Cultural Collections Projects
Cultural Collections Projects Program 2013
This year the Program will be offering many interesting projects for students, alumni and volunteers that engage with the thirty cultural collections managed by the University. Please follow the link to our Projects List to see the full list of projects that will be on offer this year. Most projects have a position description which will enable you to see in more detail what each project involves. If you are interested in a particular project you can then register your interest with a particular collection/project by completing the expression of interest form.
For further information contact:
Once your completed application is received, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted by the Program's Coordinator. If you have any questions about the projects, your application or the collections you can also contact the Coordinator by telephone on 8344 3103 (Mondays and Thursdays).
Download the Cultural Collections Projects brochure (2 Mb).
About the Program
The Cultural Collections Projects Program, previously known as the Student Projects Program, was initially conceived to give students the opportunity to work behind the scenes with the University's many cultural collections. It has since expanded with the program now open to students, alumni and volunteers in the wider community. Each project is developed after consultation between the Program Coordinator and the relevant collection manager. All of the projects are of a high quality and provide students in particular with the unique opportunity to expand their vocational skills and enrich their learning experience. The projects also add real value to the cultural collections and contribute to their management, preservation and appreciation.
Cultural Collections Projects Program 2012 (pdf 666 kb).
Helen Arnoldi, 'International Student Exchange', University of Melbourne Collections, issue 8, June 2011, pp. 24-25.
'Cultural Collecting', Voice, vol. 7, no. 5, 9 May-5 June 2011, p. 8.
'An international internship', MUSSE Newsletter, issue 57, 30 March 2011.
Cultural Collections Projects Program 2011 (pdf 508 kb).
Cultural Collections Projects Program 2010 (pdf 1.43 Mb).
The Student Projects program - 2009 in review (pdf 865 kb).
A mutual exchange: 2008 - the year in review (pdf 240 kb).
Helen Arnoldi, 'A mutual exchange: The Student Projects Program, Cultural Collections', University of Melbourne Collections, issue 3, December 2008, pp. 48-50.
Helen Arnoldi, 'A Response to The case for better management of volunteers', Insite [newsletter of Museums Australia (Victoria)], February-April 2008, p.11.
Helen Arnoldi, 'Engage, invigorate and educate: Cultural collections student projects', University of Melbourne Collections, issue 1, November 2007, pp. 30-2.
Helen Arnoldi, '2006 Student Projects at UMA', UMA Bulletin, no. 20, December 2006, p. 8.
What types of projects are available and which collections do they engage with?
For a selection of the projects that are currently being undertaken and offered to students this year see the projects list.
Projects attract students and volunteers from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. This may be attributable to the diversity of the collections. They include museum, archive, library and science collections, the majority of which relate to the various disciplines that have historically been taught at this University. Most of the projects are semester-long and on average require a time commitment of a day or so a week.
Through the projects, you can acquire new skills and advance your professional development while working closely with a cultural collection of the University. Or, you may choose to work on a project to satisfy a particular interest. The projects are varied and cover a wide range of areas from cataloguing and research, through to significance assessment, the evaluation of basic conservation requirements and exhibition development. There is no payment involved, but you will receive training specific to your project and ongoing support from the Cultural Collections Unit.
Projects have been drawn from the following collections:
- A.G.M. Michell Engineering Collection
- Architecture and Planning Library: Rare Materials Collection
- Grainger Museum
- Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum
- Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology
- Malcolm Fraser Collection
- Medical History Museum
- Physics Museum
- Print Collection, Baillieu Library
- Special Collections, Baillieu Library
- Tiegs Zoology Museum
- University of Melbourne Archives
- University of Melbourne Art Collection (Ian Potter Museum of Art)
- University of Melbourne Herbarium
Past Projects with Cultural Collections and Who Can Apply
Since the Program commenced in mid-2004, many students, alumni and volunteers have participated in the projects, working on different facets of the cultural collections. They have come from varied academic backgrounds including Information Management, Art Curatorship, History, Museum Studies, Information Technology, Music, Engineering and Art History. Further, students have come from a range of tertiary institutions and courses - including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Swinburne University, RMIT, Deakin University Box Hill TAFE, Queensland University of Technology, Charles Sturt University and Birmingham University.
While you may choose to undertake a placement to satisfy a course requirement such as internship subject or industry placement, it is also possible to complete a project with one of the collections in your own time to gain professional skills to complement academic studies or simply to pursue an interest. In many cases, the skills developed during these placements have later helped students to gain employment in their chosen field.
All of the projects represent a mutually beneficial experience - for students and volunteers, the vocational skills developed through working closely with a collection are invaluable as is the opportunity to network with professional people within the cultural heritage sector. Similarly, the collections benefit from the students'/volunteers’ dedication, interests and skills. For more information on past projects see:
Uni's Cultural Collections Offer Students a Unique Opportunity (UniNews article).
Cultural Collections: A Rich Legacy of Art and Artefacts at the University of Melbourne Plays an Essential Role in Vocational Education