Plans to expand the Shoalhaven Historical Society's Nowra Museum has moved a step closer.
Speaking at the launch of Alan Clark and Peter Bindon's book, Saddlers and Tanners of the Nowra District, society president Lynne Allen said a heritage architect had been engaged to draw up plans for the expansion.
"He has produced a wonderful set of plans which will provide us with an astonishing amount of extra storage for our ever-expanding archives and collection," she said.
"This will enable us to continue our work in collecting, conserving and interpreting the rich history and heritage of the Shoalhaven."
The proposed extension, which has been in the planning for a number of years, will also free up an extra display area, with a new workroom and research centre to be created.
"The plans also provide us with a larger space for meetings, and dare I say, book launches," Mrs Allen said.
But the next challenge will be gaining funds to allow the work to be undertaken.
Something that certainly wasn't lost on some of the politicians at last week's launch.
"That is the challenge," Mrs Allen said "to raise the money to fulfill these plans and see the restoration of the cell block area which was demolished by the NSW Government in 1980."
The Nowra Museum is situated on the corner of Plunkett and Kinghorne streets, Nowra, in the1901 built old Nowra police station.
Despite being small in size, the museum has a reputation as being a leading volunteer run regional museum, with a collection of more than 30,000 artefacts, documents and images, the single largest repository for Shoalhaven's history.
The museum currently has four display areas that are regularly changed, an administration room and collections storage space.
The hallway of the Museum, known as the Halloran Gallery, holds the only public permanent display of art works from renowned local artist Samuel Elyard.
Local history resources such as Aboriginal artefacts, subdivision and parish maps, biographical files, village and township histories, newspapers from the 60s to the 80s and numerous historical publications are accessible to visitors for research purposes.
Expert volunteers are available for guidance with research projects.
The museum also offers a comprehensive book store with more than 60 local history titles, photographs and general merchandise and souvenirs available for sale.
The museum is open Tuesdays from 10am-2pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1pm-4pm. During school holidays the museum has additional opening hours on Fridays from 1pm-4pm.
Other times by appointment.