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Maitland's History Made Accessible Thanks to Digitisation Team


Digital Collections team

What do an indentured servitude contract, a toothbrush turned shiv from Maitland Gaol, and a Plan of West Maitland from the 1850s have in common?

 

They’ve all been digitised, catalogued, and brought back into the public eye by the Digital Collections: Opened Minds team at Maitland City Council who are celebrating the digitisation of more than 1000 of Maitland’s culturally significant items in their first year.


Items come from custodians of historical records across the city, including Maitland Gaol, the old Maitland Hospital, Maitland Libraries, Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), and Morpeth Museum.


Working primarily out of the newly established Digitisation Hub at MRAG, the team have spent their first year making big strides in preserving Maitland’s history, digitising these items using state of the art equipment and industry leading methods.


As a result of their work, more than 7000 items have now been made available for the public to explore and learn about on the Collections.Maitland website and Storyplace, a Museums & Galleries NSW website featuring significant stories from across the state.


‘We’re really proud of the efforts of the digitisation team in 2022, and it’s fantastic that so much of Maitland’s history is now so well preserved and available to the community,’ Coordinator Community Participation, Carol Edmonds said.

‘Morpeth, and Maitland by extension, are some of the earliest townships established by European settlers in the 1800s, and we’re lucky to have so many items buried deep in collections across the city that tell the stories of those early days.


‘By capturing and sharing Maitland’s local heritage and history through these collections, we can curate and promote our rich culture and unique history and make the challenge of figuring out how we used to live that little bit easier for those generations to come.’


The community can uncover more of Maitland’s history by visiting the Collections.


Maitland website, or check out Storyplace from Museums & Galleries NSW for some deep dives into historic artefacts from across NSW.


The first year of this project was funded by the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund Digitisation Round.

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