Australian Sea Heritage online

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A World Beyond

What is a Museum? And what is it for?

Hardly new questions, but taking the time to pause, step back and consider those questions will refresh the thinking, expose us to the ideas and the practices of other museums with similar aims and enable us to add to the visitor experiences we offer. Perhaps even see them in a new way.

Every two years the old city of Dordrecht, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, known by the locals as ‘Dordt’, hosts a maritime steam event Dordt in Stoom.
Dordt’s maritime history goes back to the late middle ages and the city has seen all types of ships over the centuries. The picture shows the 2016 steam event, attended by a huge fleet of steam and traditional motor vessels, the tugs predominating. 

Those of us with ‘operational’ museums which focus on presenting living items from the Collection, be they trains, buses or ships, can sometimes develop a narrow view of what we are about. It’s possible to lose sight of the fact that we are ‘public’ museums and in many cases our ability to raise funds through tax-deductible donations depends on that.

A periodic step back and a willingness to consider ideas and ways to enhance our public offerings, making them more relevant to a wider audience, is not just good stewardship, it can be vital to our future.

Not all good ideas are new. Some have been around for a while, but are, nonetheless, well worth thoughtful consideration. Here are some points of view which were first presented a decade ago, but they are as fresh today as they were then.

Continue reading . . .


This entry was posted on 02/10/2020 by in Sydney Heritage Fleet.


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