Port Macquarie Museum launches picture archive

Clive Smith and Keith Uptin discuss the digitisation of Keith’s albums for the new Picture Port database. A digital exhibition of recently digitised and new photographs to the Museum’s collection will screen throughout the day on Friday 18 August at the Port Macquarie Museum.
Clive Smith and Keith Uptin discuss the digitisation of Keith’s albums for the new Picture Port database. A digital exhibition of recently digitised and new photographs to the Museum’s collection will screen throughout the day on Friday 18 August at the Port Macquarie Museum.

The Port Macquarie Museum will launch its new photographs database Picture Port on Friday, August 18.

A digital exhibition of photographs from its extensive collection will be screening continuously throughout the day.

Entry to the exhibition and museum will be free on the day.

“We have been working on implementing our Photograph Management Plan and digitising our photographic collection for the past two years and the launch on Friday will provide members of the public with an opportunity to view some of our most recently digitised photographs and photographic acquisitions, particularly those from the 1960s to 1980s,” says Museum archivist Clive Smith.

“I’m sure people will be quite surprised and possibly amazed by the range of photographs in our collection.”

“We are also hoping that the launch will encourage people to bring in their old photographs, family albums and holiday snaps relating to the local area, local people and local events for us to digitise and add to the database making them accessible for future generations,” Mr Smith said.

“We will be happy to digitise these at any time, and prefer that people make an appointment with us for larger collections.”

One of the challenges of preserving photographs, even digital ones, is to ensure that they are in an appropriate format and of sufficiently high quality to meet current best practice digitisation and storage standards. Many home scanners and digital cameras do not record or store photographs in a format or high enough resolution to ensure their future use. 

Picture Port has been supported by grants from Coastline Foundation and The Westport Club. Both organisations have contributed to the cost of computer, scanning and storage equipment. Eventually the database will be accessible online.