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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Founded in 1958, the Kew Historical Society is one of the oldest suburban historical societies in Melbourne. The Society was formed to assist in the preparations for Kew’s 100th Anniversary in 1960. Today, the Society continues to work with local government and other organisations within Kew to stimulate interest in our history and heritage. It publishes, in print and online, information and resources about Kew’s history, as well as organising events relevant to our heritage. The Society cooperates with other historical societies and groups across the City of Boroondara through the Boroondara Historical Societies Association.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

Fridays & Saturdays 11.00am to 1.00pm. Closed in January.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958, and the collection predates and postdates that year. The collection has sometimes grown gradually, or significantly, the latter through key donations (eg The Rogers Collection), or due to events such as the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the new City of Boroondara in 1994. Many ‘civic’ items were donated before, during or after the amalgamation. These records are digitised by the Kew Historical Society on Victorian Collections for the purposes of education and preservation. If you believe that we have infringed your copyright please contact us and we will remove the material from the site.

Significance

The collection as a whole fulfills the criteria for very strong historical, aesthetic and research significance at a local level. It also has many outstanding associations with state themes, figures and events and quite a few that resonate at a national level. The costume and textiles, map and picture collections each have very strong historical, research and aesthetic significance of their own accord. The degree of their significance is greatly enhanced by all of the comparative criteria: interpretive value, provenance, condition, integrity, rarity and representativeness.

The costume collection has a very high degree of aesthetic significance for its beauty, quality and workmanship. There are some items that are associated with nationally significant designers, or with Kew donors who have made an impact on society at a local and a state level (ie Prue Acton, Jinoel of Melbourne, Oggi Fashion House). The strong degree of provenance and high quality of the design and dressmaking that went into the production of these clothes strengthens the research significance of this sub-collection for those interested in fashion, textiles and dressmaking. This costume collection includes items that date back to the 1850s (patchwork Denbigh quilt) through to the 1980s, and that reflect changing styles, technologies, textiles and production methods.

The picture collection has some items that have high local significance such as the Josiah Barnes photograph ‘Kew proclaimed a city’, which was taken on that day – 10 March 1921, and the ‘Unveiling of the Kew War Memorial’ on August 30 1925 in front of an audience of over 5,000 people and presided over by the Kew Mayor and the Governor of Victoria. Both of these important images also have significance to state and national processes of municipal development and memorializing war. The mayoral portraits (part of the picture collection) have a very high degree of historical and research significance for their associations, enhanced by strong provenance and technical qualities. Eminent photographers took many of the portraits and the subjects are people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and development of Kew and, in the case of some of the Mayors in this collection, of the state or even the nation. This includes people such as Stanley Argyle (Premier of Victoria 1932-35) and William Kerr (influential businessman and federal government advisor in the early decades of the 20th century). The significance threshold of this sub-collection is therefore likely to be of state significance at the least.

The maps and plans number some 300 or more and include some fascinating and important maps beyond the MMBW sub-collection that, itself, holds some unique items and has been discussed at length in this report. Other much earlier and hand drawn maps such as ‘Back to Kew’ (c.1875) and ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ (undated) are historically fascinating. In the case of ‘Back to Kew’ it is the detail of the built, natural and social landscape of Kew, which was also annotated and added to several times in subsequent decades to show the development of the area. In the case of ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ it is the careful recording of the garden layout and the nature of domesticity in these early days of European settlement that is both fascinating and rare to find in any local history collection. While not all the items are original the map and plan collection has a very high degree of historical and research significance.

Provenance for much of the collection is strong, and therefore supportive of its historical, research and interpretive value. Certainly the interpretive capacity for understanding a detailed and nuanced history of Kew on many levels, as well as touching or reflecting on wider stories on a state or national stage is very high.

Russell, Emma, 'Kew Historical Society Significance Assessment | Collection', History@Work, 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

Amazing hat collection, these are a great addition to the site - Site admin.

Leave a comment

2683 items

Hair Care Equipment - Curling Irons

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pair of metal curling ions

Railway Equipment - 'A' Pattern Annett Key, Kew Railway Station

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

'A' pattern Annett Key, used at the Kew Railway Station with signals equipment.

Inscriptions & Markings

KEW

Identification Badge - Cr HG Ferguson, City of Kew, 1955

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Inscriptions & Markings

Front:City of Kew to top, Crest in middle with Council below Rear: Cr H. G. Ferguson 27-8-1955

Identification Badge - Mrs HG Ferguson, Mayoress, City of Kew 1959-60

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A gold plated bar brooch with suspended medallion having a blue enamelled ring surrounding the City of Kew crest in relief

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: City of Kew, above the city of Kew crest with Council below Rear: Mrs H. G. Ferguson, Mayoress, 1959-60

Women's Clothing - Underwear: White Muslin Knickers

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Crutchless knickers. Hand sewn muslin pant with a front central opening

Women's Clothing - Lace

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Camisette Garment is comprised of machine lace and an embroidered cotton joined together to form a fabric and backed with fine netting. There is a band of narrow lace at the square neckline, this is attached to a band of insertion lace with ribbon holes and then wide bands of insertion lace. At the upper midriff level there is a band of lace interspersed with embroidered butterflies. Garment is buttoned at the front.

Women's Clothing - Blouse

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Canary Island Tenerife lace blouse. The blouse is decorated with bands of drawn thread lace of two widths at the waist line. There are two bands of wide lace featuring 2 circular motifs and two simple narrow bands. The neckline is decorated with two bands of the wide lace and three bands of the narrow lace. There is a single button opening at both sides of the neckline

Historical information

These garments were made for the tourist market in the Spanish Colonies of South America

Women's Clothing - Camisole

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Camisole with pearl buttons. Two circular floral motifs on either side of front buttons. Broderie finish to armholes and the back. Joined peplum for gatherhing tape at waist line

Women's Clothing - Camisole

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton voile puff sleeved camisole with four engraved pearl buttons. Neck edged with an edging lace and narrow tape. Sleeves finished with two rows of pin tucking and edging lace. Insertion and tape lace at neckline.

Women's Clothing - Jabot

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton jabot of Irish crotchet lace and machine made lace and machine sewn. Inserted lace layer has flat and three dimensional crotchet roses. Lace edging at the bottom has three 3 dimensional roses and shamrocks

Women's Clothing - Embroidered Silk Chemisette, 1900-1910

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Rectangular silk organza chemisette, with inset embroidered net at the front and at the neck. The free-form, multicoloured silk embroidery includes abstract flowers, fruit and leaves, and may be of Chinese origin. The chemisette has five decorative mother-of-pearl buttons at the front and silk organza ties at the waist.

Women's Clothing - Cotton voile blouse

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton voile blouse with short sleeves. Neckline ornamented with collar and jabot style front edged with tape lace. Sleeves also ornamented with tape lace. Sleeves and neckline gathered with roulaux

Women's Clothing - Mop cap

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Circle of muslin, lace edged, with an attached bias tape to form a tube for gathering cap

Women's Clothing - Camisole

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White muslin camisole with fabric made by machine joined tape lace. Sleeves have three layers tape lace between three pieces of muslin. Edges are of a layer of scalloped tape lace joined to sleeves by a ribbon insert tape lace.

Women's Clothing - Lace

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Women's Clothing - Lace

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Women's Clothing - Lace

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Women's Clothing - Lace

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Women's Clothing - Embroidered Chemisette, 1900-1910

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Key Ring - City of Kew, Metal and Enamel (x2)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A ring with a clip fastener to which is attached a close linked chain with an enamelled medallion with a black background, a gilt outline of the City of Kew crest with red enamel infill, in it's original packaging x 2

Cuff Links - City of Kew, Metal and Enamel

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A black enamelled rounded cornered rectangular badge with a gilt outline of the City of Kew crest filled in red enamel having a swivel back pin

Inscriptions & Markings

City of Kew with crest and motto

Identification Badge - City of Kew, Swimming Pool Attendant (x3)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Shield shape nickel plated badge with pin x 3

Inscriptions & Markings

Kew Swimming Pool Attendant

Handbag - White Enamel & Brass, Oroton

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White enamel mesh evening bag.

Handbag - Silver Chain Mesh, 19th century

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Square silver chain purse

Evening Bag - Gold Brocade

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Gold brocade evening bag with metal chain

Handbag - Black Silk with Cornelli Work Embroidery

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black evening bag with fabric covered metal frame. Flat black strap. Same colour cornelli embroidered exterior decoration.

Reticule - Embroidered Silk, Glass Bead Fringe, 1880s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Beaded reticule with a fringe and handle of blue class beads. The internal prose has a blue silk lining and a pink silk outer encased in beaded net. Based on an examination of the fabric, the reticule has been dated to the 1880s.

Pharmaceutical Collection - Dispensary Books, Apothecary Jars, and Sundry Bottles

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The Brenda and Bob Johnston Collection is comprised of 19th and 20th century pharmaceutical records, books, apothecary jars and pharmaceutical implements. The items in the collection were used and or available for sale by chemists who occupied 167 High Street, beginning with Francis Barnard. The most important items in the collection are two dispensary books, one from the 1880s and the other from the start of the 20th century. Both were owned and compiled by Francis and his son FGA Barnard. The collection was donated to the Kew Historical Society over a number of years. The most recent donation by Brenda Johnson includes approximately 50 bottles labelled with the names of a number of pharmacists who ran the dispensary. Of these 34 held pharmaceuticals, 8 food or drink, and 5 miscellaneous.

Historical information

The original pharmacy established by Francis Barnard was situated on the site later occupied from 1888 by the Kew Post Office, Court House, and Police Station. Francis Barnard moved his dispensary to 167 High Street in 1886 when the land on which his original business stood was compulsorily acquired by the Victorian Government. When FGA Barnard sold the pharmacy at 167 High Street, it was owned by a number of other pharmacists including: Paton, later Malone, last proprietor Brenda Johnson.

Significance

The Brenda and Bob Johnson collection represents an important continuous historical record of pharmaceutical and commercial practice in Victoria in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the items warrant additional research. The Kew Historical Society is seeking a suitably qualified and interested researcher to audit, describe and evaluate the collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Various labels

Textile - Manila de Manton

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Large cream coloured shawl or throw that includes a very wide fringe. The fabric used in its construction is probably synthetic.

Textile - Tea Cosy

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White rectangular embroidered fabric constructed of two joined pieces of fabric and used as a decorative teapot cover.