National Archives of Australia

Issue 5 January 2012

In brief: Issue 5

New Minister for the Archives

The Hon Simon Crean MP

In December 2011 the Prime Minister announced a number of changes to ministers’ responsibilities. The Archives is now in the portfolio of the Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, the Hon Simon Crean MP. Minister Crean is the federal Member for Hotham, and was first elected to Parliament in 1990.

Archives introduces conservation training program and scholarship

Early in 2011, the Archives was awarded the prestigious UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize. Given the significance of this award, it has been put on public display in the foyer of the Archives’ National Office in Canberra. In November 2011, the Archives announced that the US$30,000 prize money would fund a conservation student placement at the Archives as an investment in the future of documentary heritage preservation. It also announced that it would match the prize money to provide a program of conservation training to PARBICA (Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives) and Indigenous communities in Australia – the UNESCO/Jikji/National Archives 2011 Preservation Training Program.

Antarctica exhibition opens

Curator Jane Macknight and Tony Burke discuss the exhibition. Photographer: Gilbert Herrada

December 2011 saw the official opening of Traversing Antarctica: the Australian experience at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart. Launched by the Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Douglas Mawson. Traversing Antarctica is a collaboration between the Archives, the Australian Antarctic Division and Western Australia Museum.

‘Byte’ in to family history

With 75 per cent of the Archives’ enquiries coming from family historians, we like to ease the way for Australians seeking information about themselves and their forebears. One of our most popular family history events is the annual Shake Your Family Tree day, where celebrity speakers, conservators, researchers and archivists share their stories and expertise.

This year’s theme is family history in the digital age. Activities will include talks, information stalls, preservation workshops, tours and the opportunity to pose questions to the experts.

Saturday 31 March 2012 – Most capital cities (except Hobart)
Tuesday 27 March 2012 – Adelaide only

Our website will provide further details closer to the date.

Bond of sacrifice

Serviceman Lieutenant George Eric Klug, Service Number: 24595

In November 2011, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, presented the Archives with 500 digitised photographs of soldiers from World War I. The images formed part of the Bond of Sacrifice collection at the Imperial War Museum in London. They will be linked to the Archives’ Mapping Our Anzacs website.

Cultural Collections Records Authority

An important role of the Archives is to issue records authorities to government agencies, to identify records they should keep and those they can destroy. In late 2011, a Cultural Collections Records Authority was developed and provided to the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the Museum of Australian Currency Notes (Reserve Bank of Australia). The authority identifies records about managing the collections to be retained as national archives and those that can be destroyed or transferred to the Archives. A Small Collection Management General Records Authority was also produced, providing a streamlined version for use by other agencies who manage small collections in addition to their main business.

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