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Murrurundi & District Historical Society - Featured

The Murrurundi & District Historical Society commenced in 1981. It currently operates the Murrurundi & District Museum, the Exhibition Hall and the Pioneer Cottage.

Des Duggan, who is President and has been a member for four years, provided the following answers to AUH's questions.


What is the purpose and goals of the Murrurundi & District Historical Society?
The preservation of local history both early and modern. The notification of changes within the community and the social mores that occur including art, craft and fashions.


Please describe the MDHS Museum, the Exhibition Hall and the Pioneering Cottage.

The Murrurundi & District Historical Society Museum touches the history of Murrurundi from the early days when it was a frontier town before the advent of Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone. It's implements show the versatility and inventiveness of farm life.

The Church Hall Exhibition Centre is used to microscope various nuances of this history and offer no-cost presentation facilities to local artisans.

The Pioneer Cottage is a farmer's family cottage built in the late 1800s 20 miles outside the town. The cottage was removed plank by plank and re-erected in the village centre for all to experience a time in history without any of today's implements.

What is the oldest or most interesting housed in the Murrurundi & District Historical Society Museum / Pioneering Cottage? 

The oldest and probably the most impressive innovation is the old kitchen cupboard made of kerosene tins. An opened up tin forms a two-bowl kitchen sink. (see photo above).

In the past 2 years the Murrurundi & District Historical Society has held a number of exhibitions in the Exhibition Hall such as: “Toys Were Us”, “Circus Memorabilia”, “Quilts 2016”, “Murrurundi Vietnam Exhibition”, “Drawing room - Works on Paper”, “Before there was Power” and "Murrurundi Memories". 

What have been some of the challenges involved in staging these themed exhibitions, and how have you overcome them?

Each exhibition has its own problem mainly in the field of presentation medium. Scoping a space with odd-shaped objects has problems that don't fit on paper. Fortunately some computer programs make this job easier but no museums in our region has either the hardware or software skills to operate them. We do but not the budgets.

How to overcome them? Inventiveness, coupled with visits to major galleries around the country. The gathering of ideas and adaptation to small budgets is a major challenge within itself. It comes down to taking note of how curators view their objects but always it is with the viewer's pleasure in mind.

You can have a great show taking weeks of work to build but then you need to spend the money to advertise and market the events. Volunteer organisations generally don't have deep enough pockets. The only way out is through a network of free presentation and notification mediums like Arts Upper Hunter, local councils, newspaper press releases, mailing lists, Information Centres and tourist bodies.

Des, what have been some of the highlights for you as member?

The highlights have been learning local history. A continuous stream of discovery. This is a long process and it often defies the current running history norms which have been accepted for years. A person walks in and says: "My grandfather was there and he said . . . " A contradiction of what's written and often verified by a sneaking suspicion about an event that did not "sound right" or appeared "illogical".  History being written by the victors is proven time and again wrong with glossed over facts and embarrassments removed.

Is the Murrurundi & District Historical Society accepting new members and if so, how do I join?
The museum is continually on the lookout for new members. An application form is available at the museum but has to be approved by the committee.

For more details please contact Des on 6546 6664 or via email president@murrurundihistoricalsociety.com



Listing Details

127 Mayne St,
0418 647 176
Contact Person
Des Dugan or Jenny Loasby