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A load of old rubbish: displaying archaeology of the modern city

Dr Charlotte Smith, Museum Victoria

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Curator Charlotte Smith outlines the development of an exhibition at Museum Victoria based on urban archaeology. She discusses the challenges in interpreting the ‘rubbish’ and creating a snapshot of life in nineteenth-century Melbourne.

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archaeology, domestic, exhibition, museums, urban

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Into the light

Nicola Smith, National Museum of Australia

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Conservator Nicola Smith examines the management of exhibition light levels at the National Museum of Australia. She addresses display periods, object replacement and new non-destructive methods of assessing object degradation from light.

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conservation, exhibition, museums

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A cast of thousands: redevelopment of Circa

Bronwyn Dowdall, Dr Martha Sear and Jennifer Wilson

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

National Museum curators and researchers discuss the development of the Museum’s introductory Circa rotating theatre. They examine its function and the use of new narratives to explore the National Historical Collection.

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collection, museums, photography

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Dead museum animals: from ‘order of nature’ to chaos of culture

Dr Libby Robin, National Museum of Australia

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Libby Robin looks at the use of dead animal collections in museums. She examines the scientific precedents behind these collections and how they are evolving from representations of science to components of social history and art studies.

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art, collection, museums, science

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What was it like: a perspective on history in museums

Brian Crozier, Crozier Schutt Associates

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Museum consultant Brian Crozier considers how material culture might be interpreted by museums for popular rather than academic audiences. He examines the cultural contributions that museums may make in the study of history.

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audiences, collection, exhibition, museums

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Irish in Australia

Dr Richard Reid, National Museum of Australia and Brendon Kelson

Historical Interpretation series, 15 March 2009

Researcher, author and Irishman Richard Reid and photographer Brendon Kelson examine the role of the Irish in Australia, to be featured in a forthcoming National Museum book, The Scattered Children of St Patrick.

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collection, exhibition, migration, photography

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Introduction to the Creating a Country gallery

Dr Kirsten Wehner, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 11 March 2009

Curator Kirsten Wehner outlines the themes of the new National Museum of Australia gallery, Creating a Country (now Landmarks). It will look broadly at the history of Australia since European colonisation of the continent in the late eighteenth century.

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collection, colonial, exhibition

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Human evolution: fossils surprising, fossils predicted

Professor Colin Groves, Australian National University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Archaeologist Colin Groves outlines the fossil history of human evolution. He examines how some parts of the human fossil record appear to depict gradual change, while others seem better interpreted by the model of punctuated equilibria.

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archaeology, darwin, science

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Darwin and social Darwinism: the political use and abuse of natural selection

Tony Barta, La Trobe University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Tony Barta examines to what extent Charles Darwin’s ideas were misused by others and discusses the tragic effect of Darwinian eugenics in Australia and Germany.

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darwin, science

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A lunatic idea: British science and evolution on the eve of Darwin’s Origin of Species

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Iain McCalman explores the dominant scientific attitudes to ideas of evolution in Britain in the years before Darwin’s Origin is published. He explains why evolution was widely regarded as a lunatic theory and was resisted so fiercely.

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darwin, science

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