The Upper Murray Historical Society was formed in 1963 and opened The Man from Snowy River Museum concurrently. After a few moves the current museum site opened in 1971 and has for many years been open to the public 7 days a week for 12 months of the year. The main building was constructed in 1926 as the offices of the newly formed Upper Murray Shire Council. Additional buildings were moved to the site as they became in danger of demolition, these include the Police Station, Gaol, Rural School, Bank, and Jarvis Cottage. Approximately 50% of the current collection is housed within the main 1926 double brick building.
The entirely volunteer group have a long history of collecting and this community museum has been noted as being a particularly significant collection.
A building project had been discussed for a number of years, but only became urgent when local World War 2 veteran, Jim Simpson approached the museum regarding
donating his impressive rug that was knitted by him whilst a Prisoner of War in Germany in 1943. It was immediately apparent that current conditions at the museum were not suitable for such a project. The significance and importance of the rug was also noted, with the specific request to have it held locally. A significant addition to the
building was completed in 2011 to house this rug plus more of the collection.
Over the past five years the Upper Murray Historical Society’s members and volunteer staff have been increasing their knowledge of appropriate collection management techniques via a number of specialist projects such as:
- The completion of a Significance Assessment of the entire collection;
- The completion of Collection Management Workshops;
- The development of a Collection Management Policy for the museum;
- The completion of Conservation workshops aimed specifically at this collection;
- The completion of a Preservation Survey of the entire collection;
- Organising a Textile Conservator to visit the museum and hold a workshop appropriate to this collection, and specifically Jim Simpson’s rug;
- Commissioning the installation of a security system to deter theft and vandalism of the premises and collection;
- The purchase of a laptop and printer, this will enable further training to be undertaken for volunteers and also the cataloguing of the collection.
The Upper Murray district that includes Corryong is geographically distanced from other bigger regions and the museum provides a very important place for many
retired persons to feel busy and for their work to be relevant. There are currently nearly fifty volunteers staffing the museum for three hours per shift over twelve
months of the year.
Over 50 Volunteers bring their enthusiasm and skill to visitor’s Museum experiences. They assist in both ‘Visitor Services’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’ areas. We value our volunteers, who play an important role in the life of the Museum. Volunteers actively involve the community in the activities of the Museum. They bring vitality, interests, experience and skills to supporting the work of the Upper Murray Historical Society Committee and they assist the Museum in maintaining its high standards of customer service. Our Volunteers’ contribution of time and talent is vital to the Museum’s success.
Activities museum volunteers may perform:
- Manning the Reception Desk and Gift Shop, accepting entrance fees and sales of gift shop items.
- Hosting visitors to the Museum.
- Assisting with the delivery of site programs including tours, talks, school group visits and education programs.
- Assisting visitors to access information on the Museum’s collection through the Upper Murray Historical Society’s Research Room at the Museum.
- Assisting with the day-to-day running of the facility.
- Cleaning the museum with approved equipment
- Cleaning the collection, under instruction from the Upper Murray Historical Society Committee
Along with the interesting and rewarding experience of working at the Man from Snowy River Museum, volunteers also receive:
- Free museum membership whilst a rostered volunteer.
- Access to the research centre located in the Museum.
- Tea & coffee facilities
- Social Activities