Pieces of Queanbeyan

QUEANBEYAN Museum is celebrating being 45 years old and still going strong. The keeper of all things heritage and historical will mark the milestone with the launch of a brand new online exhibition this Saturday, August 2.

Titled '45 Pieces of Queanbeyan', Queanbeyan Museum have compiled a list of 45 of their favourite pieces into one exhibition. That's no easy feat when they have a catalogue of more than 5000 items.

From a vintage wedding dress to an old school wooden ice cream maker; there's also a portable gramophone, iron lung and a device used to key in Morse Code included in the mix.

"We wanted to show the history of Queanbeyan as well as the variety of items we have," Secretary Kerrie Ruth said.

"Forty-five years is worth celebrating, that we're still here and we're still going strong. The collection has been gathered over together over that 45 years so that's an achievement."

The official launch will be held at Queanbeyan Museum this Saturday and will include a cake cutting to round out the birthday festivities.

Queanbeyan Museum has come a long way from the early days when they struggled to even find a suitable venue. These days, the organisation - which boasts 110 members - is grappling with the task of merging the physical Museum with the online world.

This year they have had their website redesigned, launched a Facebook page and are now hosting their first online exhibition.

"Good photographs and making sure it visually looks good on the web are really important when it comes to having an online exhibition," Ms Ruth said.

"You have the chance to write little bit more [of an explanation] for each piece than you would for a physical exhibition.

"Obviously, the big difference is that this exhibition is available to everyone on the web and they can view it at their leisure.

"It also gives us the opportunity to display items we have in storage - it's a good way to showcase our catalogue."

As the Museum is only open on weekends, there are plans to digitise other past exhibitions. This includes last year's overwhelmingly popular 'The Way We Wore' exhibition featuring 130 years of wedding dresses.

However, physical exhibitions will still remain a big part of the Queanbeyan Museum.

"It's important to have physical exhibitions so people can come in here and actually see the objects," Ms Ruth said.

"Physical exhibitions can be a lot of work because you have to lay it out, write the captions and have a theme to tie them all together.

"But ultimately, we'd love to have people come along and see the Museum as well [as look at the online exhibition] because we've got a great collection.

"It's a bit of a hidden gem, we'd like to have more people visit on Saturday and Sunday. We can also organise groups outside of that time."

Queanbeyan Museum's 45th Birthday Celebration will be held on Saturday, August 2.

It will be held at the Queanbeyan Museum at 10 Farrer Place from noon. '45 Pieces of Queanbeyan' can be viewed at www.queanbeyanmuseum.org.au.

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