The RMIT collection

21 04 2011

Last year I wrote a few posts on the various public and private collections, and particularly was interested in the collection accumulated over time by RMIT from acquisitive prizes, called the W.E. McMillan Collection.

To quote the previous post:

… what would I ideally like to happen with this collection:

  • for it to be photographed and available digitally as an online resource (perhaps also published in a book)
  • for it to be physically available to students at RMIT and in fact the public (I expect all the pieces are sitting in cupboards wrapped in acid-free paper and not seen by anyone)
  • does the collection have a curator? how are the pieces cared for (are they ‘cared for’ or maintained)?

I’ve been thinking more about this lately. The first step is for the collection to be catalogued and photographed [which would necessitate the pieces to be cleaned etc.]; with the images and details to be available online. A book / catalogue may even be a possible output too.

An additional resource may be their slides / photographic collection too (I remember seeing a small group when I was studying there, and I expect there to be a resonable-sized set) – getting that entirely catalogued and online too.

This would mean that the collection, which would be the most amazing resource, would be online for RMIT students, and students and jewellery lovers worldwide (with appropriate copyright protection / practices of course!).

Naturally I plan on discussing this idea with the RMIT staff; but in the meantime, does anyone have any ideas of specific grants available for such a project?

My thoughts are that this project would be time-consuming, perhaps need specialised people or at least experienced for the cleaning, and photography would be a reasonable amount of work and cost too; and scanning of the slides / photographs if that becomes part of the project.

I’d think this is a project of national interest, given the sheer scale of the collection and the continuous timeline it would represent.

What are your thoughts?



2 responses

26 04 2011

I’m currently 2nd year G&S and I often think about this collection however forgetting to pester the lecturers for a sneak peek! There has never been a mention of it’s existance. Such a waste being hidden away!

15 05 2015
RMIT Art Collection Online | Melbourne Jeweller

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