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Public Life & Institutions Collection
Image: Model - Captain Cook's Cottage, Cyril Noisette, Icing, 1934
Source: Museum Victoria
The lives of all Victorians are shaped by organisational and institutional structures in the public sphere. Such structures are dynamic, always in the process of creation, redefinition, maintenance, and change.
While some individuals may have the opportunity to participate in the creation of some of these structures, and to influence their direction, others suffer under, negotiate with or react to them. Groups of people may then combine to bring about changes to the ways the structures operate and develop.
This collecting field is concerned with communal and institutional activities in the public sphere in Victoria since 1835. Material evidence generated as a result of particular forms of public, cultural, political and institutional activity in Victoria is collected to document distinctive forms of urban and regional life.
The collection focuses on the operation of particular structures at particular times, and also on the processes of change, continuity, reaction and adaptation. Sub-themes include celebrations and festivals; political history; charity and welfare; ritual and belief; and images and icons of Melbourne.
It also illustrates the events and patterns that help us define and understand Australian identity in all its complexity and diversity. A wide range of material has been gathered from many organisations and institutions, both active and inactive.