Golden Memories Museum shares in $1.6m for digitisation

For a museum in a small village like Millthorpe, the collection at the Golden Memories Museum is immense.

Over 14,00 items are scattered around the numerous buildings and for the volunteers that work there, locating exactly what people are looking for can be a challenge.

Search engine: Peter Whiley, Paul Toole, Bruce Reynolds and Grant Baker at the Golden Memories Museum. Photo: Mark Logan.

Search engine: Peter Whiley, Paul Toole, Bruce Reynolds and Grant Baker at the Golden Memories Museum. Photo: Mark Logan.

That collection though will soon be easier to search through thanks to a $45,883 grant from the NSW government’s new Regional Cultural Fund.

The museum will now be digitising its entire collection, from the smallest piece of cutlery up to the harvesting machines, every item will now be logged and entered into a central database.

President of the Millthorpe and District Historical Society, Peter Whiley, said that currently it was difficult for volunteers to locate all the articles in the museum when people come searching.

“We have everything here written down, but they’re not all in the one place, not available to easily search,” he said.

“We have some items listed on cards, some in folders and some on the computer.”

Mr Whiley said that with most of the exhibits having been donated by either members of the museum or by local residents, recognising what item is which was of great historical importance.

“If someone comes in and asks about something that their grandmother gave us many years ago and asks where it is, most of our volunteers wouldn’t have a clue.

“So now if they type in something like Aunt Mary’s dresser we can search for it and take them straight to it.”

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said that the grant will allow an enhanced understanding of the collection and would open the collection up to the world.

“This is about capturing that history and telling the stories of this area because there are a lot of family connections here and people are always people from around the world looking for the stories of these areas,” he said. 

While photographing every one of the 14,000 items is currently too big a task, priority will be given to certain items.