Some of the vast store of images kept in the Uniting Church Victorian Archives is now available online.
Over the last year approximately 1000 photos and images of church people, places and artefacts have been scanned to make digital copies. These images have been uploaded to the state government-funded Victorian Collections website, where they can be accessed by individuals as well as public and private organisations such as museums and heritage groups.
“Much of the work has been done by our volunteers under the direction of archivist Dr Jenny Bars,” synod records manager Graham Hawtin said.
“The images have been carefully researched and are accompanied with contextual and historical information, which makes the material more useful than if it was ‘just’ a collection of images.
“It’s part of a wider plan to use digitisation and online resources to start ‘opening up’ the Archives and make our collections more accessible to interested groups, wherever they may be.”
Dr Bars said the project had a long way to go, with roughly 50,000 images set to be digitised.
“The collection is huge; there’s groups, buildings and all sorts of things but we’ve started with drawer one in the filing cabinet, mostly profiles of people, and we’re making our way through,” she said.
Mr Hawtin said that putting the images online had already sparked public interest.
“We have had a number of people contacting us over the last year or two to ask questions as well as telling us more details about images they’ve seen online.,” he said.
The Synod’s Victorian Archives office is keen to hear from people interested in regularly volunteering at its base in Malvern East.
Volunteers can assist on various projects, including helping research the extensive collection of archival photos.
For more information contact Dr Jenny Bars on 03 9571 5476. See the collection here https://victoriancollections.net.au/organisations/uniting-church-archives-synod-victoria#collection-records