Keeping the past alive

October 8, 2020 BY

Torquay Museum Without Walls is digitising documents to preserve the town's history.

TORQUAY Museum Without Walls has received a grant from the state government enabling them to digitise documents from various community groups.

Torquay Museum Without Walls secretary and treasurer Cheryl Baulch said the museum secured a Local History Grant of $1,987 to archive important documents.

“We’ve got some minutes of community groups that we’re digitising and some really old journals,” Ms Baulch said.

“The minutes are important because the community groups have lots of minute books and we want to digitise them so that they don’t get lost because accidents happen, people borrow them and don’t return them, and all those sorts of things.”

Minutes from local groups are often a key primary source for stories that appear in Torquay Museum Without Walls’ History Matters magazine.

Ms Baulch is a frequent contributor to Torquay Museum Without Walls’ History Matters and said minutes from different community groups are often a valuable resource when researching local events.

Ms Baulch noted digitising the documents would also increase ease of access.

“The early editions of Springboard (Spring Creek Community House’s newsletter) will be digitised. I did the story for Spring Creek Community House and it was a bit annoying carrying all these folders backwards and forwards.

“It means these things can be accessed if people need them.”

South Barwon Member for Parliament Darren Cheeseman said he was pleased to be able to support the group and their efforts to preserve Torquay’s history.

“Our local history is in good hands with community groups like the Torquay Museum Without Walls working hard to ensure stories of our past are not forgotten and are preserved digitally for the community to enjoy,” Mr Cheeseman said.

“Congratulations to all the volunteers and staff involved in the fantastic work of preserving our local history not only in South Barwon but right across the Victoria.”

Ms Baulch said there was still an opportunity for local groups to benefit from the museum’s grant.

“We put out our feelers before COVID, and then that stopped us from pursuing anymore.

“Any community group out there who wants their minutes digitised, we’ll do that for free.

“If there’s an organisation out there that has minutes to be scanned, we can then write the history of that organisation and publish that in our magazine.”

Groups interested in getting their minutes preserved can email [email protected].

Winchelsea and District Historical Society, Geelong Regional Library Corporation, and Bellarine Historical Society Inc. were also recipients of the Local History Grants.