[Health & Medicine Museums Newsletter - 10 K]
HMM Newsletter - Number 11, December 1996 ISSN 1036-3041

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'Managing health and medicine museums in the 90s' was the theme of a seminar held by HMM on Special Interest Groups day, Wednesday 30 October, at the Museums Australia 1996 Annual Conference in Sydney. Fifty HMM members and friends from Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland attended the seminar which was held at Sydney Hospital.

Philip Thomson, a general practitioner and the honorary curator of the medical collection at Hobart Museum and Art Gallery, gave a presentation, Dressing up to tell the naked facts: taking medical history exhibition out to the community. His stories of using museum artefacts to help children learn about health and medicine were inspiring examples of how the museum can be taken into the classroom.

Des Beechey, Senior Registrar at the Powerhouse Museum, spoke about the present state of development of the Australian Museums On Line (AMOL) database. This database will be of great value to hmm in identifying health and medicine collections within museums throughout Australia.

How much information is too much? was the question posed by Ian Cope, honorary curator of the historical collection at the Royal Hospital for Women, in his discussion of a minimal data set for small health and medicine museums. As Ian pointed out, a standard minimal data set would give small museums and individual collectors guidance as to how they can best catalogue their material and at the same time facilitate computerisation and an awareness of where artefacts are being held.

Elizabeth Arthur, the honorary curator at Hamilton Base Hospital, described her experiences in setting up a medical museum at the hospital several years ago. Like many other people in a similar situation, Elizabeth's first question was Where do I start? Elizabeth is now receiving support from the present Chief Executive Officer and envisages further development at the hospital museum.

Megan Hicks, curator of health and medicine at the Powerhouse Museum, discussed the issue of accession. In her talk To trash or to treasure? Megan suggested points that should be kept in mind when a museum is deciding whether to accept the gift of a particular artefact or decline the offer.

Finally Richard Bailey (professional anaesthetist, amateur curator) and Allison Bartlett (professional curator) talked about The pro-am collaboration, a successful venture that has seen the development of the Harry Daly Museum at the Australian Society of Anaesthetists in Sydney.

Ian Cope

hmm11_1.jpg - 14.06 K

Why do these people look so happy? It's because they have found "the perfect solution to a museum's evolution". Allison Bartlett and Richard Bailey reported on their Pro-am collaboration at the hmm seminar held in conjunction with our annual general meeting on 30 October. On the following pages participants report on the events of that day. (Photograph by Ian Cope)

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Back to HMM Home Page] Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 20 March 1997
Prepared by: Lisa Cianci and Lisa O'Sullivan
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 18 September 1997

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