Diocesan Archives hero

Diocesan Archives

Where would we be
without our volunteers?

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Anne Wilson tssf Acting Diocesan Archivist

Where would we be without our volunteers?

This is the familiar refrain from all collecting institutions, from Museums to Historical Societies and even the State Records Office. At the Diocesan Archives, we have had the benefit of many volunteer hours over the years. Some have been people looking for something interesting to do where they can serve the church, some have been students looking for practical experience, as I was myself at one stage.

There is one thing all archivists can say about their collections; 'there is always something to do', and usually a backlog of work that might never be completed if it weren’t for volunteers. This year Sue Millar has been preparing large deposits from two different parishes, gaining skills and understanding as she goes. Her experience and knowledge of parish council procedures has been invaluable.

Margaret Watson also worked on accession preparation for a few months earlier this year.

Anne Hewitson has taken on the task of designing and sewing garment bags to protect a collection of uniforms from dust and insects. She has spent many hours drafting patterns, preparing the material and creating bespoke bags for various sizes. We appreciated the help of the laundry staff at Swan Valley Activity Centre for washing the two bolts of unbleached calico which have been used for the garment bags.

Earlier in the year Sue and Anne accompanied me to a meeting of the Australian Society of Archivists, (ASA), Collection of Faith Traditions Special Interest Group, (CoFTSIG), which was held at the Toodyay Historical Society Archives. This local collection is entirely dependent on volunteers, some of whom have skills in records, archives and libraries. We were very interested to hear from Sheena Hesse about how the Historical Society operates and how local history finds its way into the collection. One of our guests also found that a close family connection was recorded in one of the archive’s books. As usual, we had a very happy gathering afterwards for lunch at one of Toodyay’s hotels.

It has been a big year for the Archives, with lots of requests for information while I was becoming familiar with the collection and the database. I am especially thankful for the support of Diocesan staff, the encouragement of the Archives Committee, the practical help of staff at the Swan Valley Adventure Centre and, of course, the volunteers.

May God bless everyone with a peaceful, joyous Christmas and New Year.

Diocesan Archives Sue Millar
Archives Volunteer Sue Millar, with her tools of trade and a completed box of files.
Diocesan Archives Anne Hewitson
Archives Volunteer Anne Hewitson, with her completed garment bags.

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