Tag Archives: heritage management

Developing A Guide for Recording and Conserving Aboriginal Heritage Sites in South Australia.

Hello everyone!

I am currently undertaking a practicum with the Aboriginal Heritage Branch of the Aboriginal Affairs Reconciliation Division (AARD) of South Australia. For those who do not know, the Heritage Branch is designed to improve administration and to ensure compliance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act (1988).

Within this blog, I am going to share with you some more of my experiences while working with AARD.  This practicum is the first time I have been actively involved with a government department who are in charge of the management of Indigenous cultural heritage sites in South Australia. Initially, I was not sure of what to expect from the practicum but I was assured the experiences obtained would be worthwhile.

One of my projects is to re-write a guide for recording and conserving Aboriginal heritage sites in South Australia., The guide is for the use of Aboriginal people and others interested in conducting archaeological site recording. The objective of this guide is to provide the necessary information about archaeological site identification, site recording and site management.

The guide I have compiled is an 81 page report consisting of a number of in-depth and captivating chapters complimented by images. The importance of why heritage sites should be recorded is the first section of this guide. The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, basic site recording, stone tools and how to use site cards are later addressed. The last part of the guide includes information on the conservation of sites, interpreting landscapes and how to access information held in the Central Archive by the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division – DPC (AARD) as required by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (the Act). A glossary, further readings and blank ‘A’ and ‘B’ site cards are also present at the end of the report. Copies of the report: A Guide for Recording and Conserving Aboriginal Heritage Sites in South Australia will soon be available through the Aboriginal Heritage Branch.

If anyone is also interested in reading or creating a guide for recording Indigenous sites in Australia, check out the following links:

QUEENSLAND Department of Environment and Resource Management

http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage/search_request/accessing_data_guidelines.html

http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage/legislation/cultural_heritage_studies_guidelines.html

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Department of Indigenous Affairs

http://www.dia.wa.gov.au/en/Heritage-and-Culture/

VICTORIA Department of Planning and Community Development

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/heritage-tools/guides-and-forms

NEW SOUTH WALES Department of Environment and Heritage

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/chresearch/ResearchThemeConservationToolsAndTechniques.htm

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/cultureheritage/landholderNotes11CulturalHeritage.pdf

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nswcultureheritage/LostButNotForgotten.htm

Also, remember to read Burke and Smith (2004) The Archaeologist’s Field Handbook. This publication is a detailed guide for surveying and recording Aboriginal cultural heritage places and other archaeological sites

By Daniel Petraccaro (Master of Archaeology student).

Onward and Upward

by Bronwyn Phillips, Blog 6

As part of my Directed Study, I continued with the audit of the collection and moved into the storeroom, which houses most of the items in the collection. The storeroom is kept at a constant temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, which is the ideal temperature for the collection’s preservation. Mostly I have discovered that when you work in a museum everything you do takes longer than you think. Everything is a long slow process and museums in general need to have a lot more resources to conduct their work properly and professionally.  For a volunteer to do the equivalent of two full time weeks it would take four months of real-time.

City of Unley Rechabite Brass Band courtesy of the Unley Museum Photographic Collection

I started this audit with document drawer 17. There were a number of important documents in this drawer that did not have accession numbers, even though most were well wrapped in acid proof paper.

However, all the very important hand painted caricatures by John Chinner, produced in ink and watercolour in 1902 of famous military and political figures (including G Barton). They were, however, well covered in museum quality cellophane.

[Historical note:  Exhibited in S.A. Society of Arts. Exhibition priced at six pounds and six shillings, dated September 16, 1902. Unley Art Loan Exhibition, labels on back mounting. Chinner’s cartoons appeared in most Adelaide newspapers as well as the Bulletin and London Punch. He was also Insurance Manager and Unley Councillor for 10 years and Mayor for two terms. Significance: Local/S.A./Government/Arts. (Unley Museum data base search Horizon)]

Bronwyn Phillips holding John Chinner’s cartoons of military and political figures

After checking the document and map drawers, I moved to the textile boxes and randomly checked some of them. Volunteer Barbara has repackaged and conducted a box by box analysis of the textile collection.

Old poster advertising the Ozone Theatre (courtesy of the Unley Museum Collection)

Finally I went through sections of the rest of the collection, including the shelves, document boxes and small object boxes, and finished off with a count of what was on the shelves and whether the items were boxed or wrapped. Whilst doing this audit I have been on particular lookout for items that are;

  • not stored correctly
  • in poor condition
  • in need of restoration
  • not accessioned
  • incorrectly placed

As I audited the collection I wrote down everything I would need to refer to later when I wrote my report.

Photographs from the Unley Museum site accessed at: http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=912&c=16929 on 16-6-2011.