Victorian Collections: Digital Transformation and Community Collections

Forbes Hawkins, Museum Victoria, Australia, Cameron Auty, Museums Australia Victoria, Australia, Belinda Ensor, Museums Australia (Victoria), Australia

Published paper: Victorian Collections: Digital Transformation and Community Collections

Victorian Collections is an online collection management system, collection documentation training program and support service, that is provided free of charge for use by community-based collecting organisations across the state of Victoria in Australia. Funded by the Victorian State Government and launched in 2010, Victorian Collections has enabled volunteers and staff from hundreds of community organisations to begin the process of documenting and digitising their collection information.

Victorian Collections serves the community museum sector but has also helped to steer non-museum organisations such as veterans groups and religious organisations towards focusing on their heritage collections. Now in its fifth year, almost 60,000 collection records from a wide variety of small to medium-sized organisations are publicly accessible from the Victorian Collections website. That list grows daily.

The Victorian Collections project has brought rapid and substantial digital transformation to hundreds small community organisations that previously had little capacity for online engagement beyond participation on social media. With some now beginning to experiment with related technologies such as mobile in-gallery experiences, we can now say that digital transformation is occurring across every tier of the Victorian heritage sector - from small town historical societies right up to the capital city galleries. It's not just for the big guys any more!

Following on from the paper "Victorian Collections: Measuring the Impact of a Digital Community Museum Project", presented by Forbes Hawkins at MWA2013 in Hong Kong, this new presentation will examine how digital transformation is altering the practise and radically shifting the outlook for a substantial portion of community-based collections organisations within Victoria.

- Hawkins, F. and Blake, M. (2013). Victorian Collections: Measuring the Impact of a Digital Community Museum Project
- Evidence provided by members of Victorian community-collecting organisations
- Various reports to Victorian State Government