Six public galleries in regional Victoria will make thousands of paintings, photographs and other works available to art lovers from across the globe as part of the Victorian Government’s Regional Digitisation Roadshow.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced support for the galleries in Geelong, Castlemaine, Horsham, Swan Hill, Ballarat and Wangaratta to be part of the initiative, following a successful pilot in Ararat, Benalla and the Latrobe Valley.
“Our regional museums and galleries are a vital part of what makes Victoria the creative state,” said Minister Foley. “We’re proud to support the work they do in telling our stories and caring for our cultural treasures.”
“The digital era has brought a new type of gallery visitor with it. This project takes our renowned regional galleries to Australia and the world, while preserving their wonderful collections for future generations.”
The Roadshow involves experts from the National Gallery of Victoria, conservators and digital photographers working in residence at each gallery to train and support staff in digitising items using photography and cutting-edge scanning technology.
This round will start at Geelong Gallery in December where a team will undertake the enormous task of scanning and photographing more than 3,500 delicate works on paper and a collection of paintings that tell the story of Geelong from the mid-1800s to today.
The objects and artworks to be digitised include a diverse and priceless selection of letters, textiles, sculptures, paintings, drawings and more. Once digitised, the items will be shared with the world via the Victorian Collections website, where anyone can search and discover these important collections at the click of a button.
Visitors to some of the participating galleries will have the chance to see the process in action as trained volunteers work alongside the experts in ‘pop up’ digitisation studios. Local libraries, historical societies and other galleries will also have the chance to access training to digitise items.
Victoria’s regional galleries are home to a staggering number of culturally significant items. Following completion of this latest stage of the regional digitisation project in 2020, more than 25,000 objects will have been digitised.
The threat of ageing materials and environmental factors have increased the urgency of digitising Victoria’s precious collections. Thousands of works have already been digitised during the pilot including rare textiles, significant works by Australian painters and works by First Peoples artists.
For more information, and to search collection items from Victoria’s cultural and creative organisations, visit: www.victoriancollections.net.au for details.
Image: Castlemaine Art Museum 2018, featuring Zoe Amor, Dusk (2009), black patina sculptural work. Commissioned by Cherry Tennant in Honour of Frank Mau (1925 – 2007) – photo by Fred Kroh