ESA member Michael Aitken was honoured with an Australian Museums and Galleries Association, Victoria Lifetime Achievement for his work with the Cyril Kett Optometry Museum and Archive (established in 1971).
Since 1961, Michael has been an archivist organising and cataloguing items relating to the history of optometry and optometric education. The museum has a collection of more than 4,000 items dating from the 17th century including spectacles, optometric instruments and equipment, books, art works, archival papers and ephemera has been donated or acquired, all researched and catalogued by the volunteer archivists.
Michael has served continuously as an archivist over 50 years and has been a driving force behind the acquisition and cataloguing of the collection including rare books, while building up a team of volunteers.
The judges commended Michael’s contribution to the organisation in every way possible – financially/philanthropically as well as through collection management and cataloguing. He has contributed significantly to the resource levels of the organisation and his impact has been recognised internationally through several awards.
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This article was first published in Ephemera News December 2021 #14.
The cheerful image is from another part of Michael’s collecting interest, tourism and manages to include some glasses.