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Firstly a bit of history. Docuvan purchased a Mercedes 308 Sprinter Van in 2001.  The van was fitted out as a mobile scanning facility with PC & Monitor, Kodak Production Scanner, UPS and access to external power.  The power came from the Client site or a Generator where it was not available.

The Van has travelled all over Australia, from Adelaide in the west to Townsville in the north and lots in the state of Victoria, particularly in and around Melbourne providing scanning services for our clients.

Wendy scanning client documents in the van on site – parked in the carpark

The van has only travelled around 120,000 Km from new in 18 years, as once it get to a location, it is typically there for 2 to 8 weeks.

Fast Forward to 2018.  Docuvan purchased a WideTEK ART Scanner as a Demo Unit.

We set it up in the old Office Complex in Altona and brought several potential clients in to see it in operation.  This was successful in generating interest, but unfortunately no sales as the cost was prohibitive for a small gallery with a limited budget.  In 2019 we were in conversation with The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) and Creative Victoria about the ART Scanner and we put to them that we could potentially rent the scanner to smaller galleries so they could digitise their collections without the expense of purchasing a scanner.  This made sense given most of the galleries has relatively small collections anyway…

A package was submitted and accepted by Creative Victoria, who, being a Government Department decided to fund the scanning at a number of galleries around Victoria.

The first of these was Benalla in May 2019 and it was promoted by PGAV as a Regional Digitisation Roadshow with a number of presentations on the first day. 
Julie Cotter, Senior Program Manager/Victorian Cultural Collections, Creative Victoria, Bryony Nainby, Director, Benalla Art Gallery And then Michael Varcoe-Cox, Head of Conservation National Gallery of Victoria all presented during the day with guests from galleries from all over Victoria and even a couple from NSW.

The day was promoted on the PGAV Web Site (https://pgav.org.au/Digitising-Collections~3343) .

For Docuvan to be able to reasonably quickly deliver and setup the up the scanner on site, we had to move away from the packaging crate the scanner came in.  A low profile trolley was built to sit the scanner on and then a lifting solution built into the back of the Mercedes van.  This took about 2 weeks to design and manufacture with minimal changes until it was ready for action.  What it means is John and I can arrive at a gallery and within 1 hour have the scanner setup, calibrated and operational.  The same for collection.  It can be disassembled and be in the van ready to be transported in about 45 minutes.

Once setup, we work through the training of the staff who are to use the scanner and hopefully, make them self sufficient.

Original scanner crate on arrival, April 2018

Test fitting the scanner in the new trolley, April 2019

Testing the lifting gear and final fitting onto trolley, April 2019

Once the trolley was fitted, the scanner was lifted from 4 lugs, one on each corner of the trolley.  It is lifted up, and the scanner rolled forward on the overhead track into the van.  It is then lowered and secured in the van using turnbuckles.  The electric hoist is then removed and the rail slid into the van and secured.  The hoist is operated by a 12 Volt battery mounted with the hoist.

The scanner was delivered to the Benalla Gallery in late April 2019 where the presentation took place and they then went on and scanned all of the artwork that fitted in the 36” x 60” format of the ART Scanner. Benalla is approx. 3 hours north of Melbourne.  The scanner was on site for 4 weeks.

The Benalla Gallery, May 2019

From Benalla we then moved it to the Latrobe Gallery in late May 2019.  The Latrobe Gallery is located in Morwell to the east of Melbourne approx. 2.5 Hours.

Latrobe had the scanner for 7 weeks till the mid July.

Latrobe Regional Gallery, Setup Late May 2019

After Latrobe there was a break until Geelong Gallery made contact.

During this time, Docuvan scanned a number of framed photos and artwork from one of the older schools as a bureau service.  There were also a number of smaller jobs undertaken during this time.

From there we have delivered and collected from the following:

Geelong Gallery – 7 Weeks in November 2019 to February 2020

Swan Hill Art Gallery – 2 weeks February 2020

Docuvan Attended the VALA Conference for 3 days in February 2020.  Achim join John and myself for this and that is where he took his photos of the loading and unloading of the scanner from the van.

We have not seen these but would like to

From there is was on to:

Horsham Art Gallery – 4 weeks March to April 2020

Castlemaine Art Gallery – 2 weeks May to June 2020

The Covid-19 Virus hit and everything was suspended…

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