July 13, 2017
When the Museum opened nearly 25 years ago, the Holocaust Survivors initiated a collection of Holocaust related material by donating precious objects and images. These personal belongings provide the narrative of experience and witness accounts that pave the journey through the Museum’s exhibits. It was in the community’s best interest that we safeguard these items and their cultural heritage as they are a valuable resource to academics, historians and students. Objects are touchstones to personal stories and much is lost when the story comes second-hand. History should be preserved for future generations, once lost it cannot be recovered.
The Sydney Jewish Museum is now embarking on another collection drive to rescue Holocaust related material in the community. There is urgency to this collection as we want to speak to the original owner and record their experience first-hand.
A concern voiced is that people don’t want to donate items to have them ‘sit in a storeroom’. Museums generally only exhibit between 1-9% of their collection at any time. We endeavour to make our collection available to researchers and we are always using items from our collection for the numerous temporary exhibitions we curate.
You may think that you do not have anything of value or that your story is not interesting, but every piece of evidence is a crucial part of the historical record. Please don’t hesitate to contact Shannon in the Sydney Jewish Museum Curatorial Department on (02) 9360-7999 and help us save our history.