VALA2022 Online Session 15 McBurnie

Digging deep: how we pulled off a multi-platform project in the middle of a pandemic


Thursday 16 June 2022, 12:30 – 13:00

Bronwyn McBurnie
  • Manager, Special Collections
  • James Cook University

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Read the paper here:


In 2020, James Cook University Library Special Collections undertook an extremely ambitious project, which included the digitisation of 50 treasures from our collections and the production of a professional exhibition. We describe the various components of the project, their complexity and the problems encountered as we dealt with the ramifications of the pandemic. We detail how we responded to the challenges, changed our ways of working and found the unexpected benefits of working in extraordinary times.


Bronwyn McBurnie’s role is to plan, manage, preserve, and conserve unique and rare materials of cultural and historical significance to north Qld and the tropics. She is very proactive and successful in working with donors, volunteers, state and local community organisations, professional associations and independent, local and JCU researchers to raise the visibility and profile of special collections in support of JCU’s research, tropical focus and community engagement. She collaborates with other Library and Information Services (LIS) staff to deliver and facilitate learning, teaching, and research by focusing on the use of special collections. She provides specialist consultation services to JCU researchers and students, external researchers and organisations, and the public. In her rare spare time Bronwyn is an established artist who recently exhibited her work as part of a Group Exhibition, Mudpickers, at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts in Townsville.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License