Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Museums Australia NSW Tour and Talk

New Australian Museum Collections & Research Building

Construction of the Collections & Research Building , which began in late 2006, is now complete. The addition is the first major building to be constructed at the Museum in 20 years. It integrates a mosaic of spaces built at different times over the last 150 years and brings together much of the zoology collection in a purpose-built facility for over 10 million specimens, with contemporary offices and newly minted laboratories for up to 90 staff and visiting researchers.
The tour will be given by Dr Penny Berents, Head of Natural Science Collections.
When: 4pm, Wednesday 7 July 2010
Where: Australian Museum , William Street entrance, Sydney
Cost: Free
RSVP: Paul Bentley on 02 9387 7307 or 0416 121 347 or
Further information: Museums Australia

London Lives : online archive 1690 to 1800

A fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names. London Lives contains enough documentary material to reconstruct the lives, or significant portions of the lives, of hundreds of thousands of Londoners who lived in the eighteenth century, including both plebeians and the officers who manned the institutions of government and social welfare.

James Fletcher hospital site not for sale

From the Newcastle Herald report:
James Fletcher Hospital is not for sale and is set to be heritage listed by the state government while remaining a part of the mental health service provided by Hunter New England Health.
Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay will announce plans to have the site listed on the State Heritage Register today, ensuring the hospital, built in 1819, remains in public hands.
Full article by Neil Goffet available at Newcastle Herald, 28 June, 2010.

The Hunter ... Its People : Newcastle Herald Magazine

On Thursday 24 June the Newcastle Herald publishes a landmark 48-page magazine titled The Hunter ... Its People.  It profiles more than 300 prominent people who have contributed to making our region what it is today.  Some are names of legend, people who have put their stamp on the nation and the world since Australia’s European discovery. Information at Newcastle Herald.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Sepia Town" historical images and maps

Sepia Town combines Google Maps with historical images to present an historical map of various locations.
The objective of SepiaTown is to map a virtual past by collecting and mapping a vast collection of historical and vintage photographs, prints, film, audio and other media.
SepiaTown lets you view and share thousands of mapped historical images from around the globe. We welcome historical images from collections of all sizes, from libraries and historical societies to individuals with a boxful of cool old photos.
Try a search for 'Sydney' to view a contemporary satellite image superimposed with historical images.

National Library of Australia oral history project

The National Library of Australia is conducting an oral history project to record the lives and experiences of Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants. Interviews will be conducted across Australia, will be preserved in the Library and made publicly available, subject to any access conditions imposed by interviewees. Along with undertaking interviews, the Library is seeking to collect associated materials, including ephemera, self-published autobiographies, websites and manuscripts. More information at the National Library Project Website.

Former foes plan to unite: Turkish soldiers to march alongside Diggers in Maitland

From The Maitland Mercury report:
Plans to invite Turkish soldiers to march alongside Diggers in Maitland are being considered as part of a mammoth program in 2015 to commemorate 100 years since the historic Gallipoli landings. Maitland RSL Sub-branch vice-president Fred Goode said the planning committee was also considering a request to have the crew of patrol boat HMAS Maitland parade through the city.

Full article by Alan Hardie available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Jun, 2010.

Fire service history to be recorded

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland resident Dr Robyn Dunlop is determined to record the 50-year history of the Iona-Duns Creek Rural Fire Service before the stories are lost. A Paterson Historical Society member, Dr Dunlop is researching the fire service history, which dates back to August 18, 1959.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 23 Jun, 2010.

Friday, June 18, 2010

National Library of Australia e-resources

The National Library of Australia has recently added two significant updates to existing eResources:

The Ireland Collection: digitised content from the extensive holdings of Queen's University Belfast.
19th Century British Newspapers Part II: 22 newspaper titles have been added to this resource of 19th century British newspapers from the British Library's collection.
Registered readers can access the Ireland Collection and 19th Century British Newspapers via the eResources portal.

Couple’s collectables to go on show

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Barbara and Neville Mead, of Lorn, have collected more tins, cans, food packaging and cookbooks than they can possibly count during the past 25 years. The Meads’ vast array of collectables, antiques and bric-a-brac will go on display this weekend for the Newcastle Antique and Collectables Club’s 2010 State Show and Trading Fair at Newcastle Racecourse.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 17 June, 2010.

Chronicling America Digitized Newspaper Collection

Chronicling America, enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1860-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. The site now includes more than 2.3 million pages from 295 titles published between 1860 and 1922 in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Professor Carmen Lawrence to Chair Australian Heritage Council

The Federal Heritage Minister, Peter Garrett, has announced that the Honourable Professor Carmen Lawrence has been appointed Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, the Federal Government’s independent expert advisory body on heritage matters. Mr Garrett also thanked the outgoing Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, Tom Harley, for his commitment to heritage protection in Australia .
Further information:

Monday, June 14, 2010

New cache of World War I records

Also from National Archives of Australia:
The National Archives has received close to 1000 records of the World War I Federal Parliamentary War Committee from the Australian Parliament.

The records show Committee decisions on recruitment, returned and disabled soldiers, land settlement, military convalescent homes, military camps and other matters. It is believed that these original documents have never been examined by researchers.

Access to Australian archives after 20 years

The new Freedom of Information reforms passed in Parliament on 13 May mean the open access period for most National Archives records will be reduced to 20 years, instead of the current 30 years. The earlier open access periods will be phased in over 10 years, from 1 January 2011. You’ll find further information on the new legislation in Director-General Ross Gibbs’ online column.

RootsWeb notes new mailing list: Aus-Bushrangers

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists from RootsWeb:

AUS-BUSHRANGERS —  A mailing list for the discussion of bushrangers and any other people associated with or affected by bush crimes in Australia. Commenced May 2010, with archives viewable.

Hunter Lifestyle Magazine April-May 2010

Hunter Lifestyle Magazine issue April-May 2010 includes:

Mayor of the City of Cessnock, Alison Darcy interviewed. Born in Gunnedah, she moved with her parents at the age of two to live at East Maitland, where her father took up duties as a health officer for Maitland City Council.

Leafy Lambton: born to serve. Lambton still retains the charm of yesteryear with heritage buildings, together with a retail strip offering convenience and old-fashioned, personalised service.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ray recalls the ride of his life

                 From the Maitland Mercury report:
Ray Bride was the smallest and youngest passenger at three days old to fly in Nancy Bird’s Gypsy Moth aircraft in 1935. His next experience of flying in a Moth was 74 years later when he was invited to take to the skies in the observer’s seat for the opening of the Nancy Bird-Walton Memorial Tower at Luskintyre Airfield.
Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 04 June, 2010.

Maitland Regional Art Gallery - Maitland Jewish Cemetery

The exhibition Undertow by Hanna Kay is complimented by the launch of Maitland Jewish Cemetery: a monument to dreams and deeds by Janis Wilton, a publication and installation on the history of the cemetery and the people buried there, curated by Janis Wilton and Joe Eisenberg, and designed by David Guy.
Exhibition continues to 11/07/10 at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Archives at the Australian Museum, Sydney

The Archives holds records of the Australian Museum's activities going back to 1836. It constitutes a unique collection of source material for students of natural history, science, Australian history and the changing role of museums in society. You can find out about the history of the Museum's collections, its historic and contemporary buildings and the people who have worked here over nearly two centuries.

Name tied to history: Hillsborough

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The long history of Maitland area pioneering families is embedded in the soil of a rural suburb that dates back to a land grant registered in 1836. The descendants of William Vile and William Cant, who established the roots of a family tree in the area about 160 years ago, said a suggestion to erase the Hillsborough name and allow its 16 residential addresses to be included in Rosebrook will change the fabric of their ancestry.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 07 June, 2010.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Australian War Memorial Family history workshop

This family history workshop will explore original records, held in the Research Centre’s collection, that help tell the story of an individual’s service. The workshop is a follow-up to last year’s workshop, which focused on the Memorial’s online resources, and is suitable for people researching relatives who served with Australian forces.
Saturday 19 June 2010, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm

ABC National Regional Museum Awards

The ABC Radio National Regional Museum Awards 2010 nominations are now open. If you work in or know of a wonderful museum in regional Australia that deserves national recognition, visit the website at for more information on eligibility and registration. 

Grossmann and Brough House Appeal

Interesting domestic spaces – the Wash-House and Dry Laundry. The original Wash-House and Dry Laundry will be opened and newly presented, showing them as they would have been in their heyday. Conserving and interpreting this domestic space would assist in accurately reflecting the lives and lifestyles of its inhabitants and enhance the visitor experience at this iconic property.

The National Trust are appealing for donations, ph. (02) 9258 0156, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, or donate online.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Society of Australian Genealogists

The list of all S.A.G. activities for May to July 2010 is now available for online viewing and bookings. Bookings for most activities can be made and paid for online. You can also phone the office on 9247 3953 or call in during library hours Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday.

All activities are held at Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street unless otherwise specified.

Irish Census 1901

The National Archives of Ireland has announced that the 1901 Irish Census will be freely available for viewing on its website from 3 June. For more details go to
All thirty-two counties for 1911 are also now available on the site.

Cappers store foundation stones uncovered

From the Maitland Mercury article:
A link to Maitland’s colonial and commercial past has been unearthed through the modernisation of the eastern end of High Street. The sandstone foundations of Cappers store, which stood on High Street between Cathedral and Odd streets until 1971, have been delicately dug from the earth as part of the demolition of the former Fren’s site.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 28 May, 2010.

Art gallery pays tribute to Les Darcy

From the Maitland Mercury article:
The life of legendary Maitland boxer Les Darcy has been honoured in many ways, at many places. This time it will be the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The anniversary of Darcy’s death– on May 24, 1917, in America – will be commemorated at the gallery this weekend with the exhibition Recollecting: Les Darcy.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 29 May 2010.