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e-BULLETIN No. 74 – 28 October 2010


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr




1) Local history for the Internet age - Now and Then - a community heritage wiki


2) Call for papers - A sense of place: local studies in Australia and New Zealand


3) Sands Sydney Directory digitisation


4) Photography in public areas


5) Acquisition of Darling Downs drawing by National Library of Australia


6) Launch of Significance International


7) Significance Assessment Workshop


8) Local history - New South Wales heritage - Wambo Homestead


9) Local history - the Encore Heritage Sewing Group, New South Wales


10) Local history - Berrima District Historical and Family History Society, New South Wales, golden jubilee


11) Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group



1) Local history for the Internet age - Now and Then - a community heritage wiki


Many small collecting and heritage organisations, particularly in rural and regional Australia, lack access to the tools, infrastructure and support that would enable them to document and display their knowledge, collections and holdings electronically.  Most of these organisations are small are rely on volunteer effort.  While portal services such as Collections Australia Network  have in the past offered some online visibility for these organisations, the advent of ‘Web 2.0’ technologies shows great potential to provide smaller heritage organisations with new ways to engage with a wider public online.


For the past year, the local museum in the small South Australian community of Mallala (pronounced Mal-la-la) has undertaken a bold experiment using wiki technology to create and share local knowledge about the history of their community.  The Mallala Now and Then wiki ( uses the same technology as the world renowned Wikipedia to create an interactive, user-created encyclopaedia of articles about the district’s past.  Unlike Wikipedia, Now and Then is a wiki with a strictly local focus, the content of its articles is written by local people about local things: the people, places, events, organizations and objects that have significance within the local area. It also features current local news and events using blog technology and uses the photo sharing site Flickr to store and display images. 


Although Mallala is a community of some 500 people, in the first year of operation, almost 100 people have signed up as authors for the wiki and there have been more than 10 000 visits to the website.


The Now and Then project was undertaken as a pilot project initiated through the Collections Council of Australia.  The technology and project model used at Mallala has demonstrated that wikis can provide a low-cost, sustainable way of increasing interest, knowledge and participation in the preservation and interpretation of local history and heritage collections.


(Source: Darren Peacock, Director, Sweet Technology, GPO Box 2021, Adelaide SA 5001 - 20 September 2010)



2) Call for papers - A sense of place: local studies in Australia and New Zealand


This conference for public libraries, archives, museums, local and family historians and others working to foster a sense of place in their local communities will be held 5-6 May 2011, State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie Street, Sydney. More details can be read at


(Source: PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, 4 October 2010)



3) Sands Sydney Directory digitisation


The City of Sydney Archives has completed digitisation of three annual volumes of Sands Sydney Directory (1868, 1888, and 1918 – out of the whole series 1858-1932)


The web address is then follow the path -> About Sydney -> History and Archives -> Archives -> Catalogues and search tools -> Sands Sydney Directory.


The purpose of placing these sample years online is to invite family historians and others who use Sands Sydney Directory, to check and comment back to the Archives about the experience. From these comments they will be able to improve things when digitising the remainder of the series which will probably be in 2011/2012.


The Archives is particularly interested to know how the file size and download times affect people using the site, but comments and suggestions about all aspects of how you find the website will be of great use.


(Contact: Mark Stevens, City Archivist , City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney 2001 - Level 1 Town Hall House, 456 Kent St, Sydney 2000  - Tel: 02 9265 9525
M : 0439 757 096 – Email:;

website: )


(Source: A Mailing List for Australian Archivists – 12 October 2010)



4) Photography in public areas


The Arts Law Centre of Australia has an on-line document “Street Photographer’s Rights” covering Australian law on photography in public places. This will be of assistance to historical society members preparing publications and promotional material. The relevant website is:


(Source: – 21 October 2010)



5) Acquisition of Darling Downs drawing by National Library of Australia


A drawing of an eye-witness account of an attack on a group of indigenous men, women and children by white squatters on the Darling Downs in 1843 has been purchased by the National Library of Australia. It is a pencil drawing by Thomas John Domville Taylor, a squatter and son of an English clergyman, and the drawing was in a scrapbook of Thomas Taylor’s step-mother, Patty Ffoulkes. The sketch is one of fewer than 10 known eyewitness visual accounts of such attacks by white settlers on Aborigines. It was bought at auction by the National Library of Australia in August 2010 for $120,000. Senior Curator at the National Library, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, stated that the drawing could be linked to the aftermath of a known historic event – the Battle of One Tree Hill (Table Top Mountain east of Toowoomba) on 12 September 1843. The Aborigines had ambushed squatters bringing supplies from Moreton Bay.


(Source: Toowoomba Chronicle 23 October 2010 p.18 and Weekend Australian 23-24 October 2010 p.3. Both newspapers contain a reproduction of the drawing.)



6) Launch of Significance International


A new and different company has been established to service movable cultural heritage, or ‘collections’.


Significance International principals are Veronica Bullock and Roslyn Russell – respectively the project manager and co-author of Significance 2.0 – a guide for assessing the significance of collections (2009), Collections Council of Australia.


At launch, the Significance International provides local, national and international services in the areas of significance and preservation assessments of collections, as well as more general collections and strategic planning guidance.


Offerings will expand from early 2011 to include the development of sustainability indicators for individual collecting organisations, collections mapping guidance, and the provision of research services for cultural heritage inquiries.


With backgrounds in materials conservation, curation, teaching and history, Veronica and Roslyn have each worked with a wide range of cultural and scientific collections, in Australia and internationally.


Ms Bullock said: ‘In these challenging times Roslyn and I feel that we are able to help collecting organisations, universities and governments see the potential collections hold for research agendas and for community cohesion. We look forward to helping make collections sustainable for the future.’


Visit the Significance International website at:, email us at or call us on +61 (0)2 6291 6334 or +61 (0) 466 574 479.


(Source: Significance International)



7) Significance Assessment Workshop


Need help with significance assessment?

Come to our workshop, especially designed for historians!



Sustainable Collections – Significance #1 Workshop

Canberra, 10-11 November 2010



Historians are increasingly approached by collecting organisations to provide significance assessments of their collections. These are now often required by funding/granting bodies as a prerequisite for future grants.


Our workshop responds to a call from some historians for training in this specialist approach to history.


At the end of this two-day workshop you will be able to:

Participants are asked to bring along an object with which they are familiar, including any documentation of its background.



Cost of $AUD550 (GST incl.) includes catered morning and afternoon breaks and a ‘Certificate of Completion’.


Book soon as there is a limit of 12 participants per workshop.



For more information about the full range of services provided by Significance International or to sign up for the workshop:

(Source: Significance International)



8) Local history - New South Wales heritage - Wambo Homestead


In the Hunter Valley of New South Wales a coal mining company has applied to have the Wambo Homestead removed from the New South Wales State Heritage List. The mining company own the property on which the homestead stands and has stated that it would like to demolish the homestead. The State Heritage Register may be accessed at  


An ABC news report of 1 October 2010 states:


"A historic Hunter Valley homestead could be the first of many to lose its State Heritage listing, with officials assessing the future of dozens of similar buildings in the region.


"The Acting Director of the State Heritage Branch, Tim Smith says the Hunter is littered with homesteads like Wambo.


"There's ongoing work looking at other sites around the Hunter region of this type," he said.


"Wambo Coal had previously planned to move the building from its mine site, but that was never approved.


"The Chair of Singleton Council's Heritage Advisory Committee, Lyn MacBain says she is appalled the company has now asked the Heritage Council to revoke its listing.


"I'm actually horrified," she said.


"Given that many people who fought this previously had taken away some comfort that Wambo was safe given it is state listed, that there was confidence that Wambo homestead would still be here well and truly after mining."


( )


(Source: – 1 October 2010)



9) Local history - the Encore Heritage Sewing Group, New South Wales


The St Marys Area Development Committee’s Encore Heritage Sewing Group is one of New South Wales’s most interesting and unusual historical organisations. It comprises a small group of women who meet for a few hours once a fortnight to recreate garments, either hand made or machine sewn, worn by the men, women and children of what is now western Sydney.


In 2005, the Group decided that its first project would be a hand-sewn recreation of what is believed to be Ann Marsden’s 1822 ball gown and petticoat. The original is housed at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.


The second project was Sir Maurice O’Connell’s 73rd Highland Regiment uniform that he was reported to have worn in about 1838.


The project for 2010 is the recreation of a uniform worn by the women workers at the Ammunition Filling Factory at St Marys during the Second World War.


(Source: Emeritus Prof David Carment, Snr Vice President, Royal Australian Historical Society – 25 October 2010)



10) Local history - Berrima District Historical and Family History Society, New South Wales, golden jubilee


On 24 June 2010, the President of the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS), Ian Jack, attended the Berrima District Historical and Family History Society’s golden jubilee lunch in Mittagong, New South Wales.


A final draft of the Society’s jubilee history was available at the lunch. The work of seven committed Society members, the volume presents a chronological narrative organised in self-contained ten-year intervals, each arranged under subjects such as museums, excursions and cemetery transcriptions. There is also a complete list of office-bearers. The book has a good range of visual materials.


As Ian Jack commented, ‘A golden jubilee is a good time for such a writing venture. Fifty years is a decent age for an Australian historical society… Jubilees are about to come in rapid succession. The RAHS will rejoice with every society on its fiftieth birthday and beyond’.


(Source: Emeritus Prof David Carment, Snr Vice President, Royal Australian Historical Society – 25 October 2010)



11) Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group


The online Australian Historical Societies Support Group, through an arrangement between the Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, is one of the My Connected Community (mc2) groups initiated and funded by the Victorian Government’s Connecting Communities policy. 


The Australian Historical Societies Support Group offers participating historical societies, like-minded bodies and their members a variety of free, easy to use Web-based services which they can use to communicate with each other across the nation and the world on any topic that is of interest or concern to their organisations.  


The mc2 website provides easy access to online technologies now available for communicating between group members. Features of mc2 include a forum, an events list, space for sharing files, space for sharing photos, a links page and a chat room.


Details on how to join the Group are available at the FAHS website at  Follow the "Support" and "Support Group" links from the home page.


(Source: FAHS Council)