Rebekah J. Harris – PhD Candidate in History at the University of Melbourne School of Culture and Communications The most alluring aspect of an archival family collection is its honesty – its documentation of a family’s success and failures. Unless someone has deliberately removed something, personal papers hide very little. In this respect, the Bright Family […]

Motoring enthusiasts Russell Grimwade and G.P.Smith completed the first motorcar trip between Melbourne and Adelaide taking place over 5 days from May 30th to June 3rd 1905. Driving a 10 horsepower double cylinder Argyll car, the pair experienced trouble crossing the Coorong owing to the poor condition of the pipeclay roads. Grimwade stated that he […]

Nell Ustundag (PhD Candidate in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne) Nothing is quite like handling and reading original hand-written correspondence. Letters, particularly those written by hand, are intimate, tangible evidence of relationships between and amongst people; autobiographical evidence of the perspectives and lives of their writers. Most people cherish and […]

Francesca Kavanagh (PhD Candidate in English and Literature in the University of Melbourne School of Culture and Communications) The Bright family papers comprise one of the most significant collections of artefacts pertaining to Jamaican and English trade in the mid- to late-eighteenth century held in Australia. Housed in the University of Melbourne Archives, this collection […]

“Single men from Scotland are keenly sought” writes James Butchart to his father on his arrival in Port Phillip, where he expects his exercise of the three virtues, “patience, prudence and perseverance”, will enable him to thrive. (James Butchart, Melbourne, to father, 15 February 1842, 1990.0083.00005). Recently digitised correspondence reveals the journey of one man from […]

Jane Wilson Volunteer Archivist, Burnley Archives Friends of Burnley Gardens The last few weeks have been very busy for me, the Volunteer Archivist for the Burnley Archives Collection. The Burnley Campus is celebrating this year 125 years of continuous horticultural education and it has been 25 years since the Archives were formally set up. The […]

The Old View, index card

By Rachel Buchanan, Curator, Germaine Greer Archive The first card is written in a black Texta that has faded, 47 years on, to a bruised purple. In the top left-hand corner the young academic has written LINCOLN Abraham. Underneath it, the quote: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” […]

On the 26th of January each year, new Australian citizens are given native saplings during Citizenship ceremonies around the country. Many of these saplings will be from the Eucalyptus genus. With over 700 species mostly native to Australia, Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. ‘Eucalyptus’ is […]

Emmeline Pankhurst to Billy Hughes

The recently released movie Suffragette has introduced a new audience to the extraordinary history of the movement for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom, in particular its militant wing represented by Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). The movie ends before the declaration of the First World War, but the war was to split […]


Emma Hyde Emma Hyde began working at the University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) in 2012 as the Audiovisual Archivist in a project supported by the Miegunyah Fund to appraise UMA’s vast and uncatalogued audiovisual material. As the project is nearing completion, Emma is also heading off on maternity leave and we want to take the […]