Over the past couple of years we’ve noticed a trend beginning to occur and we thought it was time to explore and encourage it.
We are increasingly being contacted by organisations who want to tell stories on Culture Victoria. These organisations aren’t asking for money, and aren’t specifically fitting into our curated content program. But they do see CV as a good place to make their stories more visible and open them up to new audiences.
This is very exciting for us and is expanding our own ideas of what Culture Victoria is and can be for the collections sector.
There are a range of ways this is happening:
Preserving temporary exhibitions
The first is a way of preserving past temporary exhibitions. This usually happens after an exhibition has run its course, and rather than lose the work and assets the organisation has created, they look for a place to house it long term. Mostly, a physical exhibition can translate easily to the online space. Physical exhibitions translated to CV stories may highlight the key objects and new research uncovered by the exhibition, rather than including the exhibition content in its entirety. Last year we added the Fashion Detective story to CV, which is an abridged version of the NGV's Fashion Detective exhibition from 2014. We are currently working with the Mornington Peninsula Local History Network to preserve their touring exhibition Postcards: Stories from the Mornington Peninsula. The exhibition included historic photographs, objects and oral history recordings gathered by eight historical societies on the Peninsula.
CV as exhibition website
The second way uses CV as an exhibition website, which goes live on the same day as the physical exhibition. We’ve seen this recently with two high profile exhibitions - School Days by PROV, and Oil Paint and Ochre by Yarra Ranges Regional Museum. In both cases, it was considered more appropriate to have the online exhibition on Culture Victoria than on the organisations’ websites, which are often not set up for online exhibitions. In both cases, the online and physical exhibition content were similar, but not identical.
New story with existing assets
The third has nothing to do with a physical exhibition – it may be that an organisation has some images and text (and potentially video) that they think could work on Culture Victoria. They may never have brought this material together before, or may have been working on it for some time, and just waiting on the right place to exhibit it. We are currently working on a story with the Chinese Museum based on a video created by the Museum. They knew it was a fascinating story – and created some text and images to round out the video into a more articulated story for Culture Victoria.
Re-purposing online stories to CV to reach new audiences
Sometimes a story may be online on an organisation’s website but not attracting the audience the organisation was expecting, may not be in an accessible format, or may need to be archived from that site. An example of this is What house is that? This collection of images, text and videos comes from an interactive website created by Heritage Victoria, originally built in Flash. Flash is not an accessible format, so a number of years after it was built, Heritage Victoria suggested repackaging the key assets (text, video and images) to Culture Victoria. This story still exists as a flash Interactive Neighbourhood, now available through the Heritage Council’s website, but the story receives significantly more visitation on Culture Victoria. In fact, over the years this story has been on CV, it is consistently in the top five of most watched stories.
Telling community stories
We at Culture Victoria are always interested in exploring community storytelling. Do you or your organisation have a story you’ve already created which you’d like to see on Culture Victoria? Or are you interested in creating a new story - perhaps with images and text - which you have the capacity to create and think would work well on Culture Victoria?
Coming up, our next blog will be a practical 'how to' of Making Digital Stories. But in the meantime, please Contact us if you have an idea you'd like to discuss.