Thursday, June 28, 2012

State Records

NSW State Records new homepage launched :
Three options -
Search Online - directs you to our new collection search page where all our online search tools are accessible.
The Collection - takes you to the State archives collection page where we have gathered together research topics, tools and tips. You will also find links to digital galleries, seminars and workshops, as well as reading room pre-order requests and copy services for the public.
Recordkeeping – this page is for records managers in the public sector.

Audrey Collins from The National Archives UK

Audrey Collins, from The National Archives UK, will be touring the Eastern states of Australia in June-July 2012. This will be a special opportunity to hear one of the leading experts and presenters from the UK.
Fri 29 June - Sydney, 9am to 4.30pm - full day seminar at Parramatta RSL Club, Cnr Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta. More information at Unlock the Past.

Bid to save 1846 Jewish cemetery

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Friends of Maitland Jewish Cemetery with a little digging, so to speak, have provided Maitland City Council with the seeds of a plan that could see the burial ground placed on the NSW State Heritage Register.
“The conservation plan has come together really nicely with the help of the friends group,” council’s heritage officer Clare James said. “They were able to provide invaluable information in helping us develop the plan.”
The cemetery was established in 1846, making it the oldest dedicated Jewish burial ground in NSW.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Jun, 2012.

Push to rid city of ugly power poles

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Ugly power poles and wires in Maitland’s High Street have come under attack from a long-serving councillor who wants them felled and sunk underground.
Councillor Ray Fairweather will urge council tomorrow to consider consigning the power lines to history. The lines between Ken Tubman Drive and the rail overpass are the last remnants of an antiquated transmission system banished in the mall and up to the Long Bridge.
“It might have been all right in the horse and buggy days but not any more,” Cr Fairweather said. “It’s time to get out of the horse and buggy and into the digital era.”

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Jun, 2012.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Royal Australian Historical Society open day

Open Day at the Royal: Library Open House and Afternoon Tea at the Royal

Saturday 30 June 2012

We invite you to join the RAHS for a Saturday Open Day at History House. It begins with an open day at the RAHS library and concludes with afternoon tea in the drawing room. Members are welcome to drop in at any time during the morning and need not stay for the afternoon.
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Library Open: Tours, Research and Workshop
From 10:00 a.m . until 2:00 p.m., the RAHS library will be o pen for tours and research, hosted by Librarian Donna Newton. Associate Professor Carol Liston will be present to assist researchers and show how to use some of the library’s new resources.
If you have never visited the RAHS library, this is your opportunity to explore the extensive resources on offer.

Tours are free, bookings are recommended. reception rooms

Afternoon Tea at the Royal
History House’s Victorian drawing room will be the setting for a unique afternoon tea from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Join RAHS members and Councillors
for a delightful day of tea and wine, talks and music.
The schedule is:
2:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.: The President, Emeritus Professor David Carment, will talk on issues concerning the RAHS.
2:20 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: RAHS Councillor Dr Kathrine Reynolds will talk on "Assisted Skills Migration to Australia in the nineteenth century - the German Vinedressers of Alexander Berry's Estate, Coolangatta, near Berry".
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, cream and jam, cake and selected wines from the Coolangatta Estate vineyard.
4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Musical entertainment relevant to Alexander Berry devised by Dr Ian Jack with the help of the Collard & Collard grand.
Bookings for afternoon tea are requested on 02 9247 8001or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Letting the people be heard

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The days of an elite few governing the majority might be relegated to a colonial past but Maitland City Council has identified room for greater community consultation.
The council’s existing strategy was adopted in 2009 and the revised strategy contains a number of changes relating to engagement channels and the role the community plays in the council’s decision
Executive manager for corporate planning and engagement Leah Flint said the revision of the strategy reinforced the council’s commitment to making community engagement part of core business practices and the recognition of the vital role consultation played in planning for the city.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 19 Jun, 2012.

150 colourful years of court history

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Drunkenness and obscenity were unseemly features of the once bustling port town of Morpeth and were among the first cases heard in the court house 150 years ago.
Completed in 1862 and opened to legal proceedings the following year, Morpeth Court House bore witness to many sordid tales as the state’s second settlement.
To mark the anniversary of Morpeth Court House this September,museum volunteers hope to retell the stories and the port’s history in an eclectic exhibition. Museum curator Sue Thomas said renovations were progressing well and would provide the perfect space for people to share those stories.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 18 Jun, 2012.

Walk and Talk Flood Tour

Walk & Talk Flood Tour - Join a leisurely walking tour and relive Maitland’s dramatic flood history in the Maitland Station precinct.

When: Sunday 24 June 2012 -- 9 to 11:30am or 1 to 3:30 pm
Where: meet at Maitland Station Carpark, Railway St, Maitland
Cost: $10 per person,
includes morning / afternoon tea
RSVP: Bookings essential at Hunter-Central Rivers CMA - 4930 1030 or

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Australian Heritage Strategy

The Australian Government is seeking public input to help develop a new Australian Heritage Strategy for the identification, management and celebration of Australia’s heritage. The new strategy will cover natural, Indigenous and historic heritage and set the direction for heritage policies and programs at all levels of government for the next 10 years.

Public consultation is planned to occur in the development of the strategy and the department is inviting comment from the community about how the national may recognise, manage and celebrate our heritage in the best ways possible. The feedback received in response to the public consultation paper now available will help inform the development of the Australian Heritage Strategy.

For more information about the strategy : how to make a submission : download the public consultation paper visit : to read the nine commissioned essays: Or call the Department on 1800 803 772.
The Department has issued a media release on this topic :
Submissions will be accepted up until 15 June 2012 by e-mail to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or hardcopy.

Royal Australian Historical Society 2012 Heritage and Cultural Grants

This year offers increased funding to a larger range of community projects. Grants may range in size from $500 to over $5000 Please click here for our Information Pack to decide which grant is suitable for your project. Any enquiries you still may have, please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 02 9247 8001.
NSW Heritage Grants Program administered by the RAHS assists historical research and local archive projects. Individuals and community organisations are eligible to apply. Application forms and further information can be found on the NSW Heritage Branch website.
Grant programs close 20 July 2012!

National Archives discovery

An exciting recent discovery means the National Archives now has all of the original documents accompanying the Griffins’ winning entry in the 1911 Federal Capital Design Competition for the design of Canberra.
The Griffins’ ‘Original Report’, an intriguing 29-page typed booklet, complete with original hand-drawn diagrams of the underlying concept for Canberra, was handed over to the National Archives of Australia at Parliament House on 23 May after being discovered among other files at the Planning Institute of Australia.
It explains and describes the 16 competition drawings submitted by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin as part of their ‘Entry 29’, shedding further light on their vision for Canberra.
The report is currently on display for a short time at Parliament House in Canberra. Afterwards it will be digitised for online access.
A copy of the report is available online.

Community prepares for bicentenary celebrations

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The history of the Woodville precinct is as long as it is intriguing.
A strapping teenager with a vision, Aboriginal people living traditional lives, the drowning of a young wife and a society with a most interesting name.
It’s been 200 years since John Tucker, aged 17 years, set up the first farm (Albion Farm) outside the penal colony of Newcastle and now the people of Woodville are ready to celebrate.
“This celebration is about the whole Woodville community and we’ll be mainly concentrating on Albion Farm, Iona Public School and Woodville School of Arts,” Woodville School of Arts publicity officer Bob Beale said.
The Woodville School of Arts committee will be at the hall on Saturday between 11am to 4pm to collect memorabilia and photos concentrating on the history of the hall, floods, Woodville families and family trees. The bicentenary will be celebrated in October.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 13 Jun, 2012.

State Library of New South Wales

The State Library of New South Wales announces the completion of a new digitisation project,
Thomas Livingstone Mitchell: Mapmaker ( which pays tribute to surveyor, cartographer, explorer and roadbuilder Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855).
This online collection showcases 41 maps created by Sir Thomas Mitchell. It includes both manuscript and printed maps relating to Mitchell's expeditions into the Australian interior. It highlights Mitchell's surveys that were used to build the roads of New South Wales. In addition, there are several maps showing the development of Sydney and its suburbs in the mid-nineteenth century.
Some of these maps have only come to light recently through the eRecords project that is creating online catalogue records from the Library's card catalogues and indexes.
As with the fabulous Dixson Map Collection ( that was launched last year, this online collection features stunning digitised images. Be sure to select the 'full screen' option so that you can view these maps in all their glory!
Thomas Livingstone Mitchell: Mapmaker was developed with the generous financial support of the Seniors Group of the NSW Institution of Surveyors Inc., made available via the State Library of NSW Foundation.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Russell Drysdale at war - Australian War Memorial

To mark the centenary of the birth of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, a new exhibition Russell Drysdale at war is being held at the Australian War Memorial. Exhibiting a collection of 15 of his wartime artworks, it presents a haunting account of the Australian home front during the Second World War.

Drysdale was not an official war artist, yet felt compelled to document his experience to provide future generations with a visual account of the period. His imagery was inspired by a period he spent living in Albury, New South Wales and explores the loneliness and isolation of war and the displacement experienced by those involved.
The exhibition includes iconic works such as the painting Soldier as well as a collection of less-known illustrations that Drysdale was commissioned to produce for the wartime publications The Australian Soldier by John Hetherington and Soldier Superb by Allan Dawes. It will be on display until February 2013.

Historic Houses Trust

Exhibition: NSW Mounted Police Unit

Formed in 1825, the NSW Mounted Police Unit is the oldest continuous operational unit of its kind in the world.
Former Commander of the NSW Mounted Police, Don Eyb, and HHT curators Anna Cossu and Holly Schulte will discuss the history of the unit, and the process of selecting and training horses.

Inspector Donald Eyb APM (Ret.) is former Commander of the NSW Mounted Police Unit, having served with the NSW Police for 44 years. Born in the small farming community of Hilldale near Dungong, Mr Eyb began riding horses at the age of six, and joined the Mounted Police Unit as a Probationary Constable in 1961. During his long and distinguished career Mr Eyb has led 4 mounted escorts for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; over 60 mounted escorts for NSW Governors; and over 300 musical rides performances state wide.
In 1997 he was sent to London to study training methods of the London Mounted Police in preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where he choreographed and coordinated 140 riders and stock horses for the Opening Ceremony. In 2005 he trained and coordinated the NSW Mounted Police, Police Band and Police Pipe Band performances in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held in Sydney. Since retirement from the NSW Police in 2005 Mr Eyb has been active in 'Volunteering in Policing' , having given over 2,000 hours of Volunteer service to the Police Force, included services such as the Reserve Forces Day Council, Light Horse Training, and Riding for the Disabled programs.

Anna Cossu & Holly Schulte are curators at the Historic Houses Trust.
Justice & Police Museum
Sunday 17 June
2.00pm — 3.00pm

General $20 | Member/conc $15

Grand old buildings that need protection

From the Maitland Mercury report:Progress and its threat to Maitland’s heritage is nothing new in a past scattered with ruins.
The tyranny of time on some of the city’s great dames has led to casualties complicated by a growing population.
Those neglected buildings could be at greater risk of demolition should the private members bill, Environment Planning and Assessment Amendment (Demolition Orders) 2012, introduced to state parliament on May 24, be enshrined in law.
The bill would allow councils to demolish buildings that had been left to go to ruin.
Debate was deferred by the government to a future date, making this a nervous time for heritage enthusiasts.
National Trust conservation manager Graham Quint said Maitland had 17 buildings that should be considered for State Heritage Register protection as a safeguard to any future laws.
“One of the problems is the lists aren’t complete; there are buildings that should be on the list but aren’t,” he said.
“There are only 1750 buildings on the state government register and an estimated 10,000 places that should be.”
Central Maitland properties featured prominently on Mr Quint’s list as well as buildings from the old government town of East Maitland.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Jun, 2012.

U.K. National Archives

New online Jubilee exhibition launched
To mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, the U.K. National Archives have digitised a collection of congratulatory addresses presented to Queen Victoria at her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
This new online exhibition features 60 of our favourite messages of congratulations and good wishes from around the world.