$1M for AmaGA WA to digitise regional
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$1M for digitising Western Australian regional collections, ArtsHub, 8 February 2019
A new digital project is committed to making all WA’s regional collections accessible, with additional funds for training to ensure its sustainability.
As Perth Festival kicks into gear, and with the city already in Fringe mode, the State Government used the momentum to make an announcement on 6 February that will significantly alter the way we engage with Western Australian collections in the future.
As part of the McGowan Government’s $1 million commitment to promote regional museums and collections across Western Australia, Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman announced a new digital platform that will share these collections with the world.
Known as the Collections WA platform, the project will remove the barriers of geography and make the museum sector’s collections broadly accessible.
‘In today’s digital world it is absolutely essential for community collections to be accessible online. This is why providing training is so important to ensure that every community group that wants to share their collections with the world can,’ said Templeman.
As part of the project, the Minister presented the Australian Museums and Galleries Association Western Australia (AMaGA Western Australia) with a $301,000 Lotterywest grant for an extensive two-year training program for regional collecting organisations to support the digital platform.
The training will include a series of regional workshops, onsite visits and follow up support, ensuring that Western Australian collections will not just be more accessible, but that the project will be sustainable and remain connected to community.
AMaGA Western Australia currently embraces more than 400 collecting organisations across the state.
The digital platform has been envisaged as a shared resource across museums, galleries, libraries, archives and historical societies – all bodies which collect cultural and historical material.
Templeman added: ‘Building a platform to showcase the wonders of Western Australia to the world will help to realise the true value of these community collections for social, education and tourism purposes.’
In a formal statement, AMaGA Western Australia added that work was also underway to develop a dedicated tourism portal for regional collections as part of the McGowan Government’s election commitment.
The portal will be linked to the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, a multi-channel distribution network for tourism data that is currently published by more than 200 online distributors.