Friday 9 May 2014 by jensur. 2 comments
Collection, Collection Highlights, News

Reading Room, Saturday 17 May 2014, 11.00am. Bookings are essential.

Have you ever wondered what happens to the military’s official documents?

Have you ever wondered how historians and academics access military documents and files for their research?

Now is your chance to take a look behind the scenes at the official records held by the Australian War Memorial as a part of the Autumn Activities program. This tour, led by the official records team, will explain what records the Memorial holds, why these items are held and where they fit into the overall role of the Memorial.

Portrait of the file room of the general office, Base Records. Portrait of the file room of the general office, Base Records. DAX2211

The tour will begin with a talk by the Curator of Official Records in the Memorial’s Reading Room. You will learn about what official records are, how they are acquired, how they are organised, what they are used for, who may access the records and for what purposes.

You will then get a chance to be taken through to the Memorial archives area, which is not usually open to the public. This is a rare opportunity to see how these official documents are stored and the environment that ensures their preservation which includes details on temperature and pest control, and emergency management procedures for various disasters and incidents.

The tour will then head back to the Reading Room when you’ll get the chance to see some interesting records from the collection up close. These range from maps to photographs, and correspondence to diagrams. When looking through you’ll see a wide range of formats such as microform, tapes and a variety of paper and printing techniques. You will also see items that require repairs and learn about the techniques employed to undertake basic conservation to ensure their preservation. There will also be time to hear some fascinating personal stories that arise from these pieces.

To ensure your place on this fascinating tour, please book by calling (02) 6243 4473 or emailing public.programs@awm.gov.au. Please note that this tour has an access limitation and that bookings close Thursday 15th May.

Private diaries of the Official Historian, Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean, compiled during the First World War. Mr Arthur W Bazley and Mr John Balfour, members of the Historian's staff, stand behind the diaries piled on the table. Mr Bazley was Bean's batman during the First World War. Private diaries of the Official Historian, Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean, compiled during the First World War. Mr Arthur W Bazley and Mr John Balfour, members of the Historian's staff, stand behind the diaries piled on the table. Mr Bazley was Bean's batman during the First World War. H19501

Comments

Tanya

Looks wonderful! Will it be possible to take pictures of the rooms we gothrough on the tour, or will it a photo free tour given the nature of the doucments and their age?

jensur

Hi Tanya! You've posed a good question. You will be able to take pictures as most of the documents are protected in archival boxes in the archive storage area, or have some other form of material to ensure thier protection. The material/documents you will be shown are considered 'open access' and therefore won't provide an opportunity for sensitive information to be leaked. However, we will let you know during the two hour tour if there is anything that you cannot take a photo of.