A little bit of the early history of the Archives and Records area Image: Australian Museum
© Australian Museum

A little bit of the early history of the Archives and Records area

When I came across this 1990 memo, I immediately wondered: “who ‘framed’ it, and why?”
The ‘who’ could have been any one of a number of people, but a quick read through the memo answered the ‘why’.
The first reason was then Director, Des Griffin’s declaration of support for the project. In spite of his concern about “resources and competing priorities”, he made it absolutely clear that he would staff the new area and provide “adequate space in a suitable location for the records themselves.”

Then there was Des Griffin’s very real appreciation for the initiative and effort expended on the project by Chief Librarian, Gwen Baker.
Finally, there was the amount of work required to conceive of, and implement the Archives and Records systems here at the Museum. We have boxes and boxes of documents and drawers full of images as well as a large number of objects in the Archive, and a mind-blowing number of files in the Records system. While these systems were initially much smaller than today, starting from scratch must have been a daunting task.

This may have been ‘framed’ by Gwen and put up in her office as a reminder of Des’ support and appreciation, or by a more recent staff member who wished to recall the exciting days when the Archives and Records section was no more than an interesting concept, and all the work had yet to begin.