Museum history without having to leave home

Wednesday 15 April, 2020

More than 130 historical electrical objects held at the Tamworth Powerstation Museum are now more accessible on the free, web-based cataloguing system for cultural heritage, eHive.com

“This new eHive database enables you to easily search our catalogue anytime, without needing to
leave your home,” Tamworth Regional Council Cultural Collections Officer, Naomi Blakey said.

“eHive is an excellent platform as it connects the Powerstation Museum to other museums not only in Australia but across the world so people can be searching or browsing and stumble across our Collection,” Naomi said.

The Museum’s eHive Collection is made up of 132 digitised items of “significance”, selected from the complete collection of about 10,000 objects held onsite at the Powerstation Museum. Selected items range from a Century fan dated about 1915, an Electrolux vacuum cleaner from 1924, to a Diamont coffee grinder and a Durst pedal generator from the 1940s.

“It’s important to have these museum objects as they allow us to tell the history and stories of our past. And with today’s reliance on electrical devices and their importance in everything we do, it’s important to record and show people how it all began.

“History books can only tell us so much. It is individual objects such as these that make it relatable,”
Naomi said.

Museum consultant Miranda Heckenberg, who is the backbone behind the eHive project, said items in the online collection were assessed on their “significance” when considered for inclusion in the Collection.

“We were after items that told a good story and gave a sense of what the whole collection represented,” Miranda said. “There is a focus on domestic appliances because they appeal to a broad audience for their nostalgia. Visitors often exclaim, ‘I remember when I was a child my grandmother had a Sunbeam Mixmaster just like that!’”

All the pieces in the Collection have been donated by members of the community, in particular the Museum’s volunteers, or people that have visited the Museum that recognised there was an item important to the story of electricity.

The Tamworth Powerstation Museum is Australia’s only dedicated electrical museum, celebrating electrical innovation since it was established in 1988 on the site where steam engines powered Australia’s first street light system 100 years prior.

The Collection is added to almost daily, and is looked after by a team of dedicated volunteers. The number of items available to view online will increase as they are digitised.

The online collection can be found by clicking on the Online Catalogue link at tamworthpowerstationmuseum.com.au, or by searching for the Museum directly on ehive.com 

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