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Victorian Collections -

Collecting Fire: A new kind of practice

7 Feb 2019

“While museums have traditionally aspired to collect “the real thing” and to create repositories of tangible evidence of our collective past, the essence of this project and its emerging collection was in making real the intangible through personal stories, symbols, and metaphors – giving form to matters of the heart. A new kind of museum practice was therefore needed.” - Sites of Trauma: Contemporary Collecting and Natural Disaster

Curated By

Lauren McAlary, Veterans Heritage Project Manager

112975 items with images


112975 items with images

Book - unknown

Frankston RSL Sub Branch, Frankston

A WW2 servicemans pocket size record book which has been recovered with a plain, buff coloured cardboard. The book contains detailed records relating to Private Edwin Walter Gillbee, service number VX135249 of the Second AIF.

Book - The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets by Samuel Johnson

Historical information

Pattison Collection This item is from the ‘Pattison Collection’, a collection of books and records that was originally owned by the Warrnambool Mechanics’ Institute, which was founded in Warrnambool in 1853. By 1886 the Warrnambool Mechanics’ Institute (WMI) had grown to have a Library, Museum and Fine Arts Gallery, with a collection of “… choice productions of art, and valuable specimens in almost every branch and many wonderful national curiosities are now to be seen there, including historic relics of the town and district.” It later included a School of Design. Although it was very well patronised, the lack of financial support led the WMI in 1911 to ask the City Council to take it over. In 1935 Ralph Pattison was appointed as City Librarian to establish and organise the Warrnambool Library as it was then called. When the WMI building was pulled down in 1963 a new civic building was erected on the site and the new Warrnambool Library, on behalf of the City Council, took over all the holdings of the WMI. At this time some of the items were separated and identified as the ‘Pattison Collection’, named after Ralph Pattison. Eventually the components of the WMI were distributed from the Warrnambool Library to various places, including the Art Gallery, Historical Society and Flagstaff Hill. Later some were even distributed to other regional branches of Corangamite Regional Library and passed to and fro. It is difficult now to trace just where all of the items have ended up. The books at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village generally display stamps and markings from Pattison as well as a variety of other institutions including the Mechanics’ Institute itself. RALPH ERIC PATTISON Ralph Eric Pattison was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, in 1891. He married Maude Swan from Warrnambool in 1920 and they set up home in Warrnambool. In 1935 Pattison accepted a position as City Librarian for the Warrnambool City Council. His huge challenge was to make a functional library within two rooms of the Mechanics’ Institute. He tirelessly cleaned, cleared and sorted a disarrayed collection of old books, jars of preserved specimens and other items reserved for exhibition in the city’s museum. He developed and updated the library with a wide variety of books for all tastes, including reference books for students; a difficult task to fulfil during the years following the Depression. He converted all of the lower area of the building into a library, reference room and reading room for members and the public. The books were sorted and stored using a cataloguing and card index system that he had developed himself. He also prepared the upper floor of the building and established the Art Gallery and later the Museum, a place to exhibit the many old relics that had been stored for years for this purpose. One of the treasures he found was a beautiful ancient clock, which he repaired, restored and enjoyed using in his office during the years of his service there. Ralph Pattison was described as “a meticulous gentleman whose punctuality, floorless courtesy and distinctive neat dress were hallmarks of his character, and ‘his’ clock controlled his daily routine, and his opening and closing of the library’s large heavy doors to the minute.” Pattison took leave during 1942 to 1942 to serve in the Royal Australian Navy, Volunteer Reserve as Lieutenant. A few years later he converted one of the Museum’s rooms into a Children’s Library, stocking it with suitable books for the younger generation. This was an instant success. In the 1950’s he had the honour of being appointed to the Victorian Library Board and received more inspiration from the monthly conferences in Melbourne. He was sadly retired in 1959 after over 23 years of service, due to the fact that he had gone over the working age of council officers. However he continued to take a very keen interest in the continual development of the Library until his death in 1969.


The Pattison Collection, along with other items at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, was originally part of the Warrnambool Mechanics' Institute’s collection. The Warrnambool Mechanics’ Institute Collection is primarily significant in its totality, rather than for the individual objects it contains. Its contents are highly representative of the development of Mechanics' Institute libraries across Australia, particularly Victoria. A diversity of publications and themes has been amassed, and these provide clues to our understanding of the nature of and changes in the reading habits of Victorians from the 1850s to the middle of the 20th century. The collection also highlights the Warrnambool community’s commitment to the Mechanics’ Institute, reading, literacy and learning in the regions, and proves that access to knowledge was not impeded by distance. These items help to provide a more complete picture of our community’s ideals and aspirations. The Warrnambool Mechanics Institute book collection has historical and social significance for its strong association with the Mechanics Institute movement and the important role it played in the intellectual, cultural and social development of people throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The collection of books is a rare example of an early lending library and its significance is enhanced by the survival of an original collection of many volumes. The Warrnambool Mechanics' Institute’s publication collection is of both local and state significance.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on spine with typed text "PAT / 928 / JOH"

Photograph - Allan Quinn Collection - The fishing harbour, Gothenburg, Sweden

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of a fishing harbour in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1950. In the bottom left corner of the photograph are roofs of buildings. In the bottom right corner of the photograph is a ships dock area with a warehouse, crates, and several ships docked. This section extends towards the middle of the photograph. The background is very industrial with large ships and machinery. This section of the photograph is very dark.

Historical information

This series of photographs captures life at sea and the conditions on the ship M/S "Mongabarra" Goteborg in 1950.


This photograph is part of the Allan Quinn collection, which is a pictorial autobiography, and it represents one of many moments of his time abroad as a seafarer.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the back of the photograph is the date 9/7/50 in blue ink.


Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Black and White Postcard of the sailing ship Beatrice, Inscription of reverse side reads "Built 1883 / formally British barque Routenburn". 137 (SH 036 Ships A - B).

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription of reverse side reads "Built 1883 / formally British barque Routenburn".

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Patty Reese Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion


Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Black & White photograph of the South Coast of Phillip Island

Historical information

One of a collection of 6 photographs donated by Mary Karney

Beer mug, glass - Rupertswood Diamond Jubilee glass beer mug

Hume City Civic Collection, Sunbury

A clear glass beer mug with handle attached on side with gold Rupertswood emblem on the front and on the back a gold transfer commemorating a diamond jubilee 1927-1987

Historical information

This item was produced to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Rupertswood as a college 1927 -1987

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: Rupertswood emblem. "RUPERTSWOOD A LIVING HISTORY" / Centre back: "DIAMOND JUBILEE" / "1927- 1987"

Photograph - Dodd's Store Olinda

Mt Dandenong & District Historical Society Inc., Mt Dandenong

Jack Dodd's General Store in Main Street Olinda c1909

a.i.f paybook

Magnet Galleries Melbourne Inc, Melbourne


Photograph - N. J. Tillings Timber Factory, 15 June, 1975

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1 black and white photograph printed with white border

Historical information

N. J. Tillings Timber Factory was part of the Brougham Street, Light industrial area, Eltham. This is one of 7 B/W 8x10 inch photos with notes on obverse by Dick Crichton. Accompanying letter from Florence Chrichton 2013 : "Originally sent to Shire of Eltham Engineer, Mr. McDonald. [These photographs were part of their campaign to the Shire of Eltham in 1975] claiming that the zoning regulations were being breached by the occupants of various factories in the nearby light industrial zone [Brougham Street, Eltham] - to the detriment of those living in adjoining residential zones, and that, despite .. earlier objections and complaints, nothing was done about it." Wire gate and fencing in foreground of photo displays signs relating to timber products and Dulux Paints. "The Tilling Group was established in November 1963 and began as a small factory in Eltham Victoria. The company now has large, modern offices and warehouses in most major cities across Australia" -

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on back: "Front entrance to N,J. Tillings timber yard showing part of extractor fan system installed to facilitate milling operations. Sound intensified due to position of mill in valley. Valley acts as a natural sound bowl. Eltham Council were warned of this some years ago." Includes diagram of residences in relation to mill and statement that tooter blast at least ten times per day. "#Note Residences in close proximity to sound source. Pen marks on front of photograph indicating points of interest.

1964/11/07 Children's Ward, Courier

Ballarat Base Hospital Trained Nurses League, Ballarat


Photograph - On board the William Mitchell: On the poop looking forward

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Historical information

The photograph probably taken by Reverend Weller on a visit to the ship. The photograph was detached from album page 1595.

Inscriptions & Markings

number 17


Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson 'Challenge' model tennis racquet with transitional flat-top head and laminated convex throat. String whipping and cloth tape reinforcements around shoulders. Model name printed across throat on obverse. Manufacturer's trademark/logo features across throat on reverse. Fine-grooved octagonal handle with leather end wrap. Manufacturer's trademark/logo impressed into butt. Manufacturer name imprinted on right side of shaft. Inscribed on left side of shaft: PATENTED. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Leather, Gut, Cloth tape, String

Textile Handcraft - The Afternoon Tea Party: Celebration Cake

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Historical information

The Geelong Handweavers and Spinners Guild Inc. entered "The Afternoon Tea Party", designed by Val Ingeme, into the "Five Articles" Section of the Melbourne Sheep and Woolcraft Show c.1992. To qualify, the entry needed to form a group and be able to demonstrate a number of wool crafts in at least five different items. The covering of the cake was woven by Anneli Rickards, the plate woven by Jean Inglis, Mary Donnan and Val Ingeme made and assembled the floral trimmings

Photograph - Corner Main & Adelaide Streets c1909

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Black and white photograph of three men standing outside shop. Hoarding on shop reads, "T.M. Falconer - Central storekeeper" and "T.M. Falconer - Baker Grocer". (2 copies, 1 appears to be the original from which enlargement was made).

Document, letter - re Proposed Boys Hostel

Melbourne Legacy, Melbourne

343.1 Yellow quarto copy paper, black type, two hole punched. 00343.2 Quarto paper Department of War Organisation of Industry letterhead two hole punched.

Historical information

343.1 Application to the Department of War Organisation of Industry for approval to make renovations to the Hostel, including a copy of the approval from Kew Council. It outlines change need to number of toilets and shower facilities as per regulations for Boarding and Lodging Houses 343.2 Reply granting authority to commence building operations to the value of £290.


Illustrates that approval was required from the Government to renovate in 1943.

Inscriptions & Markings

343.1 Initialled in ink CRC of Carleton and Carleton Architects. 00343.2 Signed in ink by L.L. Burch Deputy Director

Glider – Sailplane – EP 1 Spruce Goose - EP 1 - Spruce Goose – Formerly Registered as VH-GHE

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Small, light weight, sailplane of wooden construction with fabric covering on wings (strutted), elevator and rudder. Instruments have been removed and control column is not in place.

Historical information

This exhibit was designed and built by Ted Pascoe in 1955 as a smaller than average single seat sailplane that could be operated by two or three people. At times it was launched by auto-towing by Ted Pascoe and his wife without the aid of a third person at the wing tip. The glider exhibited good soaring capability and was used for some cross country flights. For instance, in 1956 Ted Pascoe succeeded in a 36 mile goal flight during which he attained a maximum height of 4500 feet. It was flown at the Mt Gambier Gliding Club from 1956 until about 1961. The Log Book shows that it was flown at Everard in 1961 and at Everard, Waikerie, Gawler and Keith in 1962. There is a gap in flying record for this aircraft from 1962 until 1967. From 1967 to 1972 it was flown regularly at various places in South Australia including Whitwarta, Stonefield, Renmark, and Gawler. For many years it was owned and flown by Mervyn Gill of the Balaklava Gliding Club.


To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration VH-GHE – Serial Number GFA/HB/24


Merbein RSL Sub Branch, Merbein

Head and shoulders photo of a soldier wearing a slough hat.

Book - Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute by Bruce G. Draper

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

33 p., illus. Front cover shows the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute.

Historical information

Contains a brief history of the European settlement of Arthurs Creek from 1844 and the Mechanics Institute from 1887. It includes the Mechanics Institute's important role in community activities.


Celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute and Free Library.


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Inscriptions & Markings


Conservator, Vol 24, No 1, Autumn/Winter, 2006 (Final Issue)

Conservation Volunteers, Mount Helen

This was the final issue of a magazine produced by ATCV/CVA from 1982-2006 (c. 90 issues). This issue was a high quality, profusely illustrated colour magazine, representing a quantum leap in professionalism from the earliest photocopied editions.

Historical information

This set of magazines is a vital tool for those researching the early days and later development of ATCV and CVA. It was modelled loosely on the magazine "Conserver" of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). Issues become more sophisticated in format over time and each includes news, project reports, lists of upcoming projects, and stories. The editor for 62 issues was Mr Alf Bailey (staff 1987-current (2010)who edited the Conservator from Mar 1987 to mid-2006.Alf was a former high school principal and set a high standard. Since 2006 a more compact and economical newsletter "Conservation Volunteer" has been mailed to CVA and CVNZ members and is also downloadable from the CVA website.


This set of magazines is significant because it is the most comprehensive record of all aspects of the establishment, growth, expansion, and nature of ATCV/CVA and its activities. It reveals the change from a local charity to a nation-wide corporate structure engaging thousands of volunteers tackling hundreds of projects a year in Australia and New Zealand in the present day.

Medallions - Town of Warrnambool Queen Victoria 60yrs

Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool

,1These two circular bronze medals have profiles of Queen Victoria as a young woman and as a crowned monarch on the reverse and the Warrnambool Coat of Arms on the obverse. Both have a punched hole with a metal ring on the top. .2 As above .3 These five circular medals, four of which are bronze and one brass are identical with those described above.

Historical information

These medals were issued by the Town of Warrnambool in 1897 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria of England. Walter John Hickford, the Mayor Warrnambool at that time, has his name on the medal. Walter Hickford (1855-1928) was a Warrnambool businessman, setting up a shop in Liebig Street in 1880, supplying the paint materials for householders, contactors, painters and artists. He also carried out decorative work in private homes, businesses and churches. Hickford was active in civic life in Warrnambool, serving as a Councillor from 1890 to 1903 and he was Mayor from 1895 to 1897.


These medals are of considerable importance as they were produced for the Town of Warrnambool in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. They have both a local and a wider national significance.

Inscriptions & Markings

.1Queen Victoria 60th year of reign 1837 to 1897 obverse Town of Warrnambool W. J. Hickford Mayor .BY THESE WE FLOURISH Reverse .2 As above .3 As for .3 above Note one of the bronze ones has a fabric cord attached through a hole at the top.

Photograph - Rev. Kevin Cranwell

Uniting Church Archives - Synod of Victoria, Malvern East

B & W head and shoulders photograph of Rev Kevin Cranwell

Historical information

See F480-2.

Image - Coronation Day Rutherglen 1937

Rutherglen Historical Society, Rutherglen

Black and white photograph, mounted on cardboard, of a group of children in costume on the back of a decorated truck.

Historical information

Children on the truck appear to be dressed in costumes representing individual nations of the Commonwealth.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed at bottom of mount: "Coronation Day Rutherglen, 1937" Printed on truck door: "E. Hendy, Rutherglen, Phone 42"

Darebin Parklands c1982

Darebin Parklands Association, Alphington

Colour photograph.

Inscriptions & Markings

Found in folder titled [Darebin Parklands 1982 Australia 4/10/82]

Rimini Italy

Footscray Community Arts Centre , Footscray

MEDIUM: Photograph digital print

Program Photos Newsletter Poster Articles - The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett by special arrangement with Dominie Pty. Ltd. directed by David Dare

Heidelberg Theatre Company Inc.., Rosanna

1949 Boys

Williamstown High School , Williamstown

Black and white photograph of 1949 WHS boys, with identifying names, mounted on white card using photo corners.

Inscriptions & Markings

See JPG for names.

Book - Teaching invisible culture : classroom practice and theory

Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, Rippleside

All language educators are aware that culture is a vitally important reason for teaching languages. All curriculum statements for languages contain strong references to the importance of culture. We need to offer accessible cultural input to initiate the teaching of culture in language use, while at the same time not simplifying or stereotyping the community that speaks the language we are teaching. This book takes up these important questions and places in the hands of teachers well researched but very practical guidance, advice, resources and information on teaching culture in language. In this book you will find a discussion of what researchers, and classroom teachers, think and do about culture in language education and you will find a rich array of practical resources and advice for enhancing classroom practice. Specific languages addressed are: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and English as a Second Language. Preface /? Joseph Lo Bianco 1. Common themes /? Joseph Lo Bianco 2. Culture: visible, invisible and multiple /? Joseph Lo Bianco 3. A conceptual framework to help teachers identify where culture is located in language use /? Chantal Crozet 4. Chinese /? Li Kaining 5. How can we make Australian English meaningful to ESL learners? /? Anne-Marie Barraja-Rohan 6. Teaching French and culture in language use /? Chantal Crozet and Louise Maurer 7. Are Germans rude or just doing things differently? Understanding and teaching language and culture /? Winfried Thielmann 8. Face value: teaching Italian verbal and social-cultural interaction /? Piera Carroli, Adriana Pavone, Vincenza Tudini 9. The teaching of culture in Japanese /? Miyuki Toyoda and Shunichi Ishihara.

Inscriptions & Markings

diagrams, word lists

Booklet - Diamond Valley Football Record

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Links: 00608.02911 16 page stapled booklet with black printing on pink paper dated Saturday 20th July 1963.

Historical information

Records the football teams to play in the Diamond Valley Football League on Saturday 20th July 1963.


Records the names all footballers playing on that day.

Inscriptions & Markings

The year 1963 is circled in black biro.