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2006-09, 351, Libraries, Neil A Radford, Victorian Branch

Share Your Treasures- State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria has created a new website that invites you to share your treasures with the rest of the world. Presumably it is only for Victorians with treasures, although this is not made clear in the publicity. So Victorian members should go tohttp://your.slv.vic.gov.au/treasures/index.php/home to contribute, and those less fortunate can go there to browse.It is an unusual concept, but one with considerable potential, both for discovering unrecognised treasures that should be more widely known, and for being overwhelmed by enthusiasts contributing trivia.A “treasure” is defined variously as “anything that you think is special”, and “something that’s important to you”, so quality control seems not to be a strong point. All the owner of a treasure needs to do is send in a photo and a short description, and one’s treasure is recorded forever, as, by definition, a treasure shareable with the rest of the world.Treasures are displayed in one of a number of categories, and there is a keyword search facility. Users of the site are encouraged to add their own comments or information to the descriptions of the treasures of others, and so make the database more useful. But like Wikipedia, the self-compiled encyclopedia, there is no assurance that these comments will always be accurate. Perhaps the State Library is vetting all descriptions and comments, which would be desirable, but which will eventually become an overwhelming task as the database grows.“Your Treasures” is just in its infancy. As at early August there were only about 40 treasures included. It has to be said that there are some strange things there already—for example we can see kitchen scales from 1950 or so, a 19th century key which fits no known lock, a knitted dog that someone did in Form 2, and an old cigarette packet. One man’s treasure is certainly another’s very ordinary object. The site will surely grow, but I fear that eventually it will be overwhelmed by trivia. One wonders about the use of public funds to create such a ‘resource’.But for those who wish to participate, it is there. The category ‘Books, Comics, Magazines’ presently is empty, with no treasures reported. Perhaps Victorian BCSA members should get involved, hopefully with some genuine treasures of which they, and the State Library, can really be proud.Neil A Radford



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