Exploring Local Museums
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If you want to get to know more about a local area (regional, city or country) then get yourself to the local museum.
I recently visited the Camden Museum and was fascinated by the cleverness of their exhibition layout, the expert curation, and the obvious commitment of the local historical society. I hadn't realised Camden was such an important part of Australian history. I knew about John and Elizabeth Macarthur (scroll down to view a Sydney Living Museums video) and their contribution to New South Wales in the early 1800s, and names such as John Oxley, but I hadn't made the connection between these pioneers of post-1788 Australia and the district of Camden.
Like all local museums, the stories they tell are the pieces that make up the patchwork that is our nation's history. And it starts with acknowledgement and story of the people that lived in the area before the likes of the Macarthurs and the Oxleys: the Gundungurra, the Tharawal, the Dharug.
The Camden Museum collection, spread over They have two levels in the old firestation, includes musical instruments, equipment from local market farms, telephone switchboard pieces, clothing, sections on the World Wars, photographs of balls and parties, sporting games, and much much more.
Reacquainted with my taste for local history after months of State and National history research, I'm keen to visit the museum in my local area. I know they have an extensive collection as well. I may just drag my Camden friend along for an hour or so of comparing townships and history...