Historical information

‘Warrnambool Past and Present’ was written and published in 1907 by Edward Vidler. It is a seminal work on Warrnambool’s history. It is noted for its historical accuracy, its complementary value to Osburne’s History of Warrnambool published in 1887 and its presentation of historically important early photographs. Edward Vidler, born in England, was a writer, historian, journalist, editor and publisher. He was in the Geelong area in the 1880s where he produced a commemorative volume on that city. He was in Warrnambool in the early 1900s where he produced his book ‘Warrnambool Past and Present’ to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of Warrnambool. He also organized the establishment of the Warrnambool Pioneer Honour Board with the portraits of 204 pioneer men from the area.
John Ward was a pioneer settler in the Warrnambool area. He was a Councillor (1880 to 1911) and Mayor and had a shop at the corner of Jamieson Street and Canterbury Road. He was an historian and wrote articles on aspects of early Warrnambool and a comprehensive history of Methodism in Warrnambool.
Thomas Wicking was a noted Warrnambool historian in the second half of the 20th century.


These two copies are most significant. Originals of this book are rare and the book is of key importance in the recording of Warrnambool’s history. Edward Vidler, John Ward and Thomas Wicking are all of importance in the telling of Warrnambool’s story.

Physical description

These are two copies of the book, ‘Warrnambool Past and Present’.
.1 No cover, pages 1-82, (some pages missing at the back), bound with adhesive tape, inscriptions handwritten in black, stamp of Camperdown Historical Society, front and back pages slightly crumpled and torn.
.2 Replacement hard cover in brown with gold lettering, pages 1-80, (some pages missing at the back), inscriptions handwritten in pencil and blue ink.
Both books contain printed text, many advertisements and over a hundred photographs and illustrations of Warrnambool and district.

Inscriptions & markings

.1 ‘M.Whitehead’
‘Presented to the Camperdown Hist. Soc. by Hilda Whitehead, 1988’

.2 ‘Thos. Wicking’
‘John Ward, 24 Hampton Rd. Armadale’