Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Victorian Collections online launched

The Victorian Collections website.

Media Release, Preserving and sharing Victoria’s collections, Victoria State Government, 15 December 2020

An online trove of Victoria’s cultural and historical collections has been launched, connecting the public with thousands of rare and precious items to collectively tell the story of Victoria.

The refreshed and expanded Victorian Collections online platform is free for all and contains 200,000 searchable collection items, along with a growing array of in-depth feature stories, education kits and more.

Approximately eight million collection items are held by museums, galleries, historical societies, RSLs, sports clubs, churches, hospitals and schools across Victoria, with an estimated value of several hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some of these items are on public display but many more are in storage. Victorian Collections aims to increase access to these diverse, enlightening and rare objects, artworks and historical records.

Highlights include:

  • The handwritten World War 1 diary of Priscilla Wardle, an Australian nurse serving in France, which was made whole when pages held by different collecting organisations were reunited.
  • Items of iconic Australian design – architectural, fashion, industrial, graphic and more – held by RMIT Design Archives.
  • Koori art and artefacts – from pre-contact stone tools to artworks by First Peoples artists working in Victoria today.

The digitisation of culturally significant items is a critical part in protecting the state’s collections from the threat of ageing and environmental factors such as bushfires. This work is ongoing and the website is designed to digitally preserve more and more items and improve access for researchers, students and the public.

Behind-the-scenes, the site is being used by more than 700 collecting organisations across Victoria as an online collection management system that is helping to catalogue and digitise their collections for future generations. The website is supported by a training program to upskill staff.

The project has been developed by Museums Victoria and Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria, supported by the Andriews Labor Government. It brings together and improves upon the earlier websites Victorian Collections and Culture Victoria that were visited by 1.1 million people from more than 200 countries each year. To view the new Victorian Collections website, visit victoriancollections.net.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson

“We are proud to support this wonderful resource that will make hundreds of thousands of the state’s fascinating and precious collection items available to all, at the click of a button.”

“This is a big step forward in the preservation of Victoria’s collections and I thank the dedicated staff and volunteers at hundreds of institutions across the state who are making it possible.”

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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