The Harry Daly Museum and Australian Heritage Festival 1.0

From the 18th of April until the 21st of May, the Harry Daly Museum will be participating in the Australian Heritage Festival! Although a couple of months away, I am already getting everything prepared. This will be the first in a series of blog posts leading up to the event. I hope to share with you some behind-the-scenes finds from the museum and go through how, exactly, a tour can be pieced together.

This first post will look at what exactly is the Australian Heritage Festival and how the museum has decided to participate.

Background 

Since 1980,the National Trust has held the Australian Heritage Festival to celebrate heritage and culture. Each year, thousands of volunteers and institutions band together to support, promote, and enjoy the wonderful heritage on offer. This year, the festival is promising to be bigger and better than ever.

It is an incredible opportunity for museums, heritage places, and other cultural institutions to really showcase the amazing work they do within their local communities. Also, it will expose the larger networks that these places can feed into. I am very excited for the Harry Daly Museum to be part of this national movement.

Each year, the festival has a specific theme. For 2017, the selected theme is “Having a Voice”. Organizers are encouraging institutions and communities to tell their stories through many voices, hence, many perspectives. It will be wonderful to see the variety of participating places and the interesting stories that will be at the forefront. A list of what’s on offer will soon be available in both digital and hard copy form.

On top of all this, the festival is hoping places will hold an event or do something special. For example, opening to the public if they don’t normally do so. With all this in mind, I had to decide how the Harry Daly Museum was going to participate and why.

Harry Daly Museum 

Why we should participate was the easiest question to answer. Why not join other institutions around Australia and promote our heritage? Feeding into the theme for the year, it will also be the perfect time to share stories that emerge from a medical history perspective.

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After going through so many options of what to do I decided to settle on a tour. The next stage involved deciding what exactly to revolve a tour around. I considered a general tour of the museum and library, but, wanted something a bit more focused. Drawing inspiration from exhibitions such as a History of the World in 100 Objects, this tour is going to look at specific objects in the collection and the stories they can tell about the history of anesthesia.

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Over the past few weeks I spent time narrowing down the objects and content. There were two ways in which I could go – selecting events or major advances and finding suitable objects, or selecting the objects first and talking about what they represent. To find out what happened next watch this space!

The next blog in the series will delve deeper into how a tour can be constructed and how to organize content. I am also hoping by this stage to be able to release more information on how you can join one of our free tours during the festival.

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