Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

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At State Library Victoria (SLV), we created a playful machine that reveals unlikely connections between objects and artefacts from Victoria’s history.

The Victoria Gallery at SLV is a new exhibition space showcasing treasured objects that tell the stories from the Library’s collection.

In 2019, for the Gallery’s inaugural Velvet, Iron, Ashes exhibition, we created the Map-o-Matic machine, in collaboration with SLV curator Carolyn Fraser.

The Map-o-Matic is a playful machine with analogue mechanical dials and push buttons. Visitors choose two objects in the Velvet, Iron, Ashes exhibition and the machine generates a personalised tour showing how those artefacts are connected.

Visitors can find out how the armour of bushranger Ned Kelly is connected to cricket’s celebrated Ashes Urn, how fairy floss is connected to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley electricity industry, and why the granddaughter of one of Australia’s prime ministers once wore a glittering cloak that symbolised the Murray–Darling irrigation scheme.

A final push of the Map-o-Matic’s button prints out a paper, take-home map revealing the rich web of connections that ties the exhibition together.