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Olive Oliver Collection
Image: Travel Diary – Olive Oliver, 1911
Source: Museum Victoria
In 1911 Miss Olive Oliver, a wealthy 32 year old woman from Melbourne, embarked on a round-the-world tour of the United States of America, Britain and Europe. The extensive journey took her to many grand cities and places of natural beauty. Olive travelled with her father, William Oliver, her brother, William Donald ('Don'), and her friend, Gretta Nicolls.
Throughout the trip, Olive kept a travel diary and collected brochures, postcards, menus, concert programs and maps from the places she visited. Museum Victoria has acquired these items as well as Olive's large wooden sea chest, and together these make up the Olive Oliver collection. The diary is a small, leather-bound paper diary in which Olive wrote of her daily activities from 9 March 1911 to 31 December 1911. As the trip lasted about a year, it is likely that there would have been a second diary covering the months of the trip during 1912 but unfortunately it has not survived.
The diary and colourful ephemera enable Olive's travels of almost a century ago to come to life. Yet more than simply recording the story of one woman's travels, the collection gives insights into early 20th century Australia and the cultural outlook and identity that Australians engaged with at this time. It demonstrates the desire among early and subsequent generations of Australian settlers to return 'home' to Britain and Europe, as well as visit other 'new world' countries, and it highlights the importance placed on gaining a cultural education outside of Australia through the 'grand tour'.
The collection is also a record of an era when the world was opening up to women, especially middle and upper class women, as they were granted new economic and legal rights, and presented with unheralded opportunities for travel and recreation, as well as for work.
Apart from the details of her journey, little is known of Olive except that she returned to Australia, did not marry or have children and died in Melbourne 1961. If anyone has any further information about Olive Oliver, please contact the Discovery Centre at Museum Victoria.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 11 - 20) 86 items
'Ordnance Survey Map, Eastern Counties (S)' is a map published by the Ordance Survey Office in Southampton, England, of the Eastern Counties of England including Suffolk, Essex, Bedford ...Images: 1
'The Whitehall Waistcoat Pocket Map of London' is a map of London published by Forster Groom & Co. in London, England. The map is promoted as showing 'all the new electric tubes and rai ...Images: 1
'To Europe by the Cunard Lines', issued by The Cunard Steamship Company Limited in New York, U.S.A. in 1911, provides travel information about the ships travelling different routes from ...Images: 1
Postcard of the Grotta Azzura on the island of Capri, Italy,1911. This is one of about eighty travel brochures, maps, railway timetables, postcards and guidebooks collected by Miss Oli ...Images: 1
Map titled 'Craigie's Queensland Road Series', used by Mr William Oliver on his tour to Queensland, circa 1910s. This map folds out to a larger size, from its red book-sized cloth hardb ...Images: 1
Envelope with an image of the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge, England, dating from 1911. This is one of about eighty travel brochures, maps, railway time tables, postcards and guid ...Images: 2
Diary spanning parts of 1913, written by 34 year old Melbourne woman Miss Olive Oliver. Olive was a wealthy woman. She was born in Armadale, Melbourne in 1879 and died there in 1961. S ...Images: 5
'Hotel Dunsmuir', a leaflet issued by Hotel Dunsmuir and printed by Evans & Hastings in 1908, provides information about the hotel. This is one of about eighty travel brochures, maps, ...Images: 1
'New Washington Hotel, Seattle' is a postcard from the press of White Advertising Bureau Inc in Seattle, U.S.A. in 1911 and shows a colour image of the New Washington Hotel. This is o ...Images: 1
'Cypress Point, near Del Monte, on line of Southern Pacific', is a postcard from 1911 with a black and white image of Cypress Point, near Del Monte, in California, U.S.A. On the other s ...Images: 1