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History WeekWhat’s your favourite story from our photographic collection? Is it the voyage of the Sunbeam, the glamorous Hera Roberts or the mystery disappearance of two film stars? How about the ‘yachties’ – master shipwright Billy Barnett, Frank Albert or Sydney’s oldest yachtsman? For History Week this year the theme is Picture This, and on 11 September, in partnership with our friends Inside History Magazine, we will be exploring how cultural institutions are using digital communities to share photographic collections and unlock the past. Join my fellow blogger Penny Hyde, myself and our guest panellists Paula Bray, Geoff Hinchcliffe, Mitchell Whitelaw, Lisa Murray and Bernard de Broglio for a lively discussion about the exciting world of online collections!

For the past 18 months, we’ve been busy bringing our readers the stories our Flickr Commons followers have unearthed. Our Samuel J Hood and William Hall collections, in particular, have offered a window into the past in exciting and often unexpected ways. Through their hard work examining various photographic collections, Flickr users have earned the respect of cultural institutions around the world. They are a group of elite photo investigators we like to call the “super sleuths”. But what can this type of online participation really mean for institutions, other than being able to tell really interesting stories?

This is the main question we would like to explore in our panel discussion which will be hosted at the museum on 11 September, 6-8pm. For now, meet our stellar panel:

Paula Bray is the Manager of the Visual and Digitisation Services department at the Powerhouse Museum, the first museum to join Flickr Commons. Paula has several years of experience in the creative concept, strategy, production and delivery of digital cross media projects. She has strong skills in building communities online and producing creative in-gallery digital experiences for exhibitions. She has a passion for audience engagement, technology, linked open data, story-telling and exceptional cross media projects that are all changing the way that content is consumed and shared. She will discuss these topics as well as chair the discussion with our panellists.

Geoff Hinchcliffe, Director, Digital Library Services, State Library of NSWGeoff Hinchcliffe is Director of Digital Library Services and CIO at the State Library of New South Wales. He is currently heading one of the most exciting projects in the cultural and heritage industry and will be talking about it on the night – the Digital Excellence program.


Lisa MurrayLisa Murray is a City Historian at the City of Sydney who is passionate about making history accessible to wider audiences. She recently gave a presentation at TEDxSydney Future-Proofing Our Digital Future. Lisa will talk about her work at the Dictionary of Sydney, a digital repository of historical information about the city we all love.

Bernard de BroglioBernard de Broglio is now Web Manager at the City of Sydney. He will discuss his recent work as Internet Coordinator at the Mosman Library. One of his many achievements was as project coordinator for Doing our bit: Mosman 1914-1918.

Mitchell Whitelaw is currently an Associate Professor leading the Master of Digital Design in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. He has produced clever data visualisations of cultural collections such as the Visible Archive, among a range of other projects.

Book tickets online. For enquiries phone +61 2 9298 3655 or email

Follow the conversation on twitter @ANMMuseum, ask questions with the hashtag #PictureThis and share our Facebook event with your friends. We are also welcoming questions from people before the event, so please fire away.

Hope to see you at the museum for History Week 2013!

Nicole Cama

Portrait of an unidentified man Photographer: William J Hall ANMM Collection

Portrait of an unidentified man
Photographer: William J Hall
ANMM Collection


Nicole and Penny

Nicole Cama and Penny Edwell (the artist formerly known as Penny Hyde) work as Digital Curators at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney. We blog about events, people and most importantly - the museum's collection. We hope to open up the museum's collection to virtual visitors, blow off the dust and reveal some of the wonderful objects and stories held in the archives and storage rooms of the museum.