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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: collections online (4)

Restaging old photos

Author
by Simon C
Publish date
20 November 2013
Comments
Comments (4)

Simon is a presenter with MV’s Outreach Program. He travels all over metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in one of our two Outreach vans with a dinosaur sticker on the side. You should give the vans a toot if you see them.

There is a photography saying that claims that the best camera is the one you have with you.

Outreach van in the stars The Museum Victoria Outreach Program van under the stars.
Image: Simon Conlon
Source: Museum Victoria
 

It seems obvious, then, to take my best camera with me when traveling around Victoria delivering the museum's Outreach Program. First I took some pictures of our Outreach van against the starry sky and then our team had the great idea of searching our collections for objects connected to the regions we were going to. With a quick search of MV Collections Online I would be armed with a handful of photographs from yesteryear to re-stage.

Castlemaine Post Office, 1894 Castlemaine Post Office, 1894. (MM 004334)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Castlemaine Post Office, 2013 Castlemaine Post Office, 2013
Image: Simon Conlon
Source: Museum Victoria
 

These photographs are from my recent trip to Castlemaine and they proved tricky to find. During my hunt I approached a local gentleman, Brian Cornish, who looked over all the photos but could only place one - the State Electricity Commission building. Directions memorised, I jumped in the van and found it straight away. I had just taken my first picture when Brian reappeared in his car. He had remembered the locations of the other pictures and beckoned me to follow him in convoy. Half an hour later, handshakes and thanks were exchanged and I was on my way with three pictures in the bag - or at least in-camera, on-card. 

State Electricity Commission building, Castlemaine, 1949. State Electricity Commission building, Castlemaine, 1949. (MM 011468)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Castlemaine State Electricity Commission Castlemaine State Electricity Commission building in 2013. The Outreach Van is parked around the corner.
Image: Simon Conlon
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The original pictures were taken on glass plate negatives using a large-format box camera, just like the one you might imagine: on a tripod with the photographer under a heavy black cloth at the back, only without the handheld puff of flash powder. Both the tripod and box would have been weighty and cumbersome,  and in addition, the light-sensitive, heavy glass plates would be carried in a sealed box of their own. Not like our own pocket-sized versions. All this would make the photographer very picky about what they photograph. 

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, 1894 Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, 1894.(MM 004338)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, 2013 Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, 2013
Image: Simon Conlon
Source: Museum Victoria
 

(Speaking of picky, this is the closest I could get to the original photo as the geography has changed since.)

You can catch the some of the Outreach team and their treasures at the RACV Energy Breakthrough Festival on Saturday 23 November in Maryborough.

Benalla building update

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
28 October 2013
Comments
Comments (2)

Back in 2010, we blogged a game of 'then and now' on a road trip to Benalla using historical photographs of the town from Collections Online.

Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel This photograph in our collection was originally documented as as 'Negative - Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel, September 1921' (MM 6159)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We thought we'd identified the location of this 'hotel' that was surrounded by floodwaters in 1921, but a few knowledgeable commenters pointed out that the flooded building in question was actually the Bank of New South Wales. Recently John Duncan-Watt sent through more information and a beautiful picture of the building in 1914.

Bank of New South Wales, Benalla John's photograph of the Bank of New South Wales, Benalla, 1914.
Source: John Duncan-Watt
 

John can even identify the people in this photograph because he's related to them. He says, it shows his "great-grandfather Thomas Lambert standing in front of this building, as this was his posting as a Manager with the Bank of NSW. Standing with him on the road and on the upstairs verandah are his wife Emily (nee Brodie) and adult children and a recent addition to the family - Sidney Paul Frederick Morris who married Thomas Lambert's daughter, Laura Irene Lambert." 

Historical photograph, people on verandah Detail of John's photograph showing Mrs Emily Lambert, her adult children and her son-in-law on the upstairs verandah of the Bank of NSW, Benalla.
Source: John Duncan-Watt

Men standing outside building The trio of dapper gentlemen by the steps of the Bank of NSW includes John's great-grandfather Thomas Lambert.
Source: John Duncan-Watt
 

John's photograph shows detail of the building that our own copy hadn't recorded, including the name of the bank on its parapet. We're very grateful that John and the other commenters revealed the true identity of the building and we'll correct our records accordingly.

Having our collections online and accessible means we can tap in to the Victorian community's knowledge of their own stories, people and places, and we're always pleased when someone takes the time to augment the information we have on our collections. Our Historypin channel is proving particularly fruitful for updating photograph locations.  

Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook

Author
by Max
Publish date
25 March 2012
Comments
Comments (1)

Your Question: What did Caroline Chisholm do behind the Shelter Shed?

A bit of scrapbooking apparently...

Having such a large online presence, as Museum Victoria has, we in the Discovery Centre are always asked if we can provide copies of the brochures, passenger lists, workshop manuals, etc, that feature in our massive Internet Empire. In order to satisfy this demand, we have to apply subtle pressure on a variety of curators, collection managers and photographers, in order to have these articles scanned.

Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook A page from Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook.
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

However, in the case of Caroline Chisholm’s scrapbook, we can casually point out to the inquisitive enquirer, that by scrolling down the webpage, they will see the heading ‘Downloads’ followed by ‘Caroline Chisholm’s Scrapbook PDF 129.3 Mb’. Eureka! This unique piece of Australia’s history can be all yours at the click of a button. Now, at your leisure, you can peruse the pages of Caroline’s life and works.

Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861 Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Who attended the ‘Soiree to Mrs. Chisholm’? Prince Albert did, that’s who. As did ‘The Ladies who have honoured us with their company’. Is one of your ancestors on ‘Mrs. Chisholm’s List of Missing Friends’? Margaret Lyons was looking for her brother Luck Lyons; Mrs. Tipple couldn’t find her husband Thomas Tipple and Mr. Wright could not be found which left his ‘Wife in great distress with six children’. And what did Charles Dickens say about Mrs. Chisholm? The answer can be found on ‘page 12’.

Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861 Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Caroline Chisholm’s scrapbook is not the only scanned item available for download on our website, but it is a particular favourite of mine. Thanks to the unsung heroes of the museum – the MV Studios folk who scan these wonderful items, all your questions can now be answered. We salute you!

UPDATE!  The Caroline Chisholm Scrapbook has been digitised and is now fully accessible online and can be seen here!

Got a question? Ask us!

Links 

Caroline Chisolm's scrapbook

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

Benalla: then and now

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
15 December 2010
Comments
Comments (15)

On our recent trip to Benalla Art Gallery, Nicole and I took the chance to track down some of the town's historic buildings that appear in Collections Online. We wanted to see how they had fared over the years.

The State Electricity Commission (SEC) building was flanked by some impressive automobiles back in 1948:

State Electricity Commission, Benalla Glass Negative - State Electricity Commission, Benalla, Victoria, 9 August 1948 (MM 011402)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We spotted it on Main Street now housing a second-hand bookstore. A local helpfully shouted, "that's the SEC building!" at us from his ute as he drove by.

Benalla SEC building Benalla SEC building in 2010.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

This hotel was a little bit harder to find because it looks quite different these days.

Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel Negative - Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel, September 1921 (MM 6159).
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We spotted it near the railway station. The friendly owner confirmed that it's the same building pictured in the 1921 photograph, but it had a significant facelift following a fire not long after that picture was taken. The basic bones of the building are still there, even though its iron lace verandahs are long gone.

Victoria Hotel in Benalla in 2010. Victoria Hotel in Benalla in 2010.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We ran out of time before we could locate the Farmers Arms Hotel, but I've since found a recent picture of it on flickr that shows it too has lost its decorative iron lace but is otherwise much the same.

Farmers Arms Hotel, Benalla A bullock team and car outside the Farmers Arms Hotel, Benalla, pre-1940 (MM 001773).
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We'd love to hear any stories about these buildings from Benalla locals. Anyone know the character leading the bullock train?

UPDATE: Several excellent commenters have identified the building as the Bank of New South Wales, not a hotel. More info on the Benalla building update post from October 2013.

Links:

Collections Online: search for Benalla

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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