Intergenerational War Collection Management: The Returned and Services League, Australian New Zealand Army Corps Village in Narrabeen

By Sophie Lewincamp and Lisa Yeats.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 30, 2015 $US5.00

The Returned and Services League (RSL) LifeCare Village in Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia, is home to roughly 1,000 ex-service men and women. Within the Village is a volunteer-run War Museum housing a collection that has been built up through donations from current and former residents. Since January 2012, Masters students from the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (GCCMC) at the University of Melbourne have been undertaking onsite cataloguing and conservation of the collection in preparation for the relocation of the Museum to a new more central building within the Village, due to take place in mid 2015. The Museum is in a unique position as many Village residents donate items, meaning they are actively involved with the growth of the collection and its interpretation. Their knowledge of this “living collection” is invaluable to the Museum’s cataloguing and conservation work. This paper aims to explore the intergenerational engagement between residents, conservation students, and Village staff, and how this informs decisions surrounding the management, display, and conservation of the collection. A Japanese senninbari textile object, which was souvenired by an Australian serviceman and later donated to the Museum, is used as a case study. By conducting a thorough investigation of the senninbari, including discussion of the literature, interviews with residents, and lab-based material characterisation methods, important insights are gained regarding the item’s conservation, display, and management.

Keywords: Conservation, Cross-Connections, Intergenerationality

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.7-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 599.490KB)).

Sophie Lewincamp

Paper Conservator, Center for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lisa Yeats

Recent Graduate, Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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