Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Maitland Collection - Art by Holly McNamee

Friends of Grossman House - The Maitland Collection is part of a series of artworks by Maitland artist, Holly McNamee, who draws on her relationship with many of the unique buildings of historic Maitland. The artist has been working on this collection of drawings and paintings for the past 2 years, as an enduring and growing register of her appreciation of the Maitland of both her past and present and the stories the places hold.
Date and Times: 10am - 3pm, 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27 May 2011.
Location: Grossman House, Brough House, Church Street, Maitland, NSW.
Telephone: 02 4934 4314 or 02 4933 6452

Dictionary of Sydney update

The Dictionary of Sydney has released its quarterly update, with 33 new entries and hundreds of new images, people, organisations and connections.

Mark St Leon's major essay on Circus in Sydney is illustrated from his private collection, including footage of Col Colleano's famous tightwire somersaults. Read the essay.
Other highlights include new essays on Sydney's Russian and Maori communities, place entries for Eastwood, Green Park and Yaralla, and entries on Arabanoo, the Royal Society and the Technical and Working Men's College.

History Council of New South Wales talk in May

Australia’s Colonial Experience in New Guinea between the Wars
Michael Waterhouse, author of Not a Poor Man’s Field, pares back layers of “lost history” in providing insights into Australia’s colonial experience in New Guinea.
Presented by: The Sydney Institute
When: 5.30 for 6pm, Tuesday 3 May 2011 Where: 41 Phillip Street, Sydney
Cost: Free to Associates and one Guest; Students $5; Others $10
Bookings essential, from 19 April  Contact: (02) 9252 3366

Anzac Day at Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Crowd attendance “believed to be records” delighted RSL officials at both Maitland and East Maitland RSL dawn services and main commemorations yesterday.

An estimated 2000 turned out at the Cenotaph in Maitland Park which stunned Maitland RSL officers.
In East Maitland, the RSL said their commemorative service numbers stood at about 600, while the dawn service drew one of the biggest crowds ever seen there.
Full article by Alan Hardie available at Maitland Mercury, 26 Apr, 2011.

Hunter Knitters Guild are about to take over Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Hunter Knitters Guild are about to take over Maitland with their biennial exhibition, featuring 300 expertly-crafted articles.

It is the first time in the guild’s 22-year history that the exhibition will be held in Maitland. Titled Knitting Outside the Square, the exhibition will feature the works of more than 40 Hunter knitters and the intricacy of the mitred square.
Knitting Outside the Square will be held at the Maitland CWA Hall on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 10am until 4pm.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 22 Apr, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Morpeth Court House

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Photographs of court house hold clues to its evolution. Sepia-toned snapshots of Morpeth Court House – whether as the focus of the photograph or a snippet in the background – could contain vital clues about the evolution of the structure. Maitland City Council has issued a call for anyone with historic photographs of the 1862-established court house to help fill a shortage of images of the building.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 15 Apr, 2011.

Royal Australian Historical Society Meeting

Notice of 2011 Annual General Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Royal Australian Historical Society Annual General Meeting will be held Wednesday 27 April, 2011 at 6.00 pm at History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney. Any financial member is entitled to attend and vote. A member may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his or her stead. The proxy must be a financial member of the Society at the time of voting.

Suburbs at the Museum of Sydney - Photographic Exhibition

A new exhibition 52 Suburbs opening 14 May at the Museum of Sydney features over 200 images taken by Sydney photographer Louise Hawson during her year-long photographic journey into the ‘burbs, capturing a side of Sydney not seen in any tourist brochure. Originally presented as a weekly blog that developed a strong following from fans across the world, 52 Suburbs reveals the Sydney beyond the postcard clich├ęs of the harbour and beaches and some of Sydney’s best kept secrets.

When: 14 May – 9 October, 9.30am – 5pm daily
Where: Museum of Sydney, Corner Bridge & Phillip Streets, Sydney
Admission: General $10   Concession $5   Family $20
Contact: 02 9251 5988 or

Irish Newspaper Archives

The National Library of Australia provides access to the largest online database of Irish newspapers in the world. The archive dates from 1763 to the present and includes a mix of out-of-print and current titles.
Titles include the Irish Independent (1905 - current), The Freeman's Journal (1763-1924), the Connacht Tribune (1909-2007), the Leitrim Observer (1924- Jan 1976), the Meath Chronicle (1897- April 2005) and the Southern Star (1892-2006).
Registered readers can access the Irish Newspaper Archives via the eResources portal
Register as a reader at the Library website.

Maitland Gaol’s clever escape plan

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Tall sandstone walls and razor wire were not enough to hold all of the prisoners at Maitland Gaol. The stories of the 34 documented escapes from Maitland Gaol form a dramatic narrative that will be told on a new tour of the historic site to be introduced today. Researcher Steve “Mac” McLennan will present the tour.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Apr, 2011.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Australian War Memorial News

The Australian War Memorial's ANZAC Day Dawn Service voted in top 100 things to do in Australia!
Earlier this year, Australian Traveller, asked readers to vote for their favourite things to do in Australia. The magazine received hundreds of nominations from local secrets, to stumbled-upon surprises, and well-tramped icons of the outback.

From that list, a panel of ten well-respected and well-travelled Australians helped vote on the top 100 things every Australian traveller must do before they die. Attending the Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial came in at number 85.

Free Walking Tour: “Walking Through History” Ultimo College

As part of its 120th anniversary celebrations, Ultimo College (part of TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute) is giving lovers of history and architecture the chance to join small personal tours of its historical campus. Taking about 60 minutes, the tour is filled with interesting anecdotes of the times, of politics and past students and will be led by expert historian, Norm Neill.

When: Monthly from 5 April until 6 December, 12:15pm until 1.30pm.
Where: Ultimo College
Cost: Free.
Bookings: Must be made in advance by emailing
or call 9217 3380

Restored to former glory

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The romance of travelling on a 1960s “red rattler” diesel rail motor will bring back memories for many visitors at this weekend’s Steamfest celebrations.
The Rail Motor Society at Paterson has restored the twin diesel engine 621-721, built in Sydney in the early 1960s.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 08 Apr, 2011.

Greta to honour its war vets

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The definitive list of service personnel involved in post World War II conflicts and peacekeeping missions with links to Greta is being compiled to honour the town’s contribution on a memorial wall.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 08 Apr, 2011.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Trust Heritage Awards

Congratulatons to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery and the Maitland City Library for National Trust recognition:
The Gallery has received a National Trust Heritage Award for Interpretation and Presentation, Corporate/Government, for the Maitland Jewish Cemetery Project.
Maitland City Library received a 2011 Heritage Awards Highly Commended for the Maitland Local Studies Strategy.

Tales of courage from our nurses

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Between 1914 and 1918, about 10,000 Hunter men enlisted to fight for their country.
By their side, were the nurses who wrapped their bloody limbs, mopped their sweat-covered brows and soothed their final days.

Historian Christine Bramble has spent the past two years writing Sister of the Valley - First World War Nurses from Newcastle and the Hunter Region, a book dedicated to those brave women who cared for the wounded and sick between 1914 and 1918.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Apr, 2011.

Signposts show flood flows past and present

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The first of four interpretative signs explaining the limits of the flood mitigation scheme in Maitland was installed on Thursday. The Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) realised an important project in its flood education program with the installation of the signs, which came in response to misconceptions the scheme would save the city from a major disaster.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Apr, 2011.

If you’ve got the time, the Rail Society has got the project

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A century-old carriage that once transported the people of the Hunter across the valley is about to be restored to its former glory.
The Rail Motor Society at Paterson is about to embark on a 26-week project to preserve the historical sleeper carriage before it is too late. But the society needs help.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Apr, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Visit Glenalvon Museum and Rediscover Campbelltown's History

Classic Georgian Glenalvon is open the  Glenalvon has been described as “An exceptional two-storied sandstone home of colonial Georgian design” (National Trust). Glenalvon was built by Michael Byrne, son of Wicklow rebel/patriot Hugh “Vesty” Byrne circa 1841 and consists of the two storey main house, the earlier Servants Quarters, and a Victorian Coach House and Stables.
Further information including personal stories from Campbelltown:

Open: 1st Tuesday, 2nd Saturday and 3rd Wednesday of every month, February to mid December, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and by appointment.

New Ways with Oral History - Two Day Workshop and Seminar

New Ways With Oral History will provide an opportunity to explore the development of oral history programs and incorporating these into museum and gallery programming. With presentations and hands-on workshops. Presenters include Associate Professor Janis Wilton OAM.
This event is a partnership between the Oral History Association of Australia NSW, the Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage and the Arts at the Australian National University and Museums & Galleries NSW.

When and Where: Friday 13 May at History House, Macquarie Street and Saturday 14 May at the State Library of NSW

Further information: Suzanne Bravery, General Manager Programs & Services, Programs and Services, Museums and Galleries NSW, ph: 9358.1760 email:

Capture characters a plan for workshop

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Producer of ABC Open Hunter, Anthony Scully, will present his Portrait of a Stranger workshop at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery next month to tell the stories of those living in the Maitland community. Portrait of a Stranger teaches people with digital cameras how to approach a stranger, take their photograph and write a short story about their subject.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 30 Mar, 2011.

A rare chance to see the latest fashion, circa 1880

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Visitors can step into the wardrobes of Grossmann House and time travel through dresses and costumes to the 19th century at an open day next month.
From the hangers of Grossmann House’s state-significant textile collection hang a treasure of Victorian costumes from the mid-19th century to the 1880s, and the swish of the fabric whisper the stories of the people who wore them.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 31 Mar, 2011.