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Internal audience: A key to success

Author(s): Mirna Heruc

Journal: University Museums and Collections Journal
ISSN 2071-7229

Volume: 2;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: university collections | cultural programs | university community

The University of Adelaide (founded 1874) is a third oldest university in Australia. It has 23 collections that represent the wide range of its academic research across the arts and the sciences. A central challenge in utilizing these collections is the absence of a comprehensively representative museum. We have developed awareness of the university’s collections through strategic public programs of focused exhibitions, discussion forums and partnership events in a variety of locations. From 2004, the first year of Art & Heritage Collections operations, this program has enhanced key university activities while proving to be of significant interest to the general public. Our core audience at the outset was principally staff with an interest in culture. Students have been harder to entice, but we now attract a growing number – mostly higher degree candidates. The university community has thus provided an engaged audience for events. Further, university staff have come forward as volunteers within Art & Heritage Collections programs, their knowledge of the university proving to be a particular asset. The cycle of staff / audience member / volunteer has proved to be a particularly productive if unexpected aspect of our activities, significantly complementing our wider community outreach.
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