Now that I have finally settled in and recovered from jetlag I thought it was an ideal time to write a quick update post. This semester I am delving back into some medical archives! I am interning two days a week at the Trainor/Owen Archives within the College of Radiologists. I have already handled some pretty unique objects and will (hopefully) catalogue their entire collection for online publication. Apart from my internship, I am completing a course on objects and places (a generic first year course), and one titled “Sites of Trauma Landscapes of Genocide”.
Some exciting things are happening further down the track. I will be presenting at the National Trusts/ICOMOS Conference in Melbourne in October! One week later I’ll be back in Melbourne to attend a medical history writing class which should be not only interesting, but, very helpful. Finally, I cannot believe it is only 87 days until I set off to Scandinavia for a month. I have a lot of museums/heritage sites on my list so expect a lot of blog posts come November.
Now back to Sydney. Last week for our sites of trauma subject we visited the Sydney Jewish Museum for a day filled with workshops and talks. The museum is currently undergoing renovation work and is expected to reopen in November this year. It is still definitely worth visiting prior to November as exhibitions on Anne Frank and Jewish Australia at War are still up and running.
Our day began with a survivor testimony. It is virtually impossible for me to write about what kind of impact this had and what emotions were felt during the talk. All I can say is that it was an experience that will stay with me.
After the testimony we visited the storeroom/archives of the museum. Here we heard from one of the curators on their acquisition policies and methods of display. Every item collected by the museum must be accompanied by a story. This allows the object to act as a tangible portal into something intangible. For example, we were shown a blanket from Auschwitz. Without a story the blanket still can elicit certain emotions and try to display an aspect of life in the camps. We were told that the blanket had thread missing because it belonged to a seamstress who picked the stitches and used them to repair clothing. Hearing this story motivated me to observe the object closer.
The day finished with a talk on education in the museum. If you are interested in their education programs follow the link. There is too much to try and summarize in one post!
I will be posting again from time to time when I feel the need to share. I have a feeling that this semester, my final one!!, will be filled with many moments and stories that will inspire me to keep on writing.