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Collections Care Manual

Category: Government
Entrant: Western Australian Museum
State of Entry: WA
Website: http://manual.museum.wa.gov.au

Collections Care Manual

The Western Australian Museum seeks to inspire people to explore and share their identity, culture, sense of place, and contribute to the diversity and creativity of our world.

Throughout the State exist small museums, historical societies and private collectors whose collections serve as integral public resources and are instrumental to this vision.

To aid these smaller institutions, the Museum created a Development Service program. This program involved travelling workshops allowing curators and conservators to visit regional sites to teach various aspects of collection management and item conservation.

In recent years, the travelling workshops were no longer viable. To accommodate for this change the Museum’s Digital team set out to create an accessible digital resource to continue to provide assistance. The Collections Care website is comprised of twelve instructional videos and an updated and digitised copy of the Museum’s bestselling handbook ‘Conservation and Care of Collections: A Practical Guide to the Conservation and Care of Collections’.

By working closely with the Development Service team, regional coordinators, conservators, and Museum curators, this online manual addresses frequently asked questions, gives direction on maintaining collection items, and provides practical solutions to issues faced by object collectors and custodians.

The primary audience for this project were those who benefitted from the original Development Service program. The key consideration for this audience was their contextual digital disadvantage, residing in geographical areas that had limited Internet capabilities with the possibility of low digital literacy.

This is the first time that Drupal 8 was used for a major public facing project. This is a major upgrade from the previous Museum’s website infrastructure which uses Drupal 6.

To address the potential Internet limitations faced by the audience, each content node can be downloaded as an individual PDF. This content can then be used as an offline resource. In order to ensure that information is kept up to date and relevant, the PDF is a “live” download. If the node is updated, the PDF automatically updates as well.

Content, from conception to delivery, had a two and a half month deadline.

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