Deborah Tout-Smith

Senior Curator, Home and Community

Deb Tout-Smith
Deb Tout-Smith
Source: Museum Victoria

Deborah Tout-Smith works on collections, research and exhibitions in the Humanities Department.


Deborah Tout-Smith curates several collections within the Humanities Department: Home and Community, Clothing and Textiles, and Childhood. She also jointly curates the Military History collection with Charlotte Smith. Together these collections comprise over 100,000 objects.

Deborah has qualifications in history, sociology and prehistory. She holds a Master of Arts (Public History) from Monash University and an Honours degree (History and Sociology) from La Trobe University.

Deborah has worked as a curator/registrar since 1988, including positions at the Western Australian Museum, the Ohio Historical Society and the University of Alberta. She has worked at Museum Victoria since 2002.

Current activities

Collection projects

Deborah is currently undertaking research in support of a new exhibition on World War I, to open in 2014, drawing strongly on the Museum's own collections and stories, She is also undertaking a joint research project with curatorial staff at the National Gallery of Victoria, focussing on the use of 19th century portraits as a tool for dating clothing and photographs. In addition, Deborah is facilitating a project to improve documentation of the Clothing and Textiles collection on the museum's EMu database.

Importantly, Deborah is also involved in a major project to prepare the museum's database for web access and enrich thousands of database records in her collection areas.


Deborah is leading the curatorial development of a new exhibition on World War I, to open at Melbourne Museum in 2014, focussing on the cost of the conflict borne by individuals and the community.

Boards and committees

  • Member of the Executive Board of ICOM Australia (2008-present)
  • Member of the editorial committee of Insite¸ published by Museums Australia (Victoria)
  • Former National President of the Historians’ Special Interest Group of Museums Australia (2005-08)
  • Former member of the Board of the Curators’ Committee of the American Association of Museums, as editor of its publication Update (2001-2012)

Last updated 12 February 2014