Collecting During COVID: Exploring the Complexities of Contemporary Collecting

3:00pm Thursday, 28 May 2020
4:00pm Thursday, 28 May 2020
Zoom 0000

As the world goes into lock down and deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, collecting organisations have the opportunity to collect objects, stories, art, photographs and documents that can re-tell current experiences to future generations. However, with this opportunity comes great responsibility. While documenting life, society and events is an important role of museums and galleries, there are many considerations when contemporary collecting occurs – particularly during a global pandemic.

Join AMaGA and a panel of experts for an exploration of the role museums and galleries have in recording the effects of COVID-19 and how organisations need to consider the ethical and moral implications of collecting when hundreds of thousands of people are losing their lives.

The discussion will cover topics including:

  • Contemporary collecting and the ICOM Code of Ethics
  • Who should be collecting and what should be collected?
  • Who owns the items? Ownership, copyright and procedures for appropriate collecting
  • With so much digital content, how is this being collected and managed?
  • With artists stuck at home producing, are galleries prepared to collect these new works?

This webinar will raise many areas of discussion and consideration that are relevant to any collecting organisation planning on collecting during COVID-19.


Craig Middleton

Craig Middleton – Craig Middleton is a Curator at the National Museum of Australia and Visiting Fellow at Australian National University. At the Museum he is responsible for research, collection development, and onsite and online projects associated with the Centre for Defining Moments in Australian History. In 2017 Craig was awarded a George Alexander Foundation Fellowship to explore political histories and museum practice in American museums. Part of his research focused on contemporary collecting practices undertaken by museums at political events, such as protests and demonstrations. He is a widely published author and his work features in internationally recognised academic journals. His book, co-authored with Dr Nikki Sullivan, Queering the Museum was published by Routledge in November 2019. Craig tweets at @_museumguy

Bec Carland

Bec Carland – Bec is the Senior Curator, History of Collections at Museums Victoria and has broad responsibility across all disciplines within the state collection. She is also field historian for the annual National Park Bioscan with Parks Victoria. Bec has worked on many notable contemporary collecting projects such as The Victorian Bushfires Collection and School Strike for Climate. She is currently part of a the large, cross-disciplinary project 'Collecting The Curve', which seeks to document the experience and impact of the Covid 19 pandemic in Victoria.

Jo Darbyshire

Jo Darbyshire – Jo is a West Australian visual artist and social history curator. She currently works part time for the Museum of Perth on their COVID-19 Collecting project as well as a project recording the history of East Fremantle. In 2018 she instigated a unique community collecting group formed to collect Roe-8 protest material, and she has an abiding interest in working class, 'low life', women's and queer history.


1pm – 2pm AWST
2.30pm – 3.30pm ACST
3pm – 4pm AEST

COST (Including recording and resources)

Members: $30
Non-Members: $60


Everyone who registers will receive a copy of the webinar. The webinar will also be available to purchase later. For past webinars please see here

To receive the member discount you must be logged in.

$60.00 *
$60.00 *
* Price includes GST where applicable

Contact Information

Jessica Davies – WA Branch Office

08 9431 8462


Lucinda McCann

AMaGA National Office 02 6230 0346

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