three is our index of early Western Australian motor vehicle registrations, which spans the years 1915 to 1928. This great index was compiled from the RAC's Year Book & Road Guides which listed every registered vehicle in the state!

4. Virtual Museum
Our virtual museum of 14 online exhibitions continues to be a crowd-pleaser. Its exhibitions showcase objects, images and stories from our collection.

5. Midland Railway
Speaking of our virtual museum, its exhibition on the Midland Railway is yet again one of our most popular pages.

6. Cemeteries
Our cemetery index spanning the Mingenew Moora, Perenjori, Three Springs and Winchester cemeteries comes in at number six.

7. Schools
Our online exhibition on schools across Carnamah, Coorow and Three Springs is a surprise appearance in the year's top ten.

8. Macpherson Homestead
Our eighth most popular page was our visitor info for the historic Macpherson Homestead, located just one kilometre east of the Carnamah townsite on the Bunjil-Carnamah Road.

9. Three Springs History
As with previous years, our early history of Three Springs continues to be one of our most well-read pages.

10. Before Electricity
Our online exhibition on life prior to electricity comes in at number ten, which is no surprise as it is widely used in classrooms across WA and further afield.

Our Biographical Dictionary contains information on thousands of people with connections to Carnamah, Coorow, Three Springs and other nearby places. Below were the most viewed entries in the dictionary during 2022.

1. Local bushranger Frank Thomas

2. Bishop Rosendo Salvado of the Benedictine Monastery in New Norcia

3. Shepherd and farmhand Joachim Dido of Carnamah

4. Granny Latham of Coorow (Mary Oliver / Latham)

6. Sarah Campbell of Arrino

7. Renowned building contractor and later the world's largest individual farmer Gus Liebe of Waddy Forest

8. Scottish born Duncan Macpherson who established the pastoral station 'Carnamah' in the 1860s

9. Albert Nebrong, the son of Aboriginal woman Mary Wirbina and a member of the Macpherson family

10. Carnamah farmhand, shearer and farm manager Teddy Edwards

Friday 14 January 2022

Child Engagement in Museums: Pop Art

The third instalment in a series of guest blog posts by Shiona Herbert of Ignite Your Audience

Museums and heritage sites offer an abundance of artistic stimulation. You can provide a simple clipboard of blank paper and a grey lead pencil and invite visitors to sketch what they like: an artefact, a building, a display, a landscape… whatever catches their eye.

Photography boffins can spend hours creating perfectly composed photographs of heritage objects. And in this digital age, we can take a quick snap on our SMART phone of items that inspire us in a museum space.

In fact, a wonderful way of bringing the past and the present together is to take a photo of something from the past and use a present-day App to give it a whole new interpretation. This is something that the Perenjori Primary School students achieved while exploring our virtual exhibitions.

Students scrolled through our online content looking for something to catch their eye. They saved a copy of an image they found appealing and turned it into an example of Pop Art via the PhotoFunia App. One of the pioneers of Pop Art was Andy Warhol, an American advertising artist who took every day items (soup cans, soap boxes, commercial photographs…etc.) and repurposed them into fine art. The PhotoFunia filters are representative of Warhol’s contribution to the genre.

Postmaster General telephone exchange timer from the Post Office virtual exhibition, created using the PhotoFunia app.

Students in Perenjori took the time to explain why they chose a particular image and our Virtual Curator made an entire online gallery of their Museum Pop Art. They were thrilled to see their digital artwork on display for the whole world to see. Some even had relatives living in other countries and encouraged them to jump online and look at their artistic contribution. It really was a wonderful way to engage our local youth and increase our online viewing numbers.

So, the next time a teacher books a visit to your museum, encourage them to bring their iPads and schedule time in the excursion for them to take photos of the items in your collection and turn them into Pop Art.  Before they leave, arrange with the teacher to send the images to the museum.

If your museum has an online platform, take the time to upload the Pop Art created; whether it’s a website, Facebook or Instagram account. It will generate a fresh interest in an established collection. If your museum doesn’t have an online presence, that’s ok, you’ve got walls to display the art on! Even consider holding an ‘official unveiling’ of the Pop Art Gallery and invite your artists to come back for drinks & nibbles and celebrate the new interpretation of items in your museum. (Heads up – when inviting children to official arty events, be sure to have a small basket of Chupa Chup lollypops for the kids to enjoy.)

To learn how to use PhotoFunia to create pop art images (and to see some more examples), download our quick PDF guide.

Ticket from the Midland Railway virtual exhibition, created using the PhotoFunia app

The third instalment in a series of guest blog posts by Shiona Herbert of Ignite Your Audience