Australia and China: Cultural Materials Conservation Cooperative Research Network
With Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA), Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage and Zhengzhou University.
Project activities include:
2015 - ‘The technical study and scientific examination of tomb wall paintings, Shaanxi province, China’ with the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Professor Tonia Eckfeld, Dr Caroline Kyi, Dr Alex Duan, Dr Nicole Tse.
2015 - ‘Investigations into the conservation issues and conservation and treatment solutions for earthen materials’ with Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, Professor Tonia Eckfeld, Dr Caroline Kyi, Susie Collis.
2015 - Qujiang Museum Forum, Xian, Shaanxi, GCCMC and SPIA, Professor Tonia Eckfeld, Dr Caroline Kyi, Dr Alex Duan (Chemistry).
2014 - Cultural materials conservation: China and Australia programs, Friday 12 September, University of Melbourne, organsied by the Grimwade Centre with representations from 3 MOU Chinese partners.
2014 - ICOM CC 17th Triennial Conference Melbourne, Opening Plenary: Professor Ma Xiaolin, and Dr Shao Anding, 14-17 September 2014, Melbourne Convention Centre, CCMC Organising Committee.
May-Sept 2014 - Establishment of cooperative arrangements: execution of MoUs between the Grimwade Centre and three Chinese partners.
Dec 2014 - May 2015 - Mr Zhanyun Zhu, University of Science and Technology of China, PhD candidate and Visiting Scholar supported by a China Scholarship Council.
RSL Lifecare Project
The RSL LifeCare Museum Project in Narrabeen assists with the development of their war museum, which houses the archival material and objects that residents and their families have preserved and donated to the RSL LifeCare.
The project has resulted in the cost-effective conservation and curation of items for the museum, and a rich learning experience for students as they interact with, and support, the owners of this material. Partners include the Australian War Memorial, RSL LifeCare and the University of Canberra.
For more information please see the RSL LifeCare Museum Project website.
Twentieth Century in Paint Project
The 2013 AICCM (Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials) Award for Outstanding Research in the Field of Materials Conservation for the Grimwade Centre’s Twentieth Century in Paint project acknowledged the impact of this important ARC Linkage Project that included the industry partners, National Art Gallery Malaysia, SEAMEO SPAFA Bangkok, National Gallery of Victoria, Tate Britain, Getty Conservation Institute, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artlab Australia and researchers Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Nicole Tse, Schiesser, C, Best, S, Drennan, J, Clark, J and Learner, T.
The citation read “This three year research project (2009-2012) developed a collaborative team of researchers to investigate painting media used in Australia and South East Asia in the 20thc. Its immense collaborative output has informed new standards for research in modern paint media. The research outputs have been hugely beneficial to paintings conservation in Australia and have allowed three senior paintings conservators, in particular, to be skilled up in many areas of analysis and understanding paint technology and use.”
Indigenous communities, partnerships and conservation research
Local Aboriginal community archives: The use of information technology and the National Broadband Network in disaster preparedness and recovery (2012-15)
Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Professor Marcia Langton, Professor Robyn Sloggett.
This project redefines the way significant and at-risk audiovisual archival material in Aboriginal communities is preserved, protected and made accessible for future generations. In partnership with three Aboriginal organisations in remote Australia this project develops a risk-management framework that deals with the complex set of issues that surround the translation of intangible culture, which is recorded in audiovisual format, into contemporary formats to enable it to be part of content deliverable via new initiatives such as cloud technology and via the National Broadband Network.
Understanding and preserving Aboriginal Catholic church art in northern Australia (2012-15)
Professor Robyn Sloggett, Professor Marcia Langton, Dr Jacky Healy.
Industry partners: Thamarrurr Incorporated, Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation
This project examines the historical and social significance of Aboriginal art produced in Catholic churches during the Christian mission era in northern Australia, using two sets of important works produced during the contact phase, banners at Balgo (WA) in 1981 and panels at Wadeye (NT) in 1957/8. The project determines ways to assess, and develop methodologies for best research of, and care for this art. These rare objects and their history, as an important aspect of Australian cultural, social and political history, are in need of urgent study, documentation and preservation.
Assessing and building social investment opportunities that preserve Indigenous culture (2013-2014)
University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed Grant
Brad Potter, Shaun Cannon, Prakash Singh, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Jodi York.
This research examines how the crucial resource that is corporate social investment in its various forms can be best utilized to support Aboriginal art centres and thus the autonomy, health, education and employment outcomes in under-resourced Australian communities. The project will enhance our understanding of the ways in which different models of corporate social investment can produce high-impact outcomes in this setting such as through: building capacity through human resource investment (eg internships, workshops/training, mentoring, staff working opportunities on community); philanthropic funds to support particular aspects of the art centre business; and in-kind support through free services or advice.
WADEYE IPTV: Delivering significant and at risk audiovisual archives to remote Aboriginal communities via IPTV and the NBN (2013-2014)
IBES Project Seed Funding
Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Sharon Huebner, Marcia Langton, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Rachel Nordlinger, Ken Clarke, Julien Ridoux Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum, Wadeye NT Thamarrurr Development Corporation, Wadeye, NT.
The project uses IPTV and the National Broadband Network in the preservation and access of audiovisual materials at Wadeye. In partnership with Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum at Wadeye and the Thamarrurr Development Corporation, Wadeye, NT this research project trials how culturally significant and endangered audiovisual archival material might be most effectively and appropriately preserved and made accessible for future generations. The Wadeye museum currently holds significant collections of audiovisual recordings of ceremonies, songs and dances, languages and local ecological knowledge covering at least six different language/ tribal groups, many of which are now highly endangered much of this material irreplaceable. This pilot project will leverage off an existing in-lab proof of concept, ‘BeeSmart IPTV’ to stream content to a smart-phone/PC/TV but which will also demonstrate automated replication and updating of “remote” video servers such as at Wadeye from a centralised, secure archive server based at IBES. The project intends to trial the use of IPTV at Wadeye museum including the IPTV set-top box and stream IPTV locally via WiFi. IPTV is seen as an excellent technology fit as it can provide very granular, controlled access to content by separate cultural groups, and provides metadata to allow easy searching of the video archive by users, which also makes it a valuable resource for specialists such as linguists.
Cultural Conservation Channel (2013-2014)
Helen McPherson Smith Trust Impact Grant
Professor Robyn Sloggett, Robert Lane
The Cultural Conservation Channel shares stories to interconnect our experiences and memories to heritage collections. It provides accessible, informative, and practical information about the conservation of cultural material to regional and remote communities across Victoria. The dissemination of information drives the projects cultural activity, educational function and conservation practice. We will build exhibition platforms that can manage the conservation needs of various art forms to enhance the cultural inheritance of future generations. The Channel will be carried out in collaboration with Victorian partners to create and conserve diverse cultural practice.
Middle Eastern Manuscripts
In 1959 Middle Eastern scholar Professor John Bowman (1916-2006) arrived at the University of Melbourne and began to expand the Department of Semitic Studies. One of his most significant legacies was the collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, now held in the Rare Books Collection in the University Library.
The collection comprises works in Arabic and Persian, as well as Turkish, Urdu, Ethiopic, Syriac, Hebrew, Sanskirt, Pushtu, Prakit and Mongol scripts. The texts include Islamic religious texts, including Qur’ans and commentary on the Qur’an, as well as significant poetic works, educational textbooks and writing on history, biography, astrology, mathematics, philosophy and weaponry.
In 1995, Australian Research Council funding was awarded to the University’s Conservation Centre (in partnership with the School of Physics) to undertake scientific analysis of specific manuscripts in the collection. The manuscripts are internationally significant. In 2007 scholars from around the world took part in the Symposium on the Care and Conservation of Middle Eastern Manuscripts at the University of Melbourne. Expert visiting scholars have come to investigate the materials and techniques and the writings of which the manuscripts are compromised. Currently four PhD students at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation are working on John Bowman’s collection. Research on the University’s Middle Eastern Manuscript Collection is the basis for the Didar: Stories of Middle Eastern Manuscripts exhibition in Arts West (Building 148).
We are very grateful to Anna Bowman for her knowledge and film-making expertise, our colleagues at the Islamic Museum of Australia, Sherene Hassan and Jake Carter; and Susan Millard, Curator, Rare Books, Baillieu Library.
For more information please see the Library's Middle Eastern Manuscripts web page.