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DISPLAYING POSTS FROM: May 2011 (17)

30th anniversary of Play and Folklore

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
14 May 2011
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I loved the Far Out, Brussel Sprout books when I was a kid. Do you remember them? They stood from the other children’s books because they were filled with all the cheeky rhymes and sayings that kids actually used in the playground, rather than the sterilised stuff that teachers and parents wanted us to read. These books were compiled by Dr June Factor, writer and folklorist, and founding editor of the journal Play and Folklore.

Play and Folklore is devoted to recording and discussing what children do when largely free of adult direction or control—their colloquial speech, songs, games, rhymes, riddles, jokes, insults and secret languages. Established in 1981, it has been published online by Museum Victoria since 2001 and the April issue just released celebrates the journal’s 30th anniversary.

newspaper football Paper football made from newspaper was constructed at Carlton North Primary School in the mid-1980s. Footballer Peter McKenna describes playing with a newspaper footy as a child in the 1950s in the April 2011 Play and Folklore.
Image: Jennifer McNair
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Dr June Factor and Dr Gwenda Davey began publishing the then-titled Australian Children’s Folklore Newsletter out of the Institute of Early Childhood Development that later became part of the University of Melbourne. Keen observers of children, Dr Factor and Dr Davey began collecting and preserving their folklore in the 1970s. This became the Australian Children’s Folklore Collection (ACFC) which they donated to Museum Victoria in 1999. In 2004, it became the first MV collection to be placed in on the prestigious UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register.

Slingshot Slingshot made from a tree branch, circa 1980-1983. Found on the steps of the Institute of Early Childhood Development, Kew, by Dr June Factor. It had been left there by children who often used the empty car park as a playground at weekends. In the background are index cards used by Dr Factor to record children's rhymes.
Image: Michelle McFarlane
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Deborah Tout-Smith, Senior Curator of Cultural Diversity, is the curator for the ACFC and oversees the production of Play and Folklore. “Children’s folklore is amazing repository of cultural information. In the past a lot of study into children has been adults looking at children [whereas] children’s folklore is a cultural world children themselves preserve and articulate,” said Deborah. “June Factor pointed out that information is handed on between children and never enters the adult world. Sometimes we see remnants of old ideas and practices that have disappeared in the adult world but still continue in children’s folklore.”

The study of children’s folklore has been important while researching the newly-opened exhibition at the Immigration Museum, Identity: yours, mine, ours. “We find the roots of prejudice in the ways children start to notice difference,” explained Deb. “There are distinct phases of understanding that can end up hardening into prejudice, or can become part of embracing difference.” Both the ACFC and Play and Folklore capture children’s culture from around the world and while they have a distinctly Australian flavour, they include the layers of influence from migrant children over the decades.

Links:

Play and Folklore archive (1981-current)

Collections Online: Australian Children's Folklore Collection

Infosheet: Australian Children's Folklore Collection

They are coming...

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
13 May 2011
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It's not every day that motorists share a freeway with prehistoric flying reptiles! Two huge models of pteranodons - with wingspans of six metres - crossed Melbourne by truck yesterday, ahead of their display in the upcoming Scienceworks exhibition Explore-a-saurus.

Pteranodon on a truck Pteranodon on a tuck arriving at Scienceworks.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Pteranodon arrives at Scienceworks Moving crew wheel a Pteranodon model into the Scienceworks building.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Did you see this unusual cargo make its trip from Coburg to Spotswood?

Explore-a-saurus will open to the public on June 1. You can pre-purchase tickets online now.

Links:

Explore-a-saurus

MV Blog: Developing a dino exhibit

National Volunteer Week celebration.

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
12 May 2011
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National Volunteer Week (9-15 May 2011) is a celebration of the priceless contribution of the thousands of volunteers to charities, organisations, communities and institutions across Australia.

There are 529 active volunteers at Museum Victoria and their ages range from 17 to 91 years. They help manage the 16 million items in our collections, they run activities for visitors, they lead tours at each of our venues, they restore steam engines, and much more. To thank these generous people, MV throws a celebration in National Volunteer Week each year. Yesterday afternoon, volunteers gathered at the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks to mingle, share food and drink, and enjoy a Planetarium show.

Volunteers at 2011 National Volunteer Week event MV Volunteers assembled at this year's thank you event in National Volunteer Week.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Barbara Horn, Director of Museum Operations, read out some statistics about our volunteers. In 2009-2010, volunteers donated an incredible 52,639 hours of their own time to Museum Victoria. At Melbourne Museum, they helped visitors construct 6,792 cardboard models of the Titanic and 11,650 Earth Capsules in Dynamic Earth, plus 1,200 Mobile Skeletons as part of Humanoid Discovery at Scienceworks.

Two remarkable volunteers – Vic Wilks and Tom Brereton – have each reached the milestone of more than 10,000 voluntary hours. Both started at Scienceworks in 1992 shortly after the building opened. Tom, who regularly announces the steam engine parade at Machines in Action Days, joked that they’d known each other “for a year or two.”

Volunteers Vic and Tom Scienceworks volunteers Tom Brereton (left) and Vic Wilks (right) have racked up over ten thousands hours each.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Vic explained what has inspired him to volunteer for nearly two decades. “In retirement, you need something to stimulate your brain. It’s also the social side of it, meeting all the other volunteers and staff and also contribute something back... hopefully it provides some benefit to the community and the museum in the process.” As a local Williamstown resident, he sees Scienceworks as an important community hub. “It was one of the first things we got in the western suburbs that provided something to the people. Most other museums and art galleries are in the city or the east side.”

A big thank you to all Museum Victoria volunteers - we simply couldn’t manage without them.

Links:

Volunteering at MV

Midnight screenings at IMAX

Author
by Natasha D
Publish date
11 May 2011
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This guest post is by Natasha, who works in public relations for IMAX Melbourne.

The team at IMAX Melbourne Museum can’t believe what a jam-packed few months of blockbuster new releases we have coming up, with three big films all opening soon. To celebrate, IMAX Melbourne Museum will open these films with special midnight screenings as follows:


IMAX visitors in costume Harry Potter fans dressed in costume for the midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in 2010.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Harry Potter fans Costumed fans at the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Midnight screenings at IMAX are always a lot of fun with heaps of activities and prizes given to the best dressed.

To find out more about what’s happening at IMAX, you can sign up as a free subscriber or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Window cleaners

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
11 May 2011
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Comments (1)

Early this morning, there were a few people on the Melbourne Museum plaza staring at the front of the building, watching a team of abseilers cleaning the glass facade. It's quite amazing seeing people dangling off the building, especially when you're at your desk and an unexpected visitor drops in!

Crew of window cleaners Crew of window cleaners at work on the facade of Melbourne Museum.
Image: Forbes Hawkins
Source: Museum Victoria
 

window cleaners People on the plaza watching window cleaners at work.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Window cleaner at work A view from the inside: window cleaner at work at Melbourne Museum.
Image: Forbes Hawkins
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The crew will be onsite for a few days to clean all the hard-to-reach windows around Melbourne Museum.

IMAX Melbourne tops global box office

Author
by Natasha D
Publish date
10 May 2011
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This guest post comes from Natasha who works in public relations for IMAX Melbourne.

IMAX Melbourne Museum is astounded by the amazing response we’ve had from Melbourne viewers for the release of Born to be Wild 3D, which opened on 8 April.

Young elephants Young elephants playing in Born to be Wild 3D.
Source: IMAX
 

This gorgeous film about the amazing people who take care for orphaned baby orang-utans in Borneo and elephants in Kenya, has been so well received by a local audience that IMAX Melbourne has topped the global box office for April.

Born to be Wild: Global Top 3

  1. Melbourne
  2. Montreal OP
  3. Washington DC

 

We don’t know if it was the beautiful baby orang-utans, the sweet baby elephants or the amazing support we have received for this film from WWF-Australia, Zoos Victoria, the Herald Sun, The Circle, Peregrine Adventures, Mix 101.1 and World Expeditions... but IMAX Melbourne is delighted and humbled by this huge response!

young Orang-utan A young Orang-utan in Born to be Wild 3D.
Source: IMAX
 

You can find out more about Born to be Wild 3D or buy tickets on the IMAX website.

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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