This Australian Government funded grants program, which has been running continuously every year since 1994, is administered by the National Library of Australia. Program partners are: National Library of Australia, with support provided by the Department of Communications and the Arts through the Ministry for the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.
It is important to check the Guidelines initially for information on WHO CAN APPLY and WHAT PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE to see if CHG fits your needs.
Significance defines the meaning and values of an item or collection through research and analysis and by assessment against a standard set of criteria.
The 4 primary criteria are: Historic Artistic or aesthetic Scientific or research potential Social or spiritual . These determine why the item is significant. The 4 comparative criteria are: Provenance Rarity or representativeness Condition or completeness Interpretive capacity. These evaluate the degree of significance.
Why use significance? Three main areas where significance helps collecting organisations: Access and community engagement Advocacy Making good collection management decisions.
“Significance is a proven persuader. Whether it’s making the case for a new acquisition, substantiating a funding application, or lobbying for education and online resources, significance goes to the heart of why collections are important and why they should be supported.
Significance draws out the knowledge, passion and expertise of collection staff and volunteers, and puts it in the public domain.
The assessment process and statement of significance shine a powerful light on the richness, diversity and potential of Australia’s collections.” Significance 2.0
The SA should lead to a report that provides sufficient information to enable collection management priorities to be established, and include significance statements that clearly identify the history, themes, importance, meaning and value of the collection.
Point 1: You should make your consultant aware of the SA template on the CHG website. Your consultant needs to follow this template (eg, SA report should include a list of key recommendations, and a detailed assessment of the most significant items in the collection.
Point 2: … and can make informed comparisons with other collections of a similar nature.
An example of a significance statement. From the Significance Assessment for the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst, Bendigo by Dr Megan Cardamone 2012.
The whole point of getting a significance assessment of your collection is to help you and your staff or volunteers to become more aware of the contents of your collection. Your organisation must be prepared to spend time preparing access to the collection for the assessor, and to be able to pick out significant examples to show them.
The Hutchison collection relates to father and son, James and William Hutchison who were gold prospectors in 1914/1915 in the Stuart Ranges near Coober Pedy, SA. Fourteen year old William discovered the first opal in 1915.
The PNA should lead to a report that enables an organisation to prioritise conservation work and develop a suitable conservation program. AICCM have developed a Preservation Needs Assessment Template. This template must be followed by all conservators preparing a PNA for a CHG recipient. The PNA report should include a description of the collection and its condition (storage, environment etc) and a list of prioritised recommendations.
Extract from a PNA –the prioritised recommendations
Eligible conservation and collection management projects include treatments and housing, digitisation and software purchases.
Collection rehousing and storage – the purchase of storage materials such as archival-quality boxes, folders, envelopes, packing materials and sleeves appropriate to the material to be rehoused. Rehousing may also include the purchase of specialist shelving or storage equipment such as object cases, and map or plan cabinets.
Conservation treatments – physical treatments such as cleaning and collection maintenance, archival quality binding, matting, boxing, framing and other protective measures for storage or display, conservation treatment or rebinding of highly significant items by qualified conservators.
Environmental control and/or monitoring equipment – the purchase, installation or improvement of systems to control or monitor temperature, humidity, light and air quality, such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers and data loggers.
Digitisation – reformatting, copying, migration of original material (for preservation and access purposes) and the ongoing planning of the collection’s maintenance.
PROSHELL – example of conservation from the NLA.
The Berrima District Historical & Family History Society has access to their collection through their online Image Library.
The National Library provides online access to a wealth of collections and information on its website through TROVE. On the TROVE site, the Help Centre can tell you all about how TROVE works, & how organisations can make their own collections easier to find by sharing them through Trove.
Malby’s terrestrial globe, Robert O’Hara Burke Museum, Beechworth.
You can see here two places to look for examples of software: Museums and Galleries NSW – Fact Sheet on collection management systems (including off-the-shelf as well as custom products) Museums Australia Victoria – The Small Museums cataloguing manual – a guide to cataloguing object and image collections.
Caring for Collections Training
• In-house salaries and volunteer labour costs, including per hour project management costs. • Publishing projects • Exhibition research, interpretation and signage, and design • Collecting projects • Oral histories – recording or transcribing • Memorials and plaques • Interpretive signage or heritage trails • Building works, capital works, repairs and improvements to existing buildings • Digitisation and microfilming of newspapers or magazines • Family history research • Emergency activities • Activities that are in progress or have been completed • Private collections • Labour costs to carry out rehousing • Software development and website development.
The CHG website
Coordinator: Fran D’Castro took up duties as the new CHG Coordinator on 16 May 2016, as Mary-Louise Weight has retired.
Margaret Thompson, Community Heritage Grants, National Library of Australia
Catalogue of Fruit Trees 1910, Emerald Museum
What are Community Heritage
• Cash grants of up to $15,000
• To assist in the preservation &
access to heritage collections of
national significance held by
Who can apply
• Not-for-profit, incorporated organisations that
own/manage a collection of nationally significant
material which is accessible to the general
• Examples of not-for-profit organisations:
Archives Indigenous groups
Art galleries Migrant community groups
Genealogical societies Professional associations
Community groups Museums
Historical societies Religious groups
Where do I start?
Funding priority will be given to projects that are
being carried out in a logical order as follows:
Step 1. Significance assessments
Step 2. Preservation needs assessments
Step 3. Conservation activities and collection
but first …
CHECK THE GUIDELINES ON THE CHG WEBSITE
at www.nla.gov.au/chg/guidelines to see
WHO CAN APPLY
WHAT PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE
(A copy is also available as a handout at this workshop)
Step 1. Significance Assessment
For a detailed explanation of significance, refer to Significance 2.0 - A Guide to Assessing the Significance of Collections (2009) - 2nd rev. ed.
(online version) http://arts.gov.au/resources-publications/industry-reports/significance-20
• Should be done by an experienced and qualified consultant
• Someone external to your organisation who can look at the
• Someone who can collaborate
with people who have knowledge
of and interest in the collection
Just a stump chair?
From the Significance Assessment for the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst,
Bendigo by Dr Megan Cardamone 2012.
An example of a significance statement.
National Significance of Your
• The information you provide in your
application is paramount
• You will be asked to tell us
why you think your
collection is of
Collection of the John McDouall Stuart Society ( Photograph Geoff Speirs)
Example of national significance -
the first opal
From the Coober Pedy Historical Society
Archives SA by June Edwards and
Madeleine Regan 2014
Step 2. Preservation Needs Assessment
A preservation needs assessment will:
• Be done by an experienced and qualified conservator
• Assess the physical condition of the collection
• Assess housing and storage facilities
• Make prioritised recommendations
– which can be the basis for further
Extract from a PNA –the prioritised recommendations
Step 3. Conservation Activities &
• Application must relate to the prioritised
recommendations from the PNA
• Focus on most at risk and most significant
items. Projects could involve
– Rehousing collections
– Conservation treatments
– Reformatting – including digitisation
Example of conservation -
Application must show you have considered
• Preservation of original
• Budgeted plan
• Digital copies
• Outsourcing or in-house?
Examples of eligible training projects:
• Collection care and handling
• Disaster Preparedness
• Collection Management software training
• Assessing significance
• Digitisation training.
Consider partnering with other groups.
History SA -Training for
18 people from 9
Agenda - Digitisation Training days at North Stradbroke Island Museum 2014
Check the guidelines again –
is my project eligible?
1. CHG Coordinator
– Confirms eligibility
2. Significance Assessor
– Considers national
3. Preservation Assessor
– Considers feasibility
– value for money
4. Expert Assessment Panel
– Considers the comments
from both assessors
– Looks at the overall
What are the assessors looking for?
• Evidence of national significance
• A clear description of the collection, who
owns it and how it is used
• A project that is feasible & good value for
money with a well supported budget
• Projects that will enhance access to
• Training projects that will reach many
people and collections
As well as a cash grant...
First time grant recipients are invited
to come to Canberra to receive their
awards and to participate in 3 days of
Preservation and Collection
Management Workshops, presented
by experts from the CHG partner
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted online
through our online grants management
system. Follow the links from our
homepage at www.nla.gov.au/chg
The 2016 grant round closed on 9 May.
Next year’s round will open March 2017.
• Read the CHG guidelines
• Attach quotes as required
• Submit your application online
and on time – late submissions
will not be accepted
• Contact the CHG office
(02) 6262 1147 for advice