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Silke, Tony; Donaldson, Richard
Keeping the small collection professional
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 68-74

In New Zealand keeping the small collection professional is a huge struggle, one which is often deemed too hard and subsequently ignored by those responsible for the collection. Limited resources, fragile ownership structures and isolation from museum professionals and museological theory all contribute to a lack of professionalism, and ultimately to the loss of vibrant New Zealand collections. GridHeritage, a small collection, acknowledges these limiting factors and has attempted, wherever possible, to professionalise its practices and work alongside those within the museum industry. It has done so by: The extensive use of volunteers Developing a culture of respect and camaraderie for our team Using Museum Studies University students and graduates Use of in-house expertise Support from our sponsors Tight control of project budgets Networking with professionals to gain experience Control of the scope of the collection Disaster Preparedness to provide cost-effective security of the collection This presentation will describe the work of GridHeritage and will hopefully open up discussion from the audience and engender some lively debate on the problems of small collections and how best to solve them.

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