Museums & Galleries Qld

Posts Tagged ‘State Library of Queensland

Post by Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager


On Sunday, 18 May I was fortunate to present a paper at the Museums Australia National Conference in Tasmania.

I presented in partnership with Chrissi Theodosiou from the State Library of Queensland and we discussed how social media can be used by people working in museums, libraries, archives and heritage spaces to communicate with stakeholders and boost the profile of their organisation.

Queensland is a geographically vast state with a thriving cultural heritage scene. The state has more than 400 historical societies and community museums, 70 plus regional galleries and public exhibition spaces, 319 public libraries and 21 indigenous knowledge centres.

When you have this many cultural heritage collections over a geographically broad area, social media is an ideal way for staff and volunteers to communicate with their stakeholders.

M&GSQ partnered with the State Library of Queensland to deliver across the state six social media workshops, with a further one in Dalby planned for June.

The workshops gave an introduction to social media and engaged participants in hands-on opportunities to create a blog or set up their own Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or History pin account.

What grew out of the workshops, are some true success stories including:

  • The Yugambeh Language Centre and Museum in Beenleigh staff started a twitter account at the workshop and one tweet was picked up by an ABC journalist, who retweeted it to his 10,000 followers. What followed was a tangible rise in the organisation’s profile.
  •  A Charters Towers Archivist who was unconvinced about the benefits of social media who now blogs regularly and has his blog linked to a local newspaper each fortnight. Again, this has raised the profile of his organisation within the region.
  •  A staff member at an historical village at Herberton was shown how to use Facebook more efficiently and now uses the platform as their primary means of promotion and communication, such is its success in reaching key stakeholders.

Being a part of this in Queensland is truly gratifying.



David Bowden, Researcher for the Roma RSL Sub-Branch, attended the Heritage Leaders Workshop, run by the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in Brisbane from 1–4 April. He was the recipient of a SLQ Heritage Leaders bursary, administered by Museum & Gallery Services Queensland. David acknowledges the assistance of Jacqui Burns from the Maranoa Regional Council.

He writes about his experience of the workshop:

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial at the Heritage Leaders Workshop held at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial, at the State Library of Queensland’s Heritage Leaders Workshop.












“The purpose of the Heritage Leaders Workshop is to gather information from all over Queensland relating to World War One – in particular those items in suitcases under beds and in sheds throughout Queensland. There is a realisation that most of the people directly connected with these items have passed away. Even the ranks of their children are thinning rapidly. There is a thirst for knowledge among the originals’ grandchildren and later generations to be informed.

This information is not only about war stories. There is a need to know what happened in Brisbane, the Provincial Cities and all the little town Communities throughout Queensland. In particular, how did the Communities cope while their young men were away for so long? What was the effect of war on those who returned to their homes and jobs after the war? After all, this is the war that changed completely the way that wars were fought, with mechanisation etc used for the first time.

Kate Evans, the Workshop Facilitor, encouraged everyone to search out old photos, letters,  diaries, pamphlets that are stored in many homes. Also to seek out the “War Souvenirs” hiding in many sheds. All are of interest in the local Communities. More importantly they may well assist the full-time researchers in libraries and museums to find an important link for the many projects that will be worked on from 2014 to 2018.

Those attending were able to see people working on a number of projects at the Queensland State Archives, State Library Queensland and the Queensland Museum. Working sessions on: “What are Queensland’s World War One and ANZAC Stories?”; “A Guide to Researching World War One Content”; “Conserving ANZAC Treasures”; “Caring for Memorials and Monuments”; and “Creating and Using Digital Resources and Social Media” assisted those attending to better understand keeping Queensland World War One History alive locally and within our State.”

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Mary Low from the Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc ( writes from her M&GSQ internship at the State Library of Queensland:

One of my stated objectives during this internship was to learn more about digital imaging.  During week one, I got to spend time with the Digital Imaging and the Microfilm Unit at Cannon Hill.  I learnt about the types of photographic equipment used: SLR cameras, overhead camera stands, book cradles and scanners, including a beaut wide-bed scanner which takes oversized images such as architectural plans and maps.  I am lucky to receive hands-on training to use the equipment and software to photograph, scan, process, and file images in digital format on both Mac and PC systems. The digital imaging team is currently digitising material for the Q Anzac 100 Project and an on-line exhibition about Qld architecture, Hot Modernism.

The training and conversations I have had with SLQ digitisation staff have given me deeper understanding of the processes involved in digital preservation, and the knowledge to begin to digitise our community’s collection of historical and contemporary photos, news clippings, ephemeral and other objects.

SLQ has developed a number of useful resources which are available on line to encourage and assist groups and individuals to digitise and preserve their collections. See links below:

M&GSQ 2013 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

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Mary Low from the Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc ( writes from her M&GSQ internship at the State Library of Queensland:

The State Library is the largest collecting institution in Queensland, with 1.7 millions of books, one million photographic images and millions of ephemera objects, maps, musical scores and works of art. From day one I quickly get an idea of what that looks like and the volume and wealth of material that the SLQ conservation unit processes in order to preserve and make its collections accessible to the public through loans and exhibitions online.

Day one, I meet my mentor, senior conservator Rachel Spano who gives me a tour and overview of the SLQ conservation unit which is located on level five. Rachael takes time to explain the work of the three main teams within the unit: visual media, collection conservation, and digitisation and microfilm (located at Cannon Hill.)

I am shown the labs and dedicated work spaces where various tasks such as digital imaging, photographic copying, box making, book binding, and paper preservation and restoration are carried out. I meet some of the staff.  I also accompany Rachel to the quarantine, in the basement where a new significant acquisition, the Rechabite Collection has just been delivered and will proceed to be, surface cleaned, and checked for mould and treated for bug infestation by freezing or   placing in the mobigas chamber before being catalogued.  I am impressed by the equipment, resources and established systems in place. I feel privileged to have this opportunity to observe best practices in action  and learn as much as I can during my time with the conservation unit.

M&GSQ 2013 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

On July 6, Ann Baillie and Deannah Vieth were privileged to attend the opening of Mil Binnung at kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland and hear Uncle Bob Anderson talk about his life and the exhibition which captures some of his stories.

The exhibition, Mil Binnung, which translates as ‘Observe Listen’, and explores the cultural identity of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin, the Indigenous name for Moreton Island, through the eyes of Dr Robert V. Anderson OAM … Uncle Bob.

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Ann Baillie and Deannah Vieth recently visited two State Library of Queensland exhibitions Floodlines: a living memory and Floodlines: 19th century Brisbane. Both exhibitions concentrate on memories and stories of Queensland’s floods.

Linda Pitt, Executive Manager and Naomi Takeifanga, Exhibitions Manager from the Learning & Participation Team generously hosted a tour for Ann and Deannah and thanks to their enthusiastic co-operation Peer Talk 2012 will present a review of both these exhibitions.

Linda, Deannah and Naomi in Floodlines: a living memory’s reflection space.

Floodlines: a living memory in SLQ Gallery, level 2, looks at contemporary memories of the natural disasters of the summer 2010-11. The exhibition features digital participation by Queenslanders submitting stories of their experiences in the Flood and Cyclone Mosaic. You can simulate the rise and fall of the Brisbane River across the CBD and affected suburbs using augmented reality technology, the Floodlines app which is available on the exhibition’s iPads or downloadable free from the iTunes app store. There is also the children’s corner, a space for reflection and a Flood of Ideas from the community on Flood Proofing Queensland.

Floodlines: 19th century Brisbane in Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, level 4, curated by historian, Helen Gregory, explores the history of the 1893 floods using items from SLQ’s John Oxley Library.

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Museums & Galleries Queensland

122 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011

Phone: 07 3059 9740

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

M&G QLD Staff

Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Walker, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

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