Moruya Museum is in the limelight after its exhibition was awarded second best of small museums in NSW.
At this year's Museums and Galleries NSW IMAGinE awards, The Moruya District Historical Society were highly commended for their special exhibition on children's books.
Moruya Museum was runner-up to the winner of the small museum's category - the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and their exhibition, Mungurra-Nggul.
Moruya Museum's virtual exhibition was hosted on the Moruya District Historical Society's website, celebrating the importance of illustration in the museum's significant collection of children's books. View the exhibition online at mdhsociety.com
Highlights include woodcuts in an 1853 edition of Daniel Defoe's The Adventures of Robin Crusoe, prints of pre-Raphaelite paintings The Quiver, 1899, chromolithographs Sweet Song of Old, 1915 and illustrations from the much-loved Winne The Pooh series, dating from 1925.
The exhibition was put together in 2020 by Brian Harris, Mick Newnham and the museum's collection team.
For a small museum, president Sue Murphy said they were punching above their weight.
The collection team of five dedicated history buffs got together to watch the awards ceremony with a glass of champagne on Thursday, November 25.
"When they announced it (the award) we almost fell off our chairs," Ms Murphy said.
"It was nice to know it has been recognised."
It took the collection team about two months to create the online exhibition, which budded from Mr Harris' interest in experimenting with their online blog.
Mr Newnham loved the idea and together they focused on a collection of children's books from the mid-19th century.
"It then required the imagination of the whole team once the idea was there," Ms Murphy said.
"We sat together and everyone had ideas on how to enhance it."
Viewers were able to explore supporting text attached to each image throughout the timeline.
The museum has been working with a digital collection management system for the past five years, called eHive.
The online exhibition was a great exercise to upskill the museum team as well as expand their outreach and audience - attracting viewers from all over.
Just like many small businesses in Moruya, during lockdown the museum took a huge financial hit.
"Income levels were very low and we have had to rely on grants," Ms Murphy said.
The team of volunteers have kept busy, preparing two new exhibitions in time for the museum's grand re-opening on Wednesday, December 15.
Ms Murphy looks forward to welcoming the community back to the museum.
"We have two new exhibitions ready to go: Seldom Seene - Pictures and Portraits and another called Moruya's Stories," she said.
From December 15, the public is welcome to come and check out the new exhibitions on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to midday.
The museum will be closed between Christmas and New Year's Day.
A small fee to support the museum on entry is $5 for individuals and $15 for families.