The Preliminary Collection Documentation and Preservation Needs Assessment of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre’s (KALACC) collection was led by Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker and involved two fieldtrips to KALACC’s offices at Fitzroy Crossing.
During this time the audiovisual, photographic and paper-based archival material, and the paintings collection, were examined and recommendations made to help address their long-term management as part of the Preservation Needs Assessment. In particular, items which were considered at risk were identified and strategies developed to help mitigate loss and damage and to ensure their preservation. A priority recommendation arising from the Preservation Needs Assessment was the digitisation of the audiovisual material, which along with the photographic material, was identified as most vulnerable to physical degradation resulting in loss of content and important cultural memory. Expert advice regarding KALACC’s audiovisual material was sought from the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) who visited KALACC to examine the collection. The recognised importance of the combined collections, and the sharing of a number of key objectives led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between KALACC and AIATSIS, the principles of which are outlined as follows:
- AIATSIS and the KALACC share a number of key objectives regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials, including the goal of ensuring permanent preservation of, and access to, Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultural materials, knowledge, languages and stories, aligned with traditional owners’ cultural directions and aspirations.
- In particular, media obsolescence, and developments in technology make it imperative to digitise audiovisual collections handed down on analogue carriers, and to preserve them sustainably for the future while ensuring their management conforms to Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property principles and community aspirations.
Under the terms of the MoU it was agreed to transfer KALACC’s audiovisual material to AIATSIS for digitisation copying and preservation storage, with the aim of safeguarding the collection and ultimately facilitating greater access for the community.
Subsequent fieldwork was undertaken in June 2018. On this occasion, additional high-priority recommendations outlined in the Preservation Needs Assessment, were implemented. Audiovisual materials held by KALACC were documented, packed and transferred to AIATSIS for digitisation. Archival material, primarily belonging to the Yiriman Project, was identified and included in the overall documentation and assessment.
Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Oskar Slifierz and Dominique Sweeney
University of Melbourne
the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation
Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC)
University of Melbourne, Chancellery and Engagement and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation
Report: Collection Documentation & Preservation Needs Assessment, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Fitzroy Crossing, The University of Melbourne