A Recent survey of the current status of university natural history museums and collections in Australia

Morwenna Pearce, Andrew Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


It has been over a decade since the last sector wide survey of museums and collections in Australian universities. This period has arguably seen the most dramatic changes in higher education. A survey of university natural history museums and collections was undertaken in 2009 to ascertain what changes have been implemented as a result of the numerous recommendations made in the 1998 Transforming Cinderella Collections report. The survey revealed that many still lack the operating policies and procedures necessary for proper professional management and few are integrated into institution wide approaches to material collections despite the large number of significant items held therein. While there has been increased awareness of the importance of preventative conservation strategies, poor resourcing often prevents implementation. Few have disaster preparedness plans in place. Despite broad contributions in the areas of teaching support, research support and community engagement, there is still a marked over reliance on inadequate internal funding mechanisms. Universities should be encouraged to align the work of these museums and collections with strategic institutional objectives in order to develop equitable and sustainable funding models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteresting times
Subtitle of host publicationnew roles for collections : Museums Australia National Conference 2010 : conference papers
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherMuseum Australia
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780958029025
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventMuseums Australia National Conference - Melbourne
Duration: 28 Sep 20102 Oct 2010


ConferenceMuseums Australia National Conference


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