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Letter - Hope Macpherson to Her Parents, SS Cape York & Hobart, 23 Jun 1954 Document Reg. No: HT 30030

Handwritten letter from Hope Macpherson to her parents detailing life on board ship, SS Cape York, during her expedition with other members from the Nation Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria) when they visited Wilsons Promontory and a number of the islands surrounding Tasmania carrying out surveys and collecting specimens, referring specifically to their time in port at Hobart. Hope Macpherson was the first female curator at the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria).
One sheet grey writing paper folded in half and newspaper cutting headed Scientists To Study Marine Life.
Statement Of Significance:
The Hope (Macpherson) Black Collection is a significant addition to Museum Victoria's working lives collection, it reveals the journey of a woman from depression era Melbourne and illustrates the power of education. It also reveals the often discriminatory policies in place in Victoria before the equal opportunity developments of the late 20th century. In balance though it also exposes the somewhat free expression possible for empowered women in this period. Hope Macpherson clearly states that in her day to day work she never felt discrimination and believes she was given great opportunity to pursue her career and aspirations. However, on analysis her role was often shaped by her gender and its perceived strengths and weaknesses; she was dissuaded from applying to become a taxidermist as it was 'an unsuitable job for a woman', although part of the first group of female scientists allowed to travel to Macquarie Island they were not permitted to camp on land with the male crew for fear of inciting passions. And finally after a distinguished career she was forced to resign her tenure as Australia's first female Curator when she married late in life, as a consequence of the Marriage bar.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Hope Black (nee Macpherson), 2011
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 151 mm (Width), 254 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: museum history, education
Themes this item is part of: Hope Black nee Macpherson, Curator of Molluscs (1919 - ), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MUSEUM HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Working Life
Tertiary Classification: staff
Inscriptions: Four page letter handwritten in blue ink on grey writing paper folded in half, together with a newspaper cutting headed Scientists To Study Marine Life noting the three scientists involved in the expedition surveying Tasmania's coastline and collecting specimens, published in the Mercury 25 June 1954.
Date June 23rd 1954 handwritten in black ink on top page one.
Sender: Miss Hope Macpherson - National Museum of Victoria, Australia, 23 Jun 1954
Addressed To: Jessie Macpherson, Glen Iris, Victoria, Australia, 23 Jun 1954
Addressed To: Cluny Macpherson, Glen Iris, Victoria, Australia, 23 Jun 1954

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