Planning Your Project

Photograph of a boy and girl in a toy car, the third generation of the family to use it.
Photograph of a boy and girl in a toy car, the third generation of the family to use it.
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria collections, MM 110129.

Small Object Big Story provides strategies for authentic research using objects to inform studies of personal, local and community history.

Individuals and groups are invited to create their own Small Object Big Story Project using these strategies as a tool kit for historical research.

Participants will research in ways similar to a historian or museum curator by investigating an object from their family or local community – an object that has a story to tell.

Participants may also act as conservators using information provided by Museum staff on how to best look after an object, photograph or document.

Individuals and groups can use the Step by Step Guide to undertake research or choose elements of the project to assist their own path of study.

Suggested approaches

  • Read through the materials provided in the Step by Step Guide to project tasks.
  • View the Hands On History Showcase.
  • Contact the Humanities Programs Coordinators at the Immigration Museum or Melbourne Museum to discuss possible participation in a Hands On History project at either or both of these museum venues:

Image Gallery

Pair of child's red leather sandals with buckles, circa 1989, made by Clarks Shoes, Ltd, Australia A gold paper Shimai paper fan with handpainted flowers used by Masumi Hiraga Jacksom in Noh dance performances during the 1990s. The interior of 'K & A Pappas Australian & Continental Milk Bar' in Gilbert Road West Preston, circa 1982 This wooden roller was used during the early 1950s to stamp travioli pockets into the pasta sheets. A book of recipes and remedies from 1870 includes pages headed 'Cure for Diphtheria' and 'Sponge cake'. Photograph circa 1925 showing a car, horse and cart in floodwater on Murphy Street, Wangaratta.