State Archives in the National Anzac Centre, Albany

Gerard Foley Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 17:44

State Archives used in the National Anzac Centre, Albany

The SRO applauds the WA Museum’s work in developing, building and so successfully launching the National Anzac Centre in Albany in only 14 months. The SRO recognises that the development of exhibitions content for the new Anzac Centre required a lot of research of the WA Museum’s own collection and other key collections within and without DCA portfolio agencies, including State Archives held by the SRO.

When approached by the WA Museum’s diligent curators, multimedia developers and creative directors the SRO was more than happy and ready to assist them in the development of exhibitions for the National Anzac Centre. We recognised early on that there are archival items in the State Archives Collection that could potentially assist in telling the stories about the site of the new Anzac Centre and the departure of the Anzac convoy from Albany 100 years ago.

The SRO also recognised that exhibition research and content development is far from an easy task. Furthermore, we understood that not all material researched would make it into exhibitions and that content choices are necessarily made through determining the most effective, engaging and appropriate methods of communicating exhibition messages and stories.

So, with the news of the 1 November launch of the new National Anzac Centre, the SRO was delighted to see that digitised plans of Albany, Princess Royal Harbour and King George’s Sound (found in Series 235 and 2168), were used in a key ‘touch table’ interactive and multimedia display which was created by Sydney-based media company Mental Media. The SRO holds the official plans of the harbour in Albany dating from the 1830s and, along with many other historic plans of WA’s towns and regions, these were digitised and made available online several years ago. The archived and digitised plans of Albany have now been transformed by the WA Museum and Mental Media in such a way that visitors to the National Anzac Centre in Albany can use them to learn about the stories of the men and women who left Albany in the convoys 100 years ago, destined for ANZAC Cove and beyond.