Tuesday 31 December 2013

2013: The Year in Review

In 2013 we were kept on the go running our museum and looking after the historic Macpherson Homestead. Like its predecessor, it's been another very busy year!

Virtual Museum

Early 2013 saw the launch of the expanded Virtual Museum on our website. Exhibits on the Midland RailwayRoads to GovernmentBusiness Houses10 Macpherson Street, the Carnamah Post Office and Toys made their way online while our existing exhibits on the Macpherson Family and Milk, Cream and Butter were revamped and expanded.

Townsite Centenary

The townsite of Carnamah quietly turned 100 on ANZAC Day in 2013. Its celebration was saved for September when locals, both past and present, came together for the North Midlands Show and centenary celebrations. Our secretary Jill Tilly worked hard over many months to provide a truly incredible exhibition of photographs and advertisements from the past century.

The milestone was also marked with the placement of historic photographs in eight shop-front windows, new interpretative plaques along Macpherson Street and a community-created mosaic table for Henry Parkin Gardens, pictured below.

Education Resources

We crossed new ground in 2013 with a break into the realm of education. The first of our Australian Curriculum education resources were developed to be usable from classrooms with our Virtual Museum or with physical visits to our museum.

The first three resources, created with Ignite Your Audience, can be freely viewed or saved from the Education Resources page of our website.

Virtual Volunteering

In April 2013 we embarked on our project to research, develop, trial, refine and share our concept of virtual volunteering. The project, which is ongoing, has resulted in a new Virtual Volunteering website. This is hosting some of our online volunteering projects and will very shortly host the transcription of the WA Biographical Index cards for the State Library of Western Australia.

We'd like to extend a very special thank you to the people who've given us a helping hand as online volunteers. If that's not you, it could be! It's as simple as heading over to www.virtualvolunteering.com.au, transcribing some text and hitting save!

In the Press!

Early in 2013 the National Museum of Australia released the book Landmarks: A History of Australia in 33 Places. It is based on their Landmarks exhibition in Canberra, and like the exhibition includes a section on Carnamah and its First World War soldier settlement.

One of our images graced the cover of Inside History magazine for its July-August 2013 edition. The illustration comes from the cover of a 1920s promotional notepad for N. W. Reynolds' general store in Carnamah. It can be seen in its original format in our Business Houses virtual exhibit and at our museum.

We were delighted to provide CBH Group with two photographs for the cover of their 2014 calendar. Both images were taken in Carnamah. The newer of the two was the arrival of the first CBH-owned train to stop in Carnamah in 2012. More on the images and this subject matter can be found in our blog post The Story of Bulk Wheat Handling and our virtual exhibit on the Midland Railway.

Sharing is caring...

In 2013 we continued providing assistance to our fellow heritage organisations with our president George Fowler serving as chair of the Mid West chapter of Museums Australia WA. Further afield we shared our knowledge and ideas with presentations at conferences, seminars and meetings down in Perth and as far north as Karratha in the Pilbara of WA.

Andrew S. Bowman went into battle for us at the so-called great debate 'digitisation is the death of history' at Curtin University. Along with David Fricker of the National Archives of Australia, we argued against the motion. Our narrow loss was hotly contested by many of the attendees which is a sure sign that it was indeed a great debate!

Recaps of two of our presentations can be read online:

We'd like to thank the following for their greatly appreciated support during 2013:

  • Government of Western Australia's Social Innovation Grants Program for supporting our Virtual Volunteering project (in progress)
  • Shire of Carnamah for their ongoing in-kind support
  • Government of Western Australia's Department of Culture and the Arts for supporting the expansion of our Virtual Museum
  • The Western Australian History Foundation for supporting our initial Education Resources
  • Australian Government's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for supporting our project to gather and share local heritage stories (in progress)
  • DIY History at the University of Iowa Libraries and Webgrow Website Maintenance for their technical help and assistance
  • Ignite Your Audience for their educational wonder :)

Last, but certainly not least, we'd like to thank YOU for stopping by. We appreciate your patronage, whether it be on the ground in Carnamah or virtually via our website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

Here's to local history and a productive 2014!

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