Friday, December 20, 2013

British Library Uploads a Million Images on Flickr

We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain.
The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.
- See more at:

Iconic theatre off heritage register

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Dungog’s James Theatre has been refused entry to the NSW Heritage Register.
The iconic picture theatre turns 101 this month but was left off the list for management reasons rather than a lack of merit.
Heritage Minister Robyn Parker determined that listing may materially reduce economic opportunities for the facility and lead to a loss or decline in volunteer support that was considered essential for its continuing use.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 19, 2013.

War memorabilia and stories, please

From the Maitland Mercury report:
What it lacks in bricks and mortar, the Maitland Regional Museum certainly makes up for in ambition.
Just months after establishing its first steering committee, the Maitland Regional Museum Inc has joined forces with The Australian War Memorial to bring a travelling exhibition to the city next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.
“We don’t know where we’ll put it, but Maitland is going to get this travelling exhibition and the museum, as a group, wants to put Maitland’s signature on it,” chair of the Maitland Museum Steering Committee Janece McDonald said.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 18, 2013.

Boxer Les Darcy comes to life

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Zac Garred has spent the best part of the year transforming himself into Les Darcy.
He’s jabbed, ducked, weaved and hooked in a bid to bring the story of the Maitland boxing legend to the big screen. 
And yesterday the young actor and filmmaker took his commitment one step further by re-enacting Darcy’s fight against East Maitland jockey George ‘Guv’nor’ Balser in 1911.
Originally the fight took place at a Thornton construction site for railway cuttings, but Garred and his crew instead chose Richmond Vale Railway Museum for the scene to be used as part of a trailer for the film, based on Peter FitzSimon’s book The Ballad of Les Darcy.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

Great Scott! the true beauty of nature

From the Maitland Mercury report:
They have been described as the Bronte sisters of the botanical world, exuding wit, intelligence and scientific expertise in the male-dominated world of the 19th century.
In a coup for the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, the beautiful and intricate works of  Harriet (Hattie) and Helena (Nellie) Scott are now on show in the exquisite exhibition titled Beauty from Nature: the art of the Scott sisters.

Inside History magazine

Inside History magazine is for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage. The Nov-Dec 2013 edition (issue 19) has arrived.
Voices from the past: Inside History’s Remembrance edition, Issue 19: Nov-Dec 2013, has arrived! You’ll find:
  • Our exclusive Great War diary excerpts from the State Library of NSW’s new digitisation project
  • The personal letters and diaries in the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition, ANZAC Voices
  • Award-winning author Janet Butler talks about researching World War I army nurses
  • Read about the two New Zealand pilots who became best friends during in World War II
  • Renowned genealogist Shauna Hicks shows you how to find your World War servicewomen
  • An introduction to The Benevolent Society and its archives
  • Ned Kelly by Peter FitzSimons: the author discusses the iconic outlaw and his new book
  • Our Gatsby-inspired getaway in the Blue Mountains
  • A history of Australian scrapbooking – you’ll never guess which quirky sources some early Aussie genealogists kept for posterity!
  • Australia’s first great recycling scheme in the wake of World War II
  • Read how two men’s Great War experiences and later lives were intertwined through their granddaughter’s research
  • How our photo-dating experts help solve readers’ family history mysteries, from a Welsh WW1 soldier to an 1870s family portrait
  • A new biographical database that’s linking together our 19th-century ancestors
There’s a dream digitisation kit, including a Kaiser Baas photo scanner, photo maker and video converter, up for grabs in our exclusive subscription offer, as well as opportunities to network with other genealogists, giveaways, book reviews and app reviews!

Sit at the desk where history has been made

From the Maitland Mercury report:
desk where former prime minister John Howard signed a trade treaty with ex-US president George W Bush and a furniture suite that once seated the leaders of the world have made their home in Maitland.
Bought by heritage conservationist Chris Richards during an auction earlier this year, the furniture has taken up permanent residence at High Street’s historic Mansfield function centre.
Along with the desk and three-piece furniture suite, Mr Richards has also bought a 36-seat cabinet table used to discuss some of Australia’s most important pieces of legislation including the post-September 11 national anti-terrorism plan.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 10, 2013.

Heritage directory

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland home renovators can now access the latest information on how to keep their home true to period style and which suppliers to use.
Maitland City Council has published the 2014 edition of the Maitland Heritage Trades Directory.

Sink-hole that took a Maitland boy’s life in 1848

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A dangerous and deceptive mix of dung and water lurked about on the corner of Elgin and West streets, Maitland in 1848.
It was a waterhole which had been so filled with manure that it resembled a large dung-heap.
The moment a heavy body was placed on its surface it would yield and it quickly took a person with it, deeper and deeper they would sink, with no possibility of extracting oneself without help.
There had been seven accidents in a week at the waterhole and while help was at hand for those people, it was not the case for a seven-year-old orphan boy James McCarten on August 16, 1848.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 7, 2013.

Friday, December 13, 2013

1963 captured by Mercury photographers

From the Maitland Mercury report:
If you missed the chance to see the Mercury's photographic exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery this month fear not.
The exhibition, 1963, Picture that in Maitland 50 Years, curated by the Mercury's chief photographer Cath Bowen is in the above image carousel.
The photographs were taken by Mercury staff photographers throughout 1963 and document events and milestones in Maitland that year.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 6, 2013.

The latest newspapers in Trove

Trove latest newspapers accessible:
Life in rural New South Wales can be glimpsed through newly digitised newspapers such as The Gundagai Independent, The Bathurst Daily Argus and The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser. These titles have been supported by the State Library of NSW as part of the Digital Excellence Program, funded by the NSW Government.

Australian War Memorial

What Australians endured on Gallipoli and the Western Front, in the mud of Flanders, and in the deserts of Sinai–Palestine was almost beyond description. Drawing on their letters and diaries in the Memorial’s collection, ANZAC voices presents an intimate account of the First World War
ANZAC voices is now on display and will remain on display until the redeveloped First World War galleries open in late November 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Towards the middle of December 2013 you will notice some changes on our website. The changes are intended to make it easier for you to find information on our site.
The changes are the first stage of the ANZAC Connections project which will continue during 2014 and 2015. In later stages, we will be making more digitised records available, as well as enabling people to tag and comment on collection material, and to transcribe original diaries and letters.

Australian Family Tree Connections – December 2013

This December issue of Australian Family Tree Connections quite naturally has a Christmas theme, while still providing readers with an interesting array of articles for their holiday reading.
In this December 2013 issue, you’ll find articles on the following: The Midolo Family at Christmas; The Charlton Christmas of 1937; and Sandra tells us about her 6 week trip to the UK, and how it is impossible to see everything, and how she had to prioritise. Shani and Nikki tell us how their research journey took them to Jamaica, Scotland and Australia in search of William Mackie Jnr. Then we read about Little Freddy Heazlewood who went missing from Portland, and Margaret tells up about her Wilson and Baker families from England.

$50,000 Bird Barn legal challenge

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Absentee landlord Andre Kahilil has launched a legal challenge to avoid $50,000 in costs to secure a derelict central Maitland building known to most as Bob’s Bird Barn - previously the Carrington Hotel.
The property, listed for sale in March for $750,000, has also been removed from the market. 
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 3, 2013.

Hero’s gold medal auctioned for £3360

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In 1858 the Maitland Mercury reported on a gold medal awarded to a captain who saved 105 souls from a shipwreck. 
On Wednesday, that medal sold at auction for £3360 or $6025.86 in London. 
It was awarded to Captain Morrison who discovered the shipwrecked Timandra off Cape Keppel on October 23, 1858. The captain rescued 105 people from peril when their ship hit Keppel Bay sand spit.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 30, 2013. 

Our city? It’s a living museum

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland city centre is a living museum.
That’s the view of Maitland Historical Society member Val Rudkin, who has been researching the stories behind the city’s High Street buildings for the past three years.
She has been looking at the street one section at a time to study the prominent names, buildings and people that have captured her interest.
Born and raised in Lorn, Mrs Rudkin has always treasured her strong ties to the city.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 29, 2013.