Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IMUG meeting at Whitehorse Art Space

On 4 December 26 people met at the Whitehorse Art Space in Box Hill Town Hall to attend the final IMUG meeting for the year. Those present came from diverse organisations including galleries, school archives, museums, historical societies and specialist research libraries illustrating the range of smaller organisations using DB/TextWorks. Three people travelled from Daylesford to attend the meeting.

Jacquie and Gillian were our hosts and started the proceedings by showing us around the exhibition space and providing a brief history of the establishment of the collection. The main collection consists of 1,300 plus artworks - paintings, photographs, ceramics, textiles. Most of the items have been donated since 1927. The Box Hill area has a strong connection to the history of Australian art and this is reflected in the collection. From 1885 to 1888 Tom Roberts and other artists established an artists' camp at Box Hill so they could paint the surrounding countryside. Among the paintings in the Whitehorse Art collection are works by some of these artists including Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton as well paintings by E Phillips Fox. The collection also includes modern works from local artists.

In the meeting room Gillian and Jacquie spoke about cataloguing the collection and why they like using the software, primarily because it is user-friendly. It also is useful to be able to create report forms showing information plus an images for selected items. As well as the database for the art collection there is a database recording long term loans, a memorabilia database and a database recording items in the small library collection. Art works are displayed in a number of locations and an inventory of the collection is taken every year.

As well as the opportunity to visit a variety of collections, IMUG meetings provide the opportunity for general discussion on any topic related to using databases and cataloguing and managing collections. Backing up databases, merging databases, using a mask in the number field and cataloguing digital items were some of the topics discussed at this meeting with comments and solutions being shared by those present. Networking continues over a cup of tea or coffee and, at this meeting, delicious muffins.

Jacquie then showed us the art storage area including some of the items not on display while Robyn, from Box Hill Historical Society who also use DB/TextWorks, showed people the local history rooms. Many thanks to Jacquie, Gillian and Robyn for making this an extremely informative and interesting meeting.

Additional information about the Whitehorse Art collection:
City of Whitehorse Art Collection
Whitehorse Art Space

Sunday, May 12, 2013

IMUG visit to Museo Italiano

On 7 May seventeen IMUG members visited the Museo Italiano in Faraday Street, Carlton. Opened in October 2010, exhibitions at the Museo Italiano explore the experiences of Italian migrants in Australia, the influence of Italian culture on life in Australia and the resulting Italian Australian culture that has developed. Among the permanent exhibitions is a timeline along one wall illustrating key events in Italian and Australian history as well as Italian Australian history. One display portrays settlement in a new country while the Italian influence in Australia on food, language, performance and sport is the theme of another exhibition. Many techniques including the use of audio visual material is used tell the many stories.

After visiting the museum, Paolo Baracchi, Coordinator - Co.As.It. Italian Historical Society, spoke to the group about the Italian Historical Society which was founded in 1981 with the aim of
collecting, preserving, interpreting and promoting the history of Italians in Australia. An overview of the collections was provided as well as an outline of the programs offered during the year. The collections are increasingly used for family history research and a number of research guides have been prepared to assist researchers with their enquiries.

DB TextWorks is used to catalogue the society's collections and Web Publisher is used to make the catalogues of three of the collections available to the public via the society's website. There are four search options - Browse the entire archive, Search image collection, Search diplomatic archive (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy covering the period 1856-1947)  and Search internee database.

There are presently 9,000 photographs catalogued in the image collection. The catalogue record displays a small image and larger images can be obtained from the society. The images online are harvested by Trove and are therefore available in any searches made in this national database. Search in Trove ( for Vendramini to see an example.

More information about the Museo Italiano and the Italian Historical society can be found on their website.