The NSW Government has announced almost $1.6 million in funding to assist regional arts, screen and culture organisations to digitise priceless collections and develop a state-wide regional digitisation strategy. NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Arts Don Harwin have announced investment into 11 projects under the Regional Cultural Fund (RCF) to make it easier for museum, art and other culturally important collections to be explored and enjoyed.

“Digitisation allows people to more easily access, learn from and appreciate NSW’s invaluable cultural assets,” Mr Barilaro said.“Important and historically-significant collections can be found all throughout the state, and now through this program, these collections can be better preserved and made more widely available to local as well as international communities.

“Educators, researchers and tourists will all benefit,” he said.Mr Harwin said that in addition to the 11 projects supported, further funding has been provided to determine a regional strategy for ongoing digitisation as a priority for the NSW Government.

“Broken Hill is a standout example of this funding in action. Home to diverse collections of national and international significance that are currently inaccessible, Broken Hill City Council will now undertake a two-year program to digitise more than 3,200 objects in the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum,” said Mr Harwin.

“They will also partner with the NSW Government, Museums and Galleries of NSW and Orange City Council to develop a prototype model and a business case for a single sustainable, regional digitisation strategy that will bring state-wide benefits. “By preserving the past we are enabling opportunities for future generations to explore and enjoy NSW’s rich cultural wealth,” he said.

Bathurst District Historical Society will use funds to digitally preserve 250 large-scale at-risk images from its collection featuring soldiers from the Boer War, World War I, World War II, and local events and life going back a century. Other projects will help preserve Aboriginal and European cultural heritage, digitise newspaper collections and provide employment opportunities.