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Roving Curator Program

The Cultural Heritage Program provides investment to assist the curatorial and collection management practices of public and community collections, art galleries and museums.

In addition to grants and loans, applicants can request a museum professional to work with their collection through the Roving Curator Program.

This highly successful program delivers outstanding outcomes to collections care, volunteer training and supporting the preservation of Tasmania's heritage in small museums and galleries around the state.

This program provides a museum professional (Roving Curator) to work with a small museum or collection for a period of up to 25 days. The Roving Curator is available to assist with a range of project types, such as collection, management, cataloguing, preventive conservation, planning displays, interpretation  plans, volunteer procedures, significance assessments and more.

Collections that apply to this program make a request for time, rather than a request for funding. Tasmania currently has over 140 museums and there are myriad projects being put forward from communities around the state that are worthy of support. The program is staffed by two part-time museum and  collections professionals based in Launceston.

Visit Cultural Heritage Program to see the program guidelines.

Cultural Heritage Resources

A variety of resources for museums, collections and art galleries are listed on our Cultural Heritage Resources page.

Training and workshops

The Roving Curators are also involved in the professional development of museum workers and volunteers. Each year the Roving Curators present training and workshops on a range of topics through the Making Museums Work workshop program, in association with Museums Australia (Tasmania).

Subscribe to the Arts Tasmania e-newsletter for updates on the workshop program.

Past projects

Some of the projects that the Roving Curators program has assisted recently include:

  • (Friends of Deal Island Wildcare Inc.) Kent Group Museum - assistance with the development of an Interpretation Plan.    

The Kent Group Museum was the recipient of an allocation of 14 days of Roving Curator time and a grant of $3 299 to produce seven interpretation banners. The Roving Curator provided guidance with the research and writing of the interpretation banners and with cataloguing the collection.

Visitors to our museum will, for the first time, benefit from the implementation of a Collections Policy and Interpretation Plan developed specifically for this small and intrinsically remote Kent Group Museum on Deal Island which sits within the Kent Group National Park, Bass Strait. This transformation has been made possible through the Arts Tasmania Roving Curator Program. Professional guidance and skills training of Friends of Deal Island (Wildcare Inc) volunteers have been invaluable and have set a comprehensive foundation for future growth of the museum.

The clutter of collection items and information, collected over more than thirty years, which filled the Superintendent's Cottage (1846) on Deal Island is now an ordered, themed and well interpreted small museum presentation.

Friends of Deal Island wish to acknowledge the professional standards of the Roving Curators (Roving Curator Program) and Arts Tasmania Small Museums and Collections Program for their invaluable funding opportunity.

Shirley Baker, Treasurer, Friends of Deal Island Wildcare Inc.

  • Wesley Hobart Museum - the development of a Disaster Preparedness Plan.    

The Wesley Hobart Museum was the recipient of an allocation of 10 days of Roving Curator time. The Roving Curator guided the volunteers through a series of steps to identify the risks to the museum and its collection and then develop the required response and recovery plans.

We were able to produce a disaster preparedness plan capable of implementation in a faith-based museum context and able to be shared with other small museums and collections that may have similar interests and organisational structures.

Assistance from Arts Tasmania's Roving Curator has helped our volunteers to focus on particular aspects of risk management and disaster preparedness and recovery relevant to a small museum collection. Participation in the Roving Curator Program has provided us with valuable skills that we will be able to share with others in the museum community who may be facing similar challenges to our own.

Andrew Wood, Volunteer, Wesley Hobart Museum

Image credit: Interpretation banner about the shipwreck 'Karitane' that was installed at the Kent Group Museum on Deal Island as part of the Roving Curator project, April 2014. Photographer: Melissa Smith.