Museums (including art galleries) engage in the acquisition, collection management, conservation, interpretation, communication and exhibition of heritage objects and artefacts. Heritage objects include those that inform us about natural science, applied science, history, transport, art and other culture.
Australian Museums and Galleries On Line (AMOL, formerly known as Australian Museums On Line) provides access to a database of information on over 1,500 national, state, territory, regional and local museums across Australia at <http://www.amol.org.au>. AMOL includes a searchable database of objects from collecting institutions across Australia.
The 2002 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events showed 24.9% of the population aged 18 years and over (3.6 million people) had visited an art gallery at least once in the previous 12 months (table 12.3). This is higher than the attendance rate of 20.9% (2.9 million people) determined when the survey was run in 1999. The attendance rate at museums (other than art galleries) was 25.0% (3.6 million people) in 2002, compared with 19.6% (2.8 million people) in 1999. This large rise in attendance can be partly explained by the temporary closure of some large museums during the 1999 survey period.
12.3 ATTENDANCE(a) AT MUSEUMS - 2002
|Age group (years)|
|65 and over|
|Main English-speaking countries|
|(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in 2002.|
(b) The number of people who attended, expressed as a percentage of the number of people in that population group.
Source: Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2002 (4114.0).
The ABS conducted a survey of museums in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year. Museums were defined for the purpose of the survey as organisations operating enclosed areas storing artefacts, artworks and museum objects, and which were open to the general public. Commercial art galleries were not included in the survey.
At the end of June 2000 there were 2,049 museum establishments comprising 249 art museums/galleries, 411 historic properties and 1,389 other museums (e.g. social history, natural history and science museums) (table 12.4). The majority of museum establishments (58.0%) were operated without employees, relying on the assistance of 14,570 volunteers. Museums with employees also rely on the services of volunteers. The 861 museum establishments with employees, at the end of June 2000, had a total of 6,956 employees or working proprietors and 15,393 volunteers.
The 78 museums with 100 or more employees averaged 121,300 admissions each (or 34.4% of total museum admissions) in 1999-2000. This compares with an average of 34,800 admissions for museums with 20-99 employees, 29,100 admissions for museums with 5-19 employees and 7,100 admissions for museums with 1-4 employees. Museums which were operated solely by volunteers had an average of 4,200 admissions in 1999-2000.
At the end of June 2000 there were 61.6 million artefacts, artworks and museum objects located in museums, of which 16.1% were on display. The majority (59.3%) of these artefacts, artworks and museum objects were in the 78 large museums with employment of 100 or more. These large museums displayed only 1.6% of their artefacts, artworks and museum objects.
12.4 MUSEUMS - 1999-2000
|Museum/gallery establishments at end June 2000|
|Artefacts/artworks/museum objects at end of June 2000|
|Admissions during the year ended 30 June 2000|
|Employment at end June 2000|
|Volunteers for the month of June 2000|
|Source: Museums, Australia, 1999-2000 (8560.0).|