Local studies and digitisation officer Debbie Campbell and cultural collections officer Terrie Beckhouse.
Local studies and digitisation officer Debbie Campbell and cultural collections officer Terrie Beckhouse. Raymond Mather Photography 2016

Funds to digitise precious historic records

COFFS Harbour City Council has received a $510,000 grant to digitise some of their precious historic collections.

The project will cover their museum, gallery and library local heritage and arts collections.

Council will also explore new business models for hosting cultural heritage and arts content and extend digitisation activities within the community, such as local historical societies, schools and commercial enterprises.

The Coffs project is one of 11 announced under the Regional Cultural Fund (RCF) to make it easier for museum, art and other culturally important collections to be explored and enjoyed.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Arts Don Harwin announced the $1.6 investment recently.

"Digitisation allows people to more easily access, learn from and appreciate NSW's invaluable cultural assets,” Mr Barilaro said.

"Important and historically-significant collections can be found all throughout the state, and now through this program, these collections can be better preserved and made more widely available to local as well as international communities.

"Educators, researchers and tourists will all benefit,” he said.

Mr Harwin said that in addition to the 11 projects supported, further funding has been provided to determine a regional strategy for ongoing digitisation as a priority for the NSW Government.

"Broken Hill is a standout example of this funding in action. Home to diverse collections of national and international significance that are currently inaccessible, Broken Hill City Council will now undertake a two-year program to digitise more than 3,200 objects in the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum,” said Mr Harwin.

"They will also partner with the NSW Government, Museums and Galleries of NSW and Orange City Council to develop a prototype model and a business case for a single sustainable, regional digitisation strategy that will bring state-wide benefits.”

Other projects will help preserve Aboriginal and European cultural heritage, digitise newspaper collections and provide employment opportunities.