Preserve your piece of Eden’s history

Eden Spinners group secretary Helen Gray sorts through items to be added to the custodial archive at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

Eden Spinners group secretary Helen Gray sorts through items to be added to the custodial archive at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

Eden residents and organisations are being reminded of the Eden Killer Whale Museum’s custodial archive facility, which is available to store items free of charge in an attempt to preserve the history of the town.

The Eden Spinners group are the latest to make use of the archive, with secretary Helen Gray entrusting the museum with a series of historic documents that were once owned by Alexina Greig, the group’s inaugural president, on Monday.

Alexina, affectionately known as ‘Lexie’, kept meticulous records of the group’s activities, along with press clippings from the Magnet and other publications that made mention of the Eden Spinners over the years.

But perhaps the most fascinating of the items now housed at the museum are materials from a spinning course that Lexie completed by correspondence with the Queensland-based Australian Flying Arts School in 1986.

“It’s unlikely to be repeated by an Eden spinner,” Mrs Gray said.

“The documents and the knowledge gained by Lexie through the course and all the other experiments she did with different dyes are certainly well-noted in the spinning world.

“It’s something that we just can’t afford to let disappear.”

The group made the decision to store these materials in the custodial archive after Lexie passed away at the age of 95, late last year.

Mrs Gray says the files, which include hand-written notes and samples of different spinning techniques and types of wool, contain valuable knowledge for future members of the group.

“To have those materials in our possession means we have a responsibility to preserve them for future spinners and for the town and its heritage,” she said.

“It’s nice to know this facility is there and available for the community to make use of.”

And the Spinners are not the only local group making use of the custodial archive.

It was established following the museum’s extension in 1993, and offers a secure and climate-controlled environment to house all manner of historic items, from documents and press clippings to photographs and old uniforms.

Eden Killer Whale Museum secretary Jenny Drenkhahn urges any groups that have items but nowhere to store them, to make use of the custodial archive.

“These are the little pockets of the town’s history that sometimes just get completely lost, and are never retrieved again,” Mrs Drenkhahn said.

“Even the minutes from some of these organisations are just fascinating to see; in our own archive we have some of the minutes from way back in the 1900s.

“Materials like that become a very valuable resource in preserving the history of town, and can be also be useful at times when we hold exhibitions on a certain aspect of Eden’s history.”

A number of organisations including sporting and service clubs, many of which don’t have their own clubrooms, have already stored items in the archive.

Mrs Drenkhahn says it is important to realise that the items do not become part of the museum’s collection; the group or organisation making use of the facility continues its ownership.

“There is a set of guidelines for anyone that might like to use the facility, and it is a wonderful opportunity for groups to store their things in a secure and climate-controlled premises,” she said.

“They’re not part of the museum’s collection; they still belong to that organisation.

“But in the event that the organisation folds, the items can be become part of the museum’s collection.

“There are guidelines relating to lodgement, access and removal, which can be obtained from the museum.”

To enquire about storing items in the custodial archive, please contact the Eden Killer Whale Museum on 6496 2094.

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