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NSW Heritage

Looking after the shop

Looking after the shop - Looking after the shop

Ways to document, care for and interpret our shopping heritage

The changing nature and needs of small businesses mean that many of our older shops and their contents face an uncertain future. There are different ways of caring for our shopping heritage, depending on the circumstances of the particular business and owner, and the local opportunities available to those wanting to look after it.

Perhaps it is your own shop. Perhaps it is a much loved or historically significant local shop that is to be sold, and the precious shelves and counters, equipment and furniture are likely to be removed and sold off too. The shop owner might be intending to ‘clean up’, modernise or refurbish, or perhaps the owner is elderly and the future of the shop is uncertain.

How can we bring this rich and colourful history with us into the twenty-first century? The following sections explain how to go about determining what is significant about a shop, and what actions will help to look after it.

• Staying open for business

• Recording the contents

• Understanding significance

• Keeping collections in place

• Making a plan

• Making changes

• Caring for collections

• Putting shops on show

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