Coffs’ Gallery and Museum Now Open to the World

3 years ago | by

Coffs Collections user

The fascinating cultural treasures and stories that shaped Coffs Harbour and its region are now available online anywhere anytime at the touch of a button following the global launch of Coffs Harbour City Council’s digital ‘Coffs Collections’ service.

For the very first time, you can discover and journey through the extensive historic and present-day artefacts, oral histories, documents, films, photographs, publications and art collections of Coffs Harbour’s past and present – all together in the one place and easily accessible from anywhere in the world.

“Whether you are an art lover, avid history fan or just interested in the stories of the people that shaped and continue to influence Coffs Harbour, ‘Coffs Collections’ offers a wonderful treasure trove of amazing and surprising things to explore,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight. “People of all ages and backgrounds are going to love it.”

‘Coffs Collections’ was launched today (1 September 2020) at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery by the Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts, Ben Franklin, alongside Cr Knight. Like the service itself, the launch took on a virtual format with the Create NSW team that helped fund the project, tuning in online.

“By opening the doors to our collections online, the Gallery and Museum can reveal far more gems from the collection than is currently possible,” said Cath Fogarty, Council’s Cultural Development Gallery and History Services Coordinator. “Some precious items are simply too fragile to be on show to the public and we can only reveal a small fraction of our extensive collections physically due to the size of the current Museum and Gallery.

“Having this new digital space is going to give people access to an enormous and fascinating world. It’s ideal for anyone isolated at home or living outside the region who wants to connect to the art and heritage of Coffs Harbour.”

‘Coffs Collections’ includes over 7,000 photographs from Coffs Harbour’s past, historical maps of the region – including a 1942 marine chart secretly created by the Japanese government during World War II – while details of our past local history are brought vividly to life in the pages of a wide range of documents including local newsletters.

“In addition, you can watch films and actually hear the voices and stories of our past community through 140 oral history interviews.  A much wider audience can now also learn about the original custodians of the land, the Gumbaynggirr people, and hear local elders speak and sing in traditional language,” added Ms Fogarty.

Museum and Gallery collecting is ongoing and both collections contain a great deal of contemporary material including items from the 2019 bushfires and renowned artist Ben Quilty’s recent artwork donation. Some artefacts that are soon to be included combine the two – artworks created by local children from the Orara Valley who experienced the recent bushfires firsthand.

The development of Coffs Collections was funded by the NSW Government (Create NSW) in association with the Coffs Harbour City Council.

Enjoy using the new service at

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