The MtSV founded its Heritage Collection within the building complex in 2010. The collection is assessed by Context Pty Ltd as being of National and State Significance.
In 2015 the focus of the program has been to preserve, catalogue and digitize the collection of some 10,000 items and objects. In 2015 a part-time Collections Manager Position was appointed and supported by an Intern Program and volunteers the Heritage Collection has raised new awareness and funding opportunities for the work of the MtSV again this year.
The development of the Collection’s Policies and Procedures, and progression through the Museum’s Australia Accreditation Program has sought external consultancy to achieve stages of the accreditation. In 2015 the MtSV has received funding from Bendigo Wealth, part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Banking Group and grants through Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Public Records Office of Victoria and National Library with in-kind support from City of Melbourne. A Heritage Collection Preservation Needs Assessment was conducted by The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, the University of Melbourne in May 2015.
COMMENT FROM CURATOR
The Mission has been continuously working in Melbourne since 1857 and has retained a substantial amount of records that document its charitable work dating back to this time, which are currently held in the MtSV archival facilities at the Flinders Street Mission. The curatorial team is in the process of digitising and cataloguing its collection that consists of approximately 10,000 photographs, documents and objects of great social, spiritual and historic significance. The collection includes material such as marriage and baptismal certificates, shipping records and newspaper clippings that are of great interest to the general public.
Many photos are over 80 years old, and several of the scrapbooks document historically significant events, such as the death of Queen Victoria. MtSV also has a collection of love letters sent to a young woman of the Harbour Lights Guild, as well as letters sent to and from the Mission from various people and organisations throughout its history.
Once our digitisation project is complete the public will be able to access the entire Mission to Seafarers Victoria’s collection online – there are already several hundred records and images available for viewing on the online catalogue. Although this is the first time in the 153 year history of the Mission that an archive has been created, it is our hope that we are laying the ground work that will preserve this material and future items for centuries to come.
The archive will continue to be added to with photographs, documents and objects from today and tomorrow, which will in turn be catalogued and preserved for future generations.
To access the current collection catalogue, please visit: