Friday, July 31, 2009

Maitland City Library's "Living library"

Maitland and District Historical Society President, Ruth Trappel, is part of Maitland City Library’s Living Library series.

The Maitland Living Library is part of a national initiative to break down barriers through conversation in local communities. It is based on the quirky analogy of calling people books and making them available for short term loan in the safe and welcoming environment of the public library. Living Books (including Ruth) are available for 30 minutes reading time. Check out the titles available in July at Maitland and East Maitland Library and find further details about the programme at Maitland City Library.

Medieval Soldier Service Records Online

For the military historian or the intrepid family history researcher who is intent on thoroughness, this database of medieval soldiers may be of interest.
Researchers at the University of Reading and University of Southampton have developed an online database of just under 90,000 service records for soldiers active toward the latter phases of the Hundred Years War (1369-1453). Records are derived from muster rolls, housed in the British National Archives.
A Garrison database is also available, currently in draft form, containing over 110,000 service records, drawn mainly from French repositories and record service for the English crown, in the occupation of Normandy from 1415 - 1453.

United States National Archives on Flickr

The United States National Archives now has a photostream account on Flickr, which includes three sets of historical photographs and documents: Documerica, Favorites of the U.S. National Archives and Women's Bureau Photographs.

Favorites of the U.S. National Archives "are treasures, as well as thought-provoking and fun favorites, from the U.S. National Archives' collections. Highlights include some of our nation's founding documents, photographs by Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, and our most-requested photograph of Nixon meeting Elvis."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Computer Records - What Future Heritage?

Digital record keeping is a challenge for historians, archivists and many others, including those vested with responsibility for preserving and maintaining government records. A recent seminar day at Parramatta Heritage Centre looked at the issue from a variety of perspectives.

The full text of this article by Katherine Knight is available at Phanfare : Newsletter of the Professional Historians’ Association (NSW) Number 236, May-June 2009

Morpeth Bridge Time Capsule

In view of alterations to the historic Morpeth Bridge, Mr John Wright (of Phoenix Park) has planted a time capsule containing a letter, information about his family,
a copy of the Maitland Mercury, coins and other items of interest.
Opened in 1898, Morpeth Bridge took two years to build and was designed to carry 16 tonnes.

Information from an article by Emma Swain, Maitland Mercury, 28/7/2009.

Endangered Sounds

'Endangered Sounds' is the title of the Annual Conference of the Australasian Sound Recordings Association.

"In an age of rapid environmental, social and technological change, the sounds of our world are noticeably disappearing. These sounds form an essential component in the fabric of our cultures, and the ability to preserve these sonic environments is a necessity".

This conference will be associated with the National Film and Sound Archive's Sound Day on Wednesday 19th August where the 2009 selection of ten Sounds of Australia for inclusion in the National Registry of Recorded Sound will be announced by the Honourable Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

The conference will be held on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st August 2009 at the National Library of Australia.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Society of Australian Genealogists seminars

The Society of Australian Genealogists have a number of programs in the coming months:
  • The SAG Family History Stimulus Package day - Saturday 22 August
  • A Feast of English Research - Michael Gandy lectures on Tuesday 8 & Thursday 10 September
  • English Focus Day - Saturday 26 September 2009
  • Hands On Convict Research - Monday 19 October

Full details are available at the SAG website.

Centenary - Sir Edgeworth David

Friends of Grossman House are extending an invitation to celebrate the centenary of local geology camps led by Sir Edgeworth David.
Sunday 30th August 10.00am - 3.00pm. Brough House, Church Street, Maitland.
Edgeworth David memorabilia, geology and map display, talks.

Professor Edgeworth David was arguably Australia's most prominent geologist and a popular visitor to Maitland. Come along and experience the diversity of his contribution to the geological knowledge, economy and social history of the Maitland district.

Bookings and details: Janece (02) 49334450 or Grossman House (02) 4936453.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Maitland Aroma - coffee, chocolate and fine food festival

'Maitland Aroma' coffee, chocolate and fine food festival is also being held on 15th August, complemening the re-opening of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
In addition to indulging in all things chocolate and coffee, guided tours of our heritage sites in the mall will be available, conducted by the Maitland and District Historical Society.

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Grand Re-Opening

is re-opening on 15 August 2009, 2.00pm - 5.00pm.

After closing its doors in May 2008 for the redevelopment and extension work to Maitland Regional Art Gallery the re-opening in August will include the addition of 8 new exhibition spaces.

Archives Outside

State Records launched a new blog in May 2009, Archives Outside:

"This website was developed to create a meeting place for people who have archival collections around New South Wales and researchers who wish to access them. While the main focus is on the State Records Regional Repository Network we welcome participation from all keepers of archives, from Archivists, Local Studies Librarians and Records Managers to members of Community Groups and Personal Collectors."

Maitland and District Historical Society

Maitland and District Historical Society is being revitalised! After some years in dormancy there is a fresh enthusiastic membership committed to putting Maitland's important and fascinating history back into its proper perspective.

The short term aims of the Society include the acquisition and adaptation of suitable premises for meetings, displays and research; the collation, storage and display of existing materials; the acquisition and display of new materials.

The Society's monthly meetings are being held at the Masonic Hall, Grant Street, Maitland (near Town Hall) at 5.30pm on the first Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be held on 2nd August.
Enquiries: Ruth Trappel 49336021, or Ian Sinclair 49323353.

York Castle Prison database

Family history researchers can investigate the database recently released by York Castle Prison in the UK, of people who were prisoners there.
The database lists almost 5000 convicted criminals, imprisoned debtors and victims of crime, mostly from the 1700s. Sentence of transportation is included. The list is not complete, but there are fact sheets for tips on how to track down any missing prisoners.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grossmann High School recollections

Tales of the school yard at Maitland Grossmann High School will be recorded for future generations in an online living library.
The library will feature the recollections of former students and former staff about their connection with the school and will be available to view on the school’s website.

The living library is the brainchild of 125th anniversary committee member Lee Osborne.
“I was hearing all of these wonderful memories and up until now we didn’t have a record of the personal memories of the people who have been at the school and this is a modern option of recording those memories and sharing them with the community,” Mrs Osborne said.

Ms Osborne said the school would like to hear from anyone who would like to share their recollections for the project.

Information from an article by Belinda-Jane Davis, Maitland Mercury, 16/07/2009.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hearths and homes : Maitland architecture - 19 decades of residential design

Hearths & Homes : Maitland Architecture - 19 Decades of Residential Design, by Cynthia Hunter, 2008.

This study takes a magnifying glass to each decade of architectural design using surviving examples of properties where possible, concentrating on people's homes, rather than public or commercial architecture. Written by Cynthia Hunter and published by The Maitland City Heritage Group.

This book is avaliable for loan from Maitland City Library and avaliable for purchase from Maitland City Council.

Family History Week 1-9 August 2009

National Family History Week is an initiative of AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations). This popular initiative has received broad support from some of Australia’s leading government and non government organisations.

During the week events will be conducted across the country that focus on genealogy, family history, heraldry and related subjects including family reunions, seminars, talks, open days, history walks, book launches, film evening and expos.

More information is available at the National Family History Week web site and from this brochure.

Maitland City Library has a number of resources for the family history researcher, with genealogy books an ideal starting point for the new researcher.

Maitland Gaol collection and museum

'Maitland Gaol Unlocked' is a fortnightly column published in cooperation with the Maitland Mercury. The column is presenting stories about various items on exhibition in the new Museum and/or from the Maitland Gaol Collection which is an ever increasing array of artefacts and items associated with Maitland Gaol.
More information is available on the Maitland Gaol web site.

United Kingdom census, 1911

The 1911 UK census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911 - 36 million people. It provides a unique snapshot of the lives of your ancestors. brings this vast resource to you online, so that you can search the census simply and quickly to discover how your family lived in the past.
You can search for free through the census index to find an ancestor, or to find out who lived in your house. To view and print and save a typed transcript or an image of the original handwritten page, you need to register and buy credits.

British newspapers, 1800-1900

Thanks to the British Library for the British Newspapers site, with over two million pages of 19th century newspapers with almost 50 titles, searchable by keyword.

Millions of articles from 49 London, national and regional newspaper (1800 - 1900) titles.

1000's of illustrations, maps, tables and photographs. Search and find results by newspaper, title, and article type. Find people, property, legal notices, and advertisements.

Some areas are free of charge, with the option of buying a 24-hour pass for £6.99 allowing you to view up to 100 articles, or a seven-day pass with 200 article views for £9.99

Morpeth House new role

The Morpeth House Heritage Gardens development master plan is to go before Maitland City Council in July. In its restored glory, Morpeth House will be the focal point for leisure and recreation for the residents of an 80-bed high-dependency aged care home and 263 retirement villas under the plan.

Information from an article published in the Maitland Mercury, 10/07/2009.

United States National Archives new YouTube Channel

The National Archives for the United States has launched a YouTube channel and several different playlists covering everything from man’s trip to the moon to the depression of the 1930’s.

Pacific Class loco 3801

A significant piece of rail history was piggy-backed into Maitland yesterday.
The tender from the Pacific Class loco 3801 was trucked tothe apprentice training centre atHunter-V-Tec, at Telarah. It will be overhauled over the coming six months by up to 50 apprentices in various trades at the training centre.

Information from an article published in the Maitland Mercury, 9/07/2009.

Gostwyck House

The seed of doubt into Gostwyck House’s former life was planted a few years ago when former Maitland historian Harry Boyle found the notice for the demolition of the original Gostwyck House in the Maitland Mercury.
Until then the people of Paterson believed the original Gostwyck House, built in 1831, still remained. However, a new Gostwyck House was built in the 1870s.

Information from an article by Emma Swain, Maitland Mercury, 10/07/2009.

Miss Porter’s House Open Day

Miss Porter’s House Open Day, Newcastle, 9th August, 1pm - 4pm.

The Friends of Miss Porter’s House invite young and old to visit the house, which contains a century’s worth of history, furnishings, furniture, clothes and household goods.

434 King Street, Newcastle. Cost: National Trust members free, $6 adults, $5 pensioners and children.

Grossman and Brough House

More Jobs Fund stimulus funding for National Trust properties including Grossman and Brough House at Maitland.
$119,000 has been granted to Grossmann and Brough House to undertake essential maintenance and repairs. This will restore the property as a fine example of Victorian Regency.
National Trust e-News, July 2009.

Ghostly encounters at Morpeth

Morpeth Ghost and History Tours conducted by Troy Murphie.
Through his painstaking research on the town’s history before launching the business, Mr. Murphie says he believes a particularly brilliant white orb in the grounds of St James Church is the spirit of Bishop Tyrell, and a blue orb in the backyard of Campbell’s Store is 10-year-old Thomas Cantwell, drowned in a long-buried well.

Information from an article by Briony Sneddon, Maitland Mercury, 6/07/2009.

Grossman High School celebrates milestone

School memories and old friends filled the function room at Monte Pio on Friday night when Maitland Grossmann High School celebrated its 125th anniversary.
One hundred guests attended the event, including ex-students and ex-staff members, and the evening was an opportunity to remember, reflect and celebrate.

The school will hold an open day on September 12 (2009) where the public can go on a tour of the school and celebrate its history.

Information from an article by Belinda-Jane Davis,
Maitland Mercury, 6/07/2009.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trail blazing at Picture Australia

Picture Australia and The Le@rning Federation have created digital picture trails that blaze a path through vast tracts of Australia’s visual heritage. Each of the trails has more than 30 images with topics ranging from Wild Weather and Mawson in Antarctica to Depictions of the First Australians and Advertising Australia.
The public bar of the Imperial Hotel in High Street (Maitland) is featured in one of the 'trails'.