Tim Sherratt, review of Treasures of the Museum, Victoria, Australia and Land Nation People: Stories from the National Museum of Australia, in Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 16, no. 1, 2005, pp. 122-125.
Australia is blessed, it seems, with a frightening abundance of treasures. A quick survey of our cultural institutions reveals an escalating ‘treasures race’, as libraries, museums, and archives bombard the public with accounts of their rarest, most beautiful, and most interesting items. The State Library of Victoria, for example, has published a lavish description of its ‘treasures’, and features them prominently on its redesigned website. The National Library of Australia also has an online display of its most treasured holdings, hoping to bring in sponsorship for a permanent ‘treasures gallery’. Meanwhile, the ‘Treasures Gallery’ at the National Archives of Australia is already up and running, while the South Australian Museum guides visitors around a ‘treasures trail’. The Australian Museum recently presented their ‘treasures’ in a special exhibition, and even the University of Melbourne has catalogued the highlights of its collections in a glossy book of ‘treasures’. Celebrating its 150th birthday, the Museum of Victoria has made an impressive entry into the fray, with a well-designed treasures website, a treasures trail for visitors, and a beautiful volume simply entitled Treasures of the Museum. Read MoreTreasures