Manning Valley Historical Society has embraced digital technology to bring the valley's history to life, using friends and volunteers to help tell the story.
The society's Wingham Museum has engaged Taree videographer, Jake Davey, to help produce and deliver a catalogue of short documentary-style videos and re-enactments. The project is titled An Intimate Journey through the Manning.
This digital material focuses on the unique stories behind the collection, rather than on the collection itself. It covers a wide array of themes from folk stories and tales of growing up in the Manning to our early pioneers struggles against isolation.
The videos feature many of the museum's friends and volunteers, as well as local amateur performers and school children. Visitors can now access this content through QR links placed on labels and banners displayed throughout the museum.
"Our recent successes with the Night at the Museum event have revealed a great desire from the public for this type of content", Manning Valley Historical Society (MVHS) vice president, Robyn Greenaway said.
"The videos help bring the collection to life. They provide a more personal experience for our visitors.
"There's something for everyone... some laughs, a bit of drama and lots of local history," Robyn said.
This project has also helped equip the museum's volunteers with the skills and knowledge they will need to deliver digital programs into the future.
"Jake (Davey) provided the professional guidance we needed with the technical and creative direction of the project... now our volunteers are keen to expand on what they have learned."
Robyn said the challenges of isolating over the past two years has highlighted the importance of digital content and online adaptability for the museum. Virtual exhibitions, social media interactives and online tours are all potential projects the museum will explore in the future.
This project was made possible by the Let's Get Digital project funded through Museums and Galleries NSW as part of the Arts Restart Scheme. Wingham Museum was one of 15 museums and cultural centres across NSW to receive a $13,000 grant to fund its digital project.
As the largest collections organisation in the MidCoast Council local government area, Wingham Museum offers the people of the Manning and visitors a unique cultural and heritage experience. It has become a great tourist destination, as well as an archive of great significance.
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