Thursday, February 8, 2018

Relocating the Museums library, archival and photographic material

The Research Centre - No. 9 Quality Row

This year is off to a running start with increased visitors to our museums and sales in The R.E.O. shop surpassing the total January 2017 sales already!  
Besides focusing on these very welcome additional visitors, behind the scenes we have been busy relocating the Norfolk Island Museum Trust’s collection of library, archival, photographic, audio and visual material from the Guardhouse building near Kingston Pier into the Research Centre at No. 9 Quality Row. This relocation project eventuated from conversations looking at opportunities to enhance the visitor experience within the Kingston Pier area. 
The Guardhouse building has safely housed this collection for many years, however as the collection grew it became packed to capacity, making it difficult to safely and comfortably access this great resource, and difficult to maintain the interior of the building. Areas of the interior walls had begun to leach salt and exposed stone and mortar created dust retaining moisture on the shelves and books, heavy rain resulted in leakages through the chimney.  The Guardhouse, now empty, can be developed more appropriately as an interpretation space for our visitors to learn more of the stories associated with the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area.
The new repository at No 9 Quality Row offers many advantages – it is clean, there is greater width between books shelves and filing cabinets, the windows have blinds to keep out the damaging UV rays, there is a ceiling fan to keep the air circulating and the room features two inbuilt cupboards with drying fixtures to store precious items away from high humidity levels.  Our Research Centre attendants are delighted with the move and look forward to utilising this material to complement their existing research resources. 
The relocation of this precious material was carefully managed by Norfolk Island Moving and Storage.  It was no mean feat relocating over one thousand books, three large double-sided book shelves, nine filing cabinets, oversized archival and map drawer cabinets, display material and equipment, and so much more. This project was made possible with the support of the Commonwealth’s Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.
In addition to the relocation activity, we have progressed with our Sirius Management Plan, a document that is a legislative requirement for the management and protection of the heritage values of the Sirius wreck site and relics.  Graeme Henderson, leader of the Sirius Project expeditions in the 1980’s, is the consultant engaged to undertake the review and update of this Plan.  Graeme has undertaken an enormous amount of work; in the lead up to his visit to Norfolk Island in December to meet with stakeholders and community and since his return back to Western Australia.  We are now at the stage of ‘almost’ a first draft.
Also, we’re looking forward to another Norfolk Island Museum Trust meeting early in February.  At this meeting I will have the pleasure of presenting more exciting ‘donations’ for Trustees to consider accessioning into our community collection.  We’ll let you know what they are as soon as we can!
And finally, don’t forget entry into the Museum is free for residents of Norfolk Island.  Check out our website for information on our venues and collections


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