Small Object Big Story

Appliqué quilt brought to Victoria by gold-rush immigrants from Ireland in 1851
Appliqué quilt brought to Victoria by gold-rush immigrants from Ireland in 1851.
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria collections, HT 12340

One small object can tell a really big story.

Small Object Big Story is an online resource to assist individuals and groups of all ages to explore the history of their own family or community and share what they discover with a wider audience. It provides a structured guide to research and an overview of the ways in which the outcomes of the research can be presented to a range of audiences.

The resource is designed to:

  • encourage individuals and groups to pursue historical investigation;
  • assist individuals to discover that familiar objects hold stories;
  • offer a model of research which uses objects to explore personal, local, community and settlement histories;
  • offer strategies to assist with publication of the results of the research;
  • create and reinforce links between communities and the resources of Museum Victoria.

A range of tools are provided to facilitate research and presentation. These include an interview guide, an oral histories guide, information about working with objects and guidelines for developing an exhibition.

These tools have been designed to be used by teachers and students (primary, secondary and tertiary), community groups and adult learners.

Image Gallery

Pair of leather boxing boots used by the Harry Johns Boxing Troupe, which toured the agricultural shows of Australia's eastern states between the 1930s and 1960s. Apple II software adventure game titled The Bards Tale III: Thief of Fate on a 51/4”computer floppy disc (1988). First World War Mothers and Widows Badge presented in memory of a soldier killed in action on the Western Front in 1917 A hand-made card with a cut-out barb-wire motif sent from Tatura Interment Camp in northern Victoria (1939-1944). The burnt-out shell of a 1948 Holden, which was destroyed by the Churchill Bushfire on 7 February 2009 A photograph labelled ‘Stanley Docker’s birthday party’ taken in 1925 at Dockers Plains, Victoria