REVAMP: Gladstone Maritime History Society President Lindsay Wassell has big plans for the new building next year. Picture: Eilish Massie
REVAMP: Gladstone Maritime History Society President Lindsay Wassell has big plans for the new building next year. Picture: Eilish Massie

Museum collection revamped ahead of East Shores move

A TREASURED museum has taken a good look at its collection before making a move to a new space next year.

The Gladstone Maritime History Society held a workshop with Queensland Museum last weekend to consider which relics and artefacts would stay in its collection.

Gladstone Maritime History Society president Lindsay Wassell said the workshop looked at the museum’s old collection policy.

“Our original collection policy was written back in 1988 and we’re just looking to make sure our collection policy is up to date,” he said.

“Over the years we have collected anything and what we thought was maritime history.

“This now allows us to put a procedure in place where we don’t just collect it because it’s offered to us.”

Queensland Museum network development officer Melanie Piddocke said regional museums had the tendency to collect anything without any structure.

“The collection policy is so people can have a reference point when they are deciding whether certain artefacts are relevant or not,” Ms Piddocke said.

“It just means museums are not just collecting anything and everything just because it’s old.

“People who come to the Gladstone Maritime Museum will have a unique experience because each relic is there for a reason.”

The collection policy also ensures a process for artefacts that are no longer relevant to the collection.

“If we find we don’t need an item anymore, we have a committee meeting, and it’s all documented so it’s all transparent,” Mr Wassell said.

Ms Piddocke said all items were displaced in an ethical way.

“It can be a sensitive issue as people donate these items to museums with the expectation that that’s where they’ll stay. In reality it’s not always the case,” she said.

In a project funded by Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Maritime Museum will move to a new building in the East Shores precinct next year.

Mr Wassell said moving displays to the new museum would be a major operation.

“It’s going to be a huge job in getting everything from here to over there,” he said.

For the next few months museum staff would use the new collection policy to sort through artefacts.

“We don’t want to be taking stuff over to the new museum where its not relevant,” he said.

To help with the big move, the Maritime History Society is calling for volunteers. For more information, go to gladstone maritimemuseum.org.au.



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