Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Former Minister for Environment; Heritage

    Digging the past to make way for new museum

    29/09/2016 8:30 AM
    • Archaeological research aims to uncover information about WA's built heritage 

    An archaeological excavation is underway at the Western Australian Museum's Perth site - the location of the new museum for WA - to uncover materials and structural remains of some of the State's early 20th century buildings.


    The excavation is being conducted by expert archaeologists and third-year archaeology students from The University of Western Australia, in partnership with the WA Museum.


    Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said results from the research would contribute to the interpretation of the site.


    "The concept for the new museum includes a dramatic and bold modern design, but a vital part of the project is to incorporate the site's heritage values through its building and archaeology," Mr Jacob said.


    "The stories and uses of the heritage buildings will be shared in the interpretation of the new museum and the research will provide a richer understanding of the buildings that were formerly here."


    The archaeology teams are excavating shallow trenches to determine the presence of any footings or foundations associated with the former Victoria Public Library 'stack' building and Government Geologists' Laboratory.  The buildings were built between 1902 and 1904. 


    It is anticipated the excavations will also recover historical material from activities in the buildings and help answer questions about the development of the museum precinct in the early to mid-20th century.


    "The Government Geologists' Laboratory was one of the earlier buildings on the museum grounds, and the WA Museum's geological collection includes specimens collected by the Government Geologist and Chief Mineralogist from those early days," the Minister said.


    The investigation will also provide valuable information on the extent to which structural remains may exist for the Victoria Public Library, which includes the apartment of former Chief Librarian, J.S. Battye, and his family.


    Fact File

    • New museum is on schedule to open in 2020 in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre
    • Victoria Public Library was renamed in 1904 as the Public Library of Western Australia and was later renamed as the State Library of Western Australia
    • For more information, visit http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/new-museum  

    Minister's office - 6552 5800


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