Retired history teacher Janet Floyd knows the importance of getting a story to run alongside everything from an object to a photograph.
Her attention to detail has been recognised with the Wodonga and District Historical Society named an honouree in the 2022-2023 Victorian Collections Cataloguing ‘Best in Show’ list, which celebrates excellence in cataloguing.
The list includes 15 other honourees, which are among 1,100 organisations who have collections published on the Victorian Collections, a free online industry-standard cataloguing tool.
“This is a significant achievement for a small organisation like ours,” Janet said.
“It’s not based on how many items you have catalogued on it, but rather the information you put on it.
“When I catalogue I don’t like to just put up a photo unless I have a bit of a story to go with it, because otherwise it’s pretty meaningless to other people.”
The society has 1164 items published on the Victorian Collections, which has helped ‘put us on the map’.
“If you search online for the Hume Weir, our site would come up as one of the links that show up on Google search, so it does get us out there on a bigger scale,” Janet said.
“We have had people come out here because they saw something we have in the Victorian Collections.”
President Marie Elliot recalls one man who wanted to buy the society’s little Sanyo television because he had one that didn’t have the little colour bars on it.
“He did an internet search for Sanyo because he wanted a Sanyo TV and our site came up, so then he contacted us to see if it was for sale,” she said.
“Of course it wasn’t for sale, all our items are donated and are not for sale.”
All organisations from the ‘best in show’ list were entered into a draw to win one of two $200 archival survival vouchers.
The Wodonga and District Historical Society was the randomly drawn winner of the volunteer-run organisation, while the randomly drawn organisation with paid staff went to Beechworth Burke Museum.
The Wodonga society is sitting around 50 members and recently made Doreen Bassett a life member for her significant contribution over 15 years.
The volunteer-based group is always on the look-out for new members.
“It would be great to welcome some new faces to our group,” Janet said.
“Joining this group has allowed me to continue my passion for history but also I moved into Wodonga with very few connections.
“It has enabled me to make connections with people in the community rather than be isolated, which can easily happen when people retire.
“I have met a lot of great people who have become friends.”
The society is located on-site at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience in Hut 97 and is open 10am to 3pm, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
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Wodonga and District Historical Society