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Big boost for Gillespie Collection

31 October 2018

Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, Director-General of the National Library of Australia and Ken Heffernan
Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, Director-General of the National Library of Australia and Ken Heffernan

The Director-General of the National Library, Marie-Louise Ayers, has just announced that the Centre has been awarded a Community Heritage Grant for 2018, to carry out a 'significance assessment' of the Gillespie Collection. The grant of $4,950 will enable us to appoint an independent external consultant to carry out a professional examination of the Gillespie Collection and to produce a report setting out its distinctive values.

This year, grants worth $367,470 were distributed to 60 community groups and organisations from around Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.

The award, announced on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Library's Community Heritage Grants program, was accepted on behalf of the Centre by Ken Heffernan, the Gillespie Collection curator. Ken is currently attending the three-day Preservation and Collection Management Workshop that is offered to all grant winners as an additional, exceptionally valuable part of the award.

Preparation of our application for this grant was the stimulus for a lot of hard work in preparing an initial catalogue of the entire – very extensive – Collection. Ken himself, Katrina Marshall, Margaret Morris and Phil Robson were major contributors to this task. The consultant we have chosen to undertake the significance assessment is Dr Roslyn Russell of Significance International, a historian, editor and museum curator. Depending on her assessment, the Centre may become eligible to apply for further grants from the National Library to carry out particular conservation or collection management work. Meanwhile we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with and learn from a very experienced and highly qualified museum practitioner.

Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, said the National Library was particularly delighted this year to again receive applications from all over the country. CHG is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.

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