portrait of woman

Bec Carland

Senior Curator, History of Collections & Scientific Art

About me

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I am a history curator working with natural history collections; objects, images and specimens. I research objects and interpret them for use in exhibitions and public programs and digital histories. My curatorial practice treats specimens the same way one would treat any object in the heritage collection. This allows me to explore narratives of discovery, indigenous knowledge systems, colonial contact, and notions of nature and conservation. I also curate the scientific art collection and am field historian for the sciences department on the annual Bioscan series with Parks Victoria. I hold the position of Vice President (Executive) of the Professional Historians Association of Victoria.

I am passionate about German and Italian mid-twentieth century ceramics. I can’t live without cheese and quince paste. My favourite museum specimen (atm) is Sad Otter.


Ba. Hist (hons)

Key publications

(2016) Bell, Johnny, Rebecca Carland, Peg Fraser and Alistair Thomson, ‘”History is a Conversation”: Teaching Student Historians through Making Digital Histories’, History Australia, 13:3, 415-430.

(2015) Dale-Hallett, Liza, Rebecca Carland and Peg Fraser. Sites of trauma: contemporary collecting and natural disaster. Pp 531-552 in: Andrea Witcomb and Kylie Message (Eds), The International Handbooks of Museum Studies, Volume 3, Museum Theory, Wiley Blackwell: UK.

(2014) Chapter 10: Heritage and Community Engagement, Alpine Bio Scan Report, Museum Victoria and Park Victoria 

(2008) Contributing author, Deborah Tout-Smith (ed) Gold Town 1850-1860: A Little Grey Falcon. Melbourne; A City of Stories, Museum Victoria

(2005) John Kean and Rebecca Carland ‘Natural observations: the artists of Frederick McCoy’s zoology of Victoria’, Victorian Naturalist, Vol 122 (6) Dec B


Projects and events

Board and Committee Positions

Vice President - Professional Historians Association (Victoria) 2015-current

MV Oral History Committee 2014-2017

Victorian History Week Committee (MV & PHA) 2012-2017

Chair - Women on Farm Heritage Committee 2007-2008

Editoral committee member - Lilith: Feminst History Journal 2007-2009


2006 ICOM, Prix Web’Art d’Argent de l’exposition virtuelle Silver Medal, On-line Exhibition for Caught & Coloured Website (Project Award)

2006 McFarlane Prize for Excellence in Australian Web Design for Caught & Coloured Website (Project Award)

2005 Museum Victoria 1854 Scholarship (Individual Award)

2004 Short List – Henry Gyles Turner Prize in History Writing (Individual Award)

Teaching and students

Courses taught

Making History, Monash University

MDS: McCoy’s Museum, Melbourne Univiersity

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