Tag Archives: virtual museum

Centenary Celebrations – 1912 to 2012

Former students of the old Berowra Public School with family and friends.

Former students of the old Berowra Public School with family and friends.

A great time was had by all on Sunday, 9th December. We celebrated the centenary of what was initially the big classroom and headmaster’s office of the old Berowra Public School and later the main room of Berowra District Hall. We remembered  a hundred years of service to our community.

Merle  Davis is reunited with the Carroll brothers.

Merle Davis is reunited with the Carroll brothers.

This image captures the surprise reunion of Merle Davis with the Carroll brothers who as youngsters had been friends of Merle and Neil Davis’s children. The children had grown up together enjoying many adventures in the Berowra bush.

Joyous  re-connections, storytelling and much laughter epitomized the day.

Shirley Collins and Elaine Foster

Shirley Collins and Elaine Foster

Shirley Collins reminisced about her time as a teacher in the old school in the fifties and Elaine Foster remembered an earlier time when she was a Year Six pupil in our historic building.

A classroom from yesteryear.

A classroom from yesteryear.

The morning of Monday 10th December was for the children of Berowra. Over 400 youngsters walked to the old school and engaged with former students: Peter Huett, Jim Hatfield, Keith Holmes and Neil Davis as they told stories from their school days. These stories were further brought to life by visiting the classroom, seen above, where Elissa and Will, from the team, were on duty. Other learning opportunities were, trying out copperplate writing with former teacher, Shirley Collins or hands on discovery with all the old farm and household objects where Isobel Harrison was in charge.

The body of the hall held further fascinating displays to explore some representing the community groups that have been part of the long history of our District Hall.

Thank you again to all who contributed to the great centenary celebration, especially to The Lions Club of Berowra, without whom the exhibition would not have been possible.

Do visit our virtual museum :  Museum of Berowra for more!


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Virtual Museums and Physical Exhibitions – Celebrations!

Today is the start of a busy and exciting weekend for the Berowra Living History team. Today we launch our Virtual Museum, with two exhibitions ready for exploring and more to come as time goes by. The Museum is accessible at http://berowramuseum.wordpress.com and we look forward to seeing you there.

Over the weekend, the team will also be involved in Celebrations marking the Centenary of the expansion of  the Berowra Old School Hall. We will be mounting an exhibition celebrating the history of the Hall, both as a school and as a centre for community activities and invite you to join us there on Sunday December 9th between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm. The Berowra Lions Club is supporting this display and they will be providing tea, coffee and scones as well as their famous sausage sizzle.

We hope you enjoy the Virtual Exhibitions and look forward to seeing you at the Old School Hall!

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Why A Virtual Museum?

Berowra Living History is an exciting project, but it isn’t the first of its kind. People are always fascinated with the history of their local area, and there are many who want to record the stories of older residents before they are irretrievably lost. Usually the outcome for such projects is an exhibition or a book and this is what many expected us to create. Yet for us, it wasn’t enough. We had already mounted a couple of exhibitions, and although they had been successful, they are short lived. Similarly, a book can only look at history up to a point in time, and then the book is ‘finished’, though the history may not be. We wanted something which could grow and evolve with the history of Berowra and a book or exhibition simply could not provide this. A virtual museum however could.

This was not the only reason for our decision though. We recognised that the potential of virtual museums is amazing. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and people can visit at their leisure without having to worry about opening hours. They can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of where they live in relation to the ‘museum’, or whether they have a disability which might prohibit physical access. As long as the person has some kind of internet access, they are free to visit the museum for as long and as often as they like. They need not even have a computer, a mobile phone can allow them to ‘visit’.

Virtual museums also provide access to collections which would not otherwise be seen by the public. In fact, they can display items from diverse collections with little difficulty as well as giving physical museums scope to display greater proportions of their collection than would otherwise be possible. Physical space is limited but virtual space is infinite. In addition, there is no constraint on how an item can be displayed. It can be included in multiple exhibitions at once without any problems and can be displayed indefinitely without  danger to the item itself. Even exhibition changes can be made without denying public access. The items can also be inspected at incredibly close range without any of the dangers inherent in allowing close public access. After all, if fingerprints are left behind after a visit, the visitor themselves must clean them up and there is no effect on the items displayed! Even dangerous items which normally must be kept out of reach of visitors can be closely inspected with no danger to the visitor or the item.

We look forward to creating our virtual museum and make sure to check back regularly to keep up to date on our progress and any exciting discoveries!


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