BENDIGO Historical Society volunteers say the need for more space at an historic items archive centre on Nolan Street is becoming “critical” as the group prepares to add shelving to the last small piece of floor space.
The City of Greater Bendigo has committed to provide funding in an upcoming financial year for a feasibility study into more storage space, but volunteers fear it could be too late and they would need to start disposing of a range of items unless more space is provided.
Volunteer Barbara Poustie said they continually reorganise their collection of 25,000 to make them fit.
“It’s gradually getting higher and higher, and closer to the light fittings, so we’re running out of space,” she said.
“There was meant to be a second storage facility built next door but that did not eventuate.
“We will get to a point where we can’t shuffle everything around anymore.
“It needs rationalisation and a decision needs to be made soon.”
Shipping containers were provided at the site as a temporary solution, but without shelving they too have become overly cluttered. A report recommended ATCO buildings be added but that has yet to eventuate.
The large number of framed images received at the Nolan Street site has created storage issues along the walls. The historical society shares the site with the City of Greater Bendigo’s own archival centre.
The Bendigo Historical Society is the largest of several in Bendigo that accepts items for archiving with a view to a future display space – possibly a museum – in the future.
The council is currently completing a $30,000 audit of its historical artefacts and a $15,000 strategic report was recently adopted.
Council acting regional sustainable development manager Wonona Fuzzard said the Nolan Street archival site was to be constructed in two stages, but no funding had been provided yet for the second stage.
She said a feasibility study was required given the expected cost of building a new storage facility.
“The feasibility study is not to establish that there is a storage issue, as this matter has already been established, it is simply to establish requirements, costs, funding opportunities and process,” Ms Fuzzard said.
Councillors this month agreed to prioritise the storage facility ahead of a new museum for Bendigo.