10 May 2005

Significance - A Guide to Assessing the Significance of Cultural Heritage Objects and Collections (2001)

A guide to assessing the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections

Our inherited culture is a rich resource through which we can reach a deeper understanding of our past and the environment in which we live.

There are an estimated 41 million objects held in Australian museums, art galleries and historical collections. Collectively, these objects tell the story of our history and the seminal events which contribute to our sense of identity and national pride.

Important objects do not reside solely in our major museums and collecting institutions. Every community, small regional museum, art gallery or historical collection are custodians of much of our cultural heritage significant items that are held in trust for all Australians.

Significance: a guide to assessing the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections has been developed to assist all those who care for collections to identify and preserve our cultural heritage.

By using this guide, organisations can assess the significance of objects in their collection - providing a sound basis on which to make collection management decisions relating to conservation, preservation and access.

This guide will assist in ensuring that Australia's cultural heritage is a legacy for coming generations.

Significance Training is also available online. It is a training package developed for institutions and individuals to understand and apply the concept of significance in a range of museum contexts.

Note: this publication has been updated. See: Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections published by the Collections Council of Australia (2009)

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