Beautiful collections from across Australia

Beautiful collections from across Australia
Community Heritage Grant recipients share more of their favourite items
24 February 2016

A picture is worth a thousand words as the saying goes. There is such a rich repository of images in locally held, nationally significant cultural heritage collections cared for by organisations who have received Community Heritage Grants (CHG). We've found some treasures amongst the ‘favourites’ suggested by the individuals who care for these collections.

The Crescent, looking south, Fairfield, NSW  1949, Whitlam Library, Cabramatta

A favourite image from the collection of the Whitlam Library, Cabramatta is of The Crescent in Fairfield.

"It had taken nearly fifty years from the opening of Fairfield Railway Station in 1856 for commercial activity to begin along The Crescent. Development until 1945 was gradual but a post war population explosion due to heavy migrant resettlement in the area led to traffic congestion and the rapid expansion of the Fairfield central business district."

In 2014, CHG granted funding for a significance assessment of the Fairfield City Library Local Studies Collection. The collection is held at the Whitlam Library Cabramatta and selected resources are available at the other library locations. 

The seaside village of Robe, on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, has been a popular holiday destination for more than 140 years. Items in the Robe Library Local History Collection capture the passing eras of tourism in Australia, from wealthy pastoralists building grand holiday homes in the 1860s to the emergence of the humble beach shack and surfing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Robe Hotel  c.1920, Robe Library

The Robe Local History Collection favourite is the visitors' book for the Robe Hotel, covering 1922 to 1926. Comments scrawled by guests reflect the emergence of motoring, with visitors frequently recording snippets about their vehicles, as well as their experiences at the hotel. One entry reads: "Overland to Melbourne Sydney and back again, 3300 miles, Bianchi and still going strong.” Guests also commented frequently on their fresh lobster suppers, and the Italian marble bath that featured in one of the communal bathrooms.  Who “fell in love with???”and why was Mr Moore from Semaphore ‘out of luck’?

Visitors' book for the Robe Hotel, 1922–1926, Robe Library

The Coober Pedy Historical Society cares for a significant historical, research and social collection in remote South Australia illustrating the lives and work of opal miners and other residents of Coober Pedy.   The Underground Water Tank at Coober Pedy was a vital construction in the town’s viability and development, shown here circa 1960, with townspeople queuing to receive their water ration, normally 44 gallons per person per week. Completed in 1922 and filled with water runoff after good rainfall in 1926, the 500,000 gallon underground tank at last provided an adequate water supply in most years, for growth and development in the opal mining community of Coober Pedy.

Courtesy of Hans Lang and Coober Pedy Historical Society  c1960

The Coober Pedy Historical Society received CHG funding for significance and preservation needs assessments.

The Australian Railway Historical Society Victorian Division cares for a collection of almost 50,000 photographs and slides; related to railways in Victoria as well as a large range of general paper files, Victorian Railways Publications and other books, maps, plans. They received CHG funding for a significance assessment of their archive. One of their favourite photographs is from 1884, when the railway reached Kerang. While the grain shed is incomplete, it is already almost full of bagged grain. Meanwhile the Derrick Crane is busy unloading all manner of farming equipment and other goods for the community.  

Kerang  1884, Australian Railway Historical Society Victorian Division

Organisations are encouraged to apply for CHG funding to have a significance assessment of their collection as a starting point. This would be followed by a preservation needs assessment done by a qualified conservator. An application for conservation activities and collection management activities can then be made based on the prioritised recommendations of the preservation needs assessment. This could include an application for digitisation. Recipients of digitisation funding are encouraged to upload images to their publically accessible websites and to contribute their digitised collections to Trove

The 2016 grant round will open 7 March and close 9 May.

I am a member of Seaside Writers, Hove SA. and have written two histories of my memoirs, 'The way it was' that includes P'TSD the legacy of war service' cover my years with the RAAF WW11 - a copy is in the National War Museum. Library and 'The Monkey Puzzle Memories of a lifetime'. I would like to donate copies to the National Library and can provide hard copy volumes or digitalised copies that I would need funding for. Please contact me by email address as follows - Postal address - 21 Lynmouth Avenue, North Brighton SA 5048 Mobile 0416393198
Hello Robert, Thanks so much for thinking of us. Your publications may actually fall within Legal Deposit, which is the part of the Copyright Act that requires publishers and self-publishing authors in Australia to deposit a copy of their work with the National Library. We recommend contacting the Legal Deposit team for further information; their details can be found at: We hope this helps, best wishes.