Collection advice workshop from museum services staff

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Ashburton Museum and Historical Society president Glenn Vallender and Ursula Rack, seated, with workshop facilitators Lynn Carmichael and Jane Groufsky.

By Mick Jensen

A turnout of local and out of town museum and gallery staff attended an informative workshop in Ashburton last week on managing collections.

Run by staff from Te Papa’s national museum service National Services Te Paerangi, the workshop covered a range of topics that included collection policies, assessing collection significance and processing acquisitions.

Visiting speakers talked about the decision on what not to keep and how to safely and officially remove items from collections.

Cataloguing, lending and borrowing, as well as memorandums of understanding were also discussed.

The introductory level workshop was aimed at representatives from small museums, art galleries and heritage and cultural organisations.

Around 25 people from the wider Canterbury region attended the workshop including staff and volunteers from Ashburton Museum, the National Rail Museum at Ferrymead, Temuka Museum, Lyttelton Historical Society and Ashburton Art Gallery.

Ashburton Museum director Tanya Robinson said there was a need for all those caring for collections to lift their game.

Mid Canterbury had a dozen or more museums and galleries, which for its size was fantastic, and all those collections needed to be cared for in a professional way.

Museums in the district ranged from one room displays, like the one at Rakaia Huts, to larger multi display areas such as the Ashburton Museum, said Ms Robinson.

The presenters at the collection management workshop were Jane Groufsky, a collections manager at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and Lynn Carmichael, a sector services officer at National Services Te Paerangi.