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South Melbourne Oral History Project Collection

Pot Holders in Holder

Image: Pot Holders in Holder

Source: Museum Victoria

The South Melbourne Oral History Project Collection comprises 24 interviews, 1754 pages of interview transcripts and 257 objects collected in conjunction with those interviews. The project was curated by Liza Dale, with Karen Twigg as oral history coordinator. Marilyn Lake was the Latrobe University supervisor; students conducted the interviews. The project was funded by the Victorian Women's Trust.

In the late 1980s, plans were underway for the Museum of Victoria (later Museum Victoria) to move from its location on the site of the State Library of Victoria to a new facility at Southbank, adjacent to South Melbourne. In preparation for the move, a project was initiated to explore the history of the local community in South Melbourne and develop links to that community. Although Museum Victoria eventually made its home in Carlton Gardens, the legacy of the South Melbourne Project endures.

In the course of the project, 23 people were interviewed: 21 women, two men and a couple together. The interviews focussed on home life and work in the home, including: courting, marriage, first home, childbirth, child rearing, birthdays, kindergarten and school, social life, neighbours, holidays, entertainment, radio, first television, furniture and ornaments, housework, shopping, domestic appliances, weekly routine, food and food storage, food deliveries, nutrition, budgeting, washing clothes, clothes/sewing and work outside the home. The interviews covered much of the 20th century in span, from World War I until the 1980s.

The objects in the collection include clothing, handcrafts (including knitting and crochet patterns), food preparation and serving equipment, and games.

References:
'Work in the Home Education Kit', Museum of Victoria, 1991

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