The Friends of the Stanley Athenaeum have had a momentous year with the completion of the relocation of the collection following the internal restoration and painting of the Main Room and the beginning of regular Open Days for visitors to access the Athenaeum for research, reading or just for relaxation.
- The Athenaeum Open days have become a focus for people to drop in to see the exhibitions, for social chats and get togethers to discuss local matters and the Main Room continues to be the home for the regular meetings of Stanley Land Care, (who have their own library housed there), Stanley Hall and Athenaeum Committee, the Friends group, Stanley Cemetery Trust, Stanley Artists group and the Tennis Club.
- The importance and significance of the Athenaeum and its collection were formally recognised with the completion of the Significance Report in March, with historian Laura Donati visiting Stanley to assess the collection and write the report. An afternoon tea was held for her to meet interested members of the community. This report is important to the ongoing the development and conservation of the collection.
- The Friends of the Stanley Athenaeum were successful in receiving two Indigo Heritage Advisory Committee 2010 Heritage Awards at the annual Indigo Heritage Awards for: Best Restoration of an Historic Building and Voluntary Works associated with the Maintenance and/or Restoration of an Historic Place, that recognised the contribution of the Friends of the Athenaeum for their work on the building and the collection.
- The Friends were instrumental in presenting 5thNovember Stanley Proclamation Day Celebrations with the Beechworth Re-Enactment Group in attendance to read the Proclamation. To commemorate the occasion Bill Cook planted a Scarlet Oak at the back of the Hall and Betty O’Neill unveiled the framed portrait of Queen Victoria, and entertainment was provided by the Stanley School and newly formed choir.
Three exhibitions have been shown:
- Charles Darwin: On the Origin of Species,
- The Women Writers Series– Mrs Oliphant Oliphant was researched and presented by Cate Ferguson and
- Stanley! I Presume – a Celebration of the Proclamation of Stanley in 1860, which is currently on display until end of January.
- Visitors in 2010 included Stanley School during Children’s Book Week and to see the Stanley! I Presume exhibition and Beechworth U3A who visited to see the Children’s literature collection. There were a number of researchers and visitors interested in family history
- Funding was received for a Community Grant from Indigo Shire Council for archival and storage materials for the collection
- In October the Stanley Athenaeum has been accepted into the Museum Accreditation Program (MAP) with Museums Australia, this is a three year program that when completed will ensure the Athenaeum is developed and maintained to professional standards of practice and will assist to improve public access to and use of the Athenaeum’s collection.
Plans for 2011 include – completing stage one of the MAP, three exhibitions and a program of activities for Children’s Book Week and the Stanley Summer Cinema – a series of four films over January and February.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Stanley Athenaeum and the activities and work of the Friends of the Athenaeum in 2010.
Happy New Year.
Chris Dormer – Coordinator, Friends of the Stanley Athenaeum
Would you like to join the Friends of the Athenaeum?
Contact Chris Dormer on 03 5728 6594 to find out how you can join this interesting and community focused group every one most welcome