By Karen Buck
THE protection of important historical artefacts and documents is a step closer, with the Shire of Plantagenet supporting an archive repository at the Old Police Station museum.
Plantagenet Historical Society archivist Camille Inifer said she was delighted with the news. “It’s wonderful, wonderful news and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” she said.
“It is so fantastic the Shire came on board and supported this important issue in the way it has.”
The archive repository will be a special purpose-built fireproof room which will also protect documents from damaging dust, moisture and light. It will house the museum’s substantial paper collection in large sliding floor-to-ceiling compartments.
The move to establish what will be the only archive repository in the district follows a devastating fire in Busselton last year which destroyed their museum’s most precious artefacts and caused more than $400,000 damage.
Ms Inifer said the Mt Barker archive repository building would allow for the museum’s vast and varied collection of fragile paper artefacts, which were currently stored in boxes and filing cabinets, across five rooms to be housed in one completely safe place.
“The value of collections such as these is inestimable – it’s saving the history of a significant period and part of Western Australia for future generations and that is vital,” she said.
“This is going to be such a wonderful resource.”
The Plantagenet Historical Society collection has been donated by locals over many years and provides a colourful history of the area.
Ms Inifer said while there were some indigenous historical memorabilia in the collection, the group was always keen to include more.
The current historical collection includes photographs, ledgers, journals, books, wine show and sporting club memorabilia, minutes of organisations’ meetings, letters and race club items.
The group was working on digitising, cataloguing and filing the collection.
Shire of Plantagenet Chief Executive Officer Rob Stewart said the project would provide a fantastic asset for the community.
“The formal development approval will move the project into the next stage and we hope to have it completed in 2020,” he said.
The archive repository is expected to cost in excess of $100,000 and will be funded by private local donors, the Historical Society and the Shire of Plantagenet.