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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

110001 items with images


110001 items with images


Merbein RSL Sub Branch, Merbein

Soldier sitting at a table writing.


Queen's College, Parkville

Carpenter's set square

Historical information

This item is part of the Dodgson Collection, which was bequeathed to Queen's College in 1892 by the Rev. James Dodgson. The collection was created by Aquila Dodgson, brother of James. Aquila Dodgson was a friend of the English Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, and it was through this friendship the Aquila was able to acquire ancient Egyptian artefacts. A detailed study of the collection was made by Christine Elias "Discovering Egypt: Egyptian Antiquities at the University of Melbourne", M.A. thesis 2010.

Ornaments, lady's dressing table set

City of Moorabbin Historical Society (Operating the Box Cottage Museum), Ormond

Four piece lady's white ceramic dressing table set. Comprising of a small rectangular tray, and three small lidded-pots - one pot has a knob. There is a hand-painted dainty red and green floral garland decoration on each of the pots as well as the tray. Remnants of gold painted decoration can also be seen.


The family of Miss carol Green were early settlers in Moorabbin Shire

Flag - Spirit of the Sea

Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool

Navy blue flag with green and blue logo with white writing. Synthetic fabric with heavier white binding.

Historical information

This is an item which was used around 2000 to advertise the City of Warrnambool.


A statement and logo which was highly visible.

Inscriptions & Markings

Evan Evans Flags. Made in Australia Ph:0394806611

Book - The Holy Bible

Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool

This is a brown leather-covered book of 822 pages. The cover extends over the edges of the pages and has gold lettering on the front cover and spine. The pages are gilt-edged and there are several colour maps at the end of the book. There is a blue ribbon marker encased in the binding. The inscription is on a loose card and is handwritten in black ink.

Historical information

This Bible was given in March 1916 to Private Henry Havelock Rogers (1895-1917), the son of Joseph and Ellen Rogers of Warrnambool. He left Australia in April 1916 as a member of the 14th Battalion (17 Reinforcement Group) and died in France in April 1917 as a result of wounds. The cousins named on the card were the three older children of Arthur and Agnes Rogers, also of Warrnambool. Joseph and Arthur Rogers were brothers. The Bible was found in the MacDonald Street, South Warrnambool home of Bill Rogers, another son of Arthur and Agnes Rogers not born until the 1920s (deceased estate item).


This item has a particular poignancy as it was given to a Warrnambool World War One soldier who was killed in action. Perhaps he carried the Bible with him and it was returned to his family after his death.

Inscriptions & Markings

‘To Dear Harry Wishing Him God Speed & Safe Return From His Loving Uncle, Aunt And Cousins, Rita, Alfie & Charlie’.


Running Rabbits Military Museum operated by the Upwey Belgrave RSL Sub Branch, Upwey

Photo WW1 Soldier Name not known


Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Engine steam operated large thin fly wheel and small wide fly wheel 710mmL x 360mmW. Bench mounted for running tools

Photograph, R. K. Churches

Frankston RSL Sub Branch, Frankston

Photograph of Sergeant R. K. Churches, service number VX34599, of the Australian Army 2/9th Field Ambulance taken post World War 2. Churches is in his Australian Army uniform and is pictured standing beside a house typical of the era. (refer item number 00320)

Inscriptions & Markings

digital file only

Photograph - Colour - Royal Hotel, Horsham, 2017

Ballarat Heritage Services, Bakery Hill Post Office

Colour photograph of the Royal Hotel, Horsham


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Historical information


Inscriptions & Markings


Photograph - Post Card

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Black & White Postcard of Cape Woolamai cliffs on right of photo with sea on the left.

Historical information

Donated by G. Haywood

Inscriptions & Markings

"The Rose Series, P. 684." "The picturesque cliffs of Cape Woolamai, Phillip Is., Vic."

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece ivory satin evening dress. Bodice is decorated with central panel of finely pleated chiffon and embellished with ready-made strips of beading and artificial pearls. Short puffed sleeves. Russet coloured velvet band applied to waist of bodice and finished with a metal rosette. Plain gored satin skirt with cream velvet binding around hem.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed grey on cream cotton, centre back bodice waist: Bussell, Robson & Bussell / MELBOURNE.

book - Border Tales

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A paperback book of 120pp titled Border tales : stories from Genoa, Wangarabell, Wroxham, Timbillica, Maramingo, Nungatta, Wingan and Gipsy Point. On the front cover is a coloured picture of the bridge across the Genoa river at Genoa.

Historical information

The book was compiled by Peter Allard and Geoff Alves and published by the Genoa Town Committee. Genoa is a small town in East Gippsland, Victoria. It is close to the New South Wales border where the Princes Highway crosses the Genoa River.

Photograph - 22-24 Bridge Street, Eltham, 16 May 2010

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Colour photograph

Church St John's Church Soldiers Hill 2

Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI Ballarat), Ballarat

Photograph - Easter play - At the Tomb; Karen Whalley, Peter Davison, Matthew Dance, Christopher Field, Fiona Berry, Eltham Christian School, 1982

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

2 colour photographs

Historical information

Easter play - At the Tomb; Karen Whalley, Peter Davison, Matthew Dance, Christopher Field, Fiona Berry, about April 1982 From a series of photographs (some cropped) from a magnetic photo album relating to the staff, students and activities of the Eltham Christian School which operated as part of the Eltham Christian Church at Nyora Road, Eltham. See also entries for each photograph.

Book - Language : maintenance, power and education in Australian Aboriginal contexts

Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, Fitzroy

Conference themes of language and power, language maintenance and language in education raised in an Aboriginal context; papers separately annotated.

Inscriptions & Markings

maps, tables


Wangaratta Urban Fire Brigade, Wangaratta

Slide - Fine Merino Ewes

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Slide of a fine Merino ewe.

Historical information

Slide of a fine Merino ewe. Fine merinos produce slightly longer and stronger wool than the super fine, but are found in the same higher rainfall areas ie. Western District of Victoria, the midlands district of Tasmania, New England and Yass districts of NSW. Formerly stored in presentation folder as part of "Merino & Australasian Breeds of Sheep Set No. A866" series by the Audio Visual Education Centre, Education Department of Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

Merino & Australasian Breeds / of Sheep / Set No. A866 / No. 2 / Fine Merino Ewes VISUAL EDUCATION CENTRE / EDUCATION DEPT. OF VICTORIA


Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum, Bendigo

Wooden rattle with handle and metal studs. When spun, a noise is made.

Inscriptions & Markings


Book - Henry Dendy's account book /​ [introduction and editorial commentary by Leslie A. Schumer].

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Paperback; 63 p. : facsims., geneal. table, maps ; 25 cm.

Inscriptions & Markings

ISBN 0959710418

Article - Preserving a link with the past

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Downloaded copy of article. Text and b&w photo.

Historical information

1937 article describing the Apple Tree on Plenty River at Greensborough, its possible origins and steps to preserve it.


Early attempts to preserve the Batman Apple Tree and alternative explanations of its origins.

Feeding cup

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists,

Feeding cup for an adult made out of white china, now discoloured. The cup has a curved spout with a handle.

Historical information

This type of cup would be in use from the early 1900s to the 1930s. The cups were used both in the home and in hospitals.

Photograph - Old East Ringwood Station booking office - 1975.

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Inscriptions & Markings

Written on backing sheet, "Old East Ringwood Station booking office - 1975".

Booklet - Wahgunyah Primary School No. 644, Centenary 1878-1978: A Brief History of Wahgunyah

Rutherglen Historical Society, Rutherglen

36 page booklet with beige cover and brown lettering, with a sketch of Wahgunyah School.

Historical information

The Wahgunyah Centenary Committee published this book for the celebration in 1978

Pin: Organized labor the hope of the world 1909

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Pin. Round. Sterling silver.

Historical information

This pin was created by Miss Annie Emily Gardner to raise relief money to support industrial unrest in Newcastle. It was reported in the Newcastle Morning Herald that Miss Gardner was vice-president of the Women's Organising Committee of the Political Labour League. A copy of an advertisement for the pin has been uploaded here. Price of the silver pin was 2/- and gold 15/6. Photograph of the pin - to come. Donated to Ballarat Trades Hall by John Mildren.


Significant to industrial action, union organising and the labour movement in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Silver anchor superimposed over a white globe (with silver latitude and longitude lines). A safety pin is welded to the back. Blue outer circle with inscription: "Organized labor the hope of the world 1909". Inscription on the back: "USA ???" in very tiny font.

Oral History - William Arthur Cecil by Bill Cecil.

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

2 typed pages.

Historical information

Bill Cecil moved to Greensborough in 1944 aged 14. His family ran the post office and Bill became acquainted with most Greensborough families as he delivered the mail on horseback. Bill recounts his life both in Greensborough and other parts of the country.


A primary source recollection of Greensborough in the mid to late 20th century.

Cast Iron Seal Embossing Press - Seal

Wannon Water, Warrnambool

Small metal machine painted black , decorated gold . Dies are attached with the seal of Mortlake Waterworks Trust . Paper is placed between the dies, the handle depressed and the seal embossed on the paper under pressure as a blind (inkless) embossing. The seal consists of two circles with the wording "Mortlake Waterworks Trust 1915".

Historical information

Mortlake Waterworks Trust – 18 May 1915 to 1 July 1984 Mortlake Waterworks Trust was constituted on 18 May 1915 following application by the Shire of Mortlake to carry out works for the supply of water to the township of Mortlake. The Trust was abolished on 1 July 1984 under the Water and Sewerage Authorities (Restructuring) Act 1983 when authority was transferred to the Mortlake Water Board.


A cast iron seal press. This was used by Mortlake Waterworks Trust to emboss agreements and official documents. Die is still attached to the press. It reads: Mortlake Waterworks Trust 1915.

Inscriptions & Markings

Mortlake Waterworks Trust 1915

Book - Naval and Military Society Bible

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Black cover with RAF ensigna on front in gold.

Inscriptions & Markings

Issued to No 101109 F/O A.E.Pearl RAF.

Photograph - Digital Image - Mrs Greenwood with two apples; and, older Gladys Greenwood: group of photographs.

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Digital copy of one black and white photograph and one colour photograph.

Historical information

A young Mrs Greenwood is seen posing with two apples; an older Miss Gladys Greenwood (daughter of Mrs Greenwood) is seen at a celebration. The Greenwood family share farmed with the Bosch family.


The area of Greensborough along the Plenty River was known for its orchards, which might explain why Mrs Greenwood is photographed holding the apples.