Focus on Tinwald
There is no such phenomena as having nothing to do in a museum. Any ‘spare’ time that we have is dedicated to project work.
Presently, I am reassessing Ashburton Museum’s photographic collection, which is one of the largest in the country with over 6 million photographic frames, meaning Ashburton’s past is remarkably well documented.
Just as there is no such thing as free time, there is never any stage where we can be satisfied that we have a perfect record of the district.
As technology develops, we constantly ask ourselves, can we improve on what we have done in the past?
My project with the photographs consists of looking at material that has already been catalogued and seeing if any extra information can be added to the description, as well as examining the condition for any signs of deterioration, and considering if there is a ‘better’ way to house the valuable asset that is in our care.
A second component is looking at the images and scanning any that haven’t been copied before. Time and equipment meant that originally only a few images from each collection were scanned, many at a low resolution, or less suitable size or format than what is possible now.
Now, with better equipment, we can digitise a greater percentage of our collection. This not only makes access easier for researchers, it enables us to store the images without having to disturb the original fragile files.
One large collection that I added to recently has been that of Tinwald School. Some of the images are just too good not to share, and give a good example of just a few of the images we have in our vast collection.
By Kathleen Stringer
- Boating in the Tinwald Domain, 1907.
- This scratchy image came from a glass slide that previously we couldn’t copy. It shows Millichamps corner, now Lushingtons.
- This image, from another slide, really excited our volunteer John Carter, who is researching the history of the sales yards, as it shows the house that became the office. He had been looking for such an image for quite some time. It just goes to prove any image, to the right person, can be of great importance.
- The local service station, with rather futuristic looking petrol pumps.
- The local timber yard had some rather trees waiting to be processed.
- Children play in the school playground. While they look to be having a great deal of fun I can imagine what their mothers said when they came home dirty.
- Fancy dress, possibly 1925. While the flour bag boy has to be congratulated for supporting local businesses, I think all the mothers should have received a prize for their ingenuity thinking how to dress everything from fairies and red Indians to one my favourite gardeners.