Women of the Conservatorium: Phyllis M Allinson

Phyllis Allinson, photograph, Sarony Studios, 1923

Since the 19th century, newly minted, proud university graduates have engaged professional photographers to provide a lasting memento of their academic career. This image from the Rare Music Collection, in its original presentation folder, depicts University of Melbourne graduate Phyllis Allinson upon her graduation from the Conservatorium in 1923. Allinson sports the full Bachelor of Music regalia, including a gown with a black hood, lined with lavender silk and edged with rabbit fur trim, a detail of University regalia that would be abandoned just a few years later in 1927.[1] Allinson’s story is not one of celebrity, but of a musician from rural Victoria, successful in her studies, and in her long career as a professional pianist and teacher, thoroughly immersed in Melbourne’s musical life.[2]

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Intern Profile, Bianca Arthur-Hull, Archives and Special Collections Blog Intern

Photograph showing a young woman, in an interior space.

This year, Archives and Special Collections has benefited from some a number of interns whose work has focused particularly on showcasing works across Special Collections in a number of written pieces for this blog. During a break in her studies this year, Bianca Aurthur-Hull took the opportunity to complete her Museums and Collections Internship, gaining a greater in-depth knowledge of our collections.

What is your academic background? 

I did my bachelor’s in Art History and French. Within Art History I’m interested in constructions of value, authorship, the museum, and historiography (and Early Renaissance devotional art, period!) 

What path led you to undertaking an Internship in Archives and Special Collections? 

I’d engaged with the Archives and Special Collections department at various points throughout my degree, but it was only when I started looking into scholarships in my final year that I discovered the programs and internships run via the department. I was always going to apply in 2020 for the experience of working within the collections, but it just so happened that the pandemic allowed for a perfect opportunity to take on this work. I postponed my study this year, but I’ve still been able to write for the collections virtually.  Continue reading “Intern Profile, Bianca Arthur-Hull, Archives and Special Collections Blog Intern”


Intern Profile, Carmen Mok, Archives and Special Collections Digital Presence Project

 

Photo of a young woman wtih long hair, glasses and in a white top.

Today we’re profiling one of our invaluable Archives and Special Collections Interns, Carmen Mok, who is completing her final year of the Master of Marketing Communications. Carmen’s Internship has assisted in the development of a new and integrated digital presence for Archives and Special Collections across our websites and social media platforms. The project aims to make collections more discoverable and engaging  to internal and external audiences. In Semester 2, Carmen has explored our collections to create engaging content for a number of social media initiatives such as #HistoryMonth2020 and completed a valuable audit of our web presence.

 What is your academic background?

I am currently in the final year of Masters in Marketing Communications. The major focus of my studies is on the impact of digital media in the complex marketing landscape.

What path led you to undertaking an Internship in Archives and Special Collections?

Corresponding to my marketing studies background, I was focusing on searching for an internship in the commerce sector. However, with my experience of working for an arts institution before, I have learnt marketing skills and knowledge in the arts and cultural sector which has peaked my interest and encouraged me to seek work in the arts more broadly. With a recommendation from my faculty, I made contact with the Museums and Collections Projects Coordinator, Helen Arnoldi. While many of the projects were postponed because of the lockdown restrictions, I was fortunate to be able to interview for the Archives and Special Collections Digital Presence Project. And I’m glad that I have become a member of the innovative team at Archives and Special Collections. Continue reading “Intern Profile, Carmen Mok, Archives and Special Collections Digital Presence Project”


The Commercial Travellers Association: Plotting an Image of Australia

Cat Gay is a PhD candidate in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. Her thesis is entitled ‘All life and usefulness’: Girls in nineteenth-century Victoria’.

The above map plots the location of each digitised photograph in the Commercial Travellers Association of Victoria (CTA) archive, held at the University of Melbourne Archives (UMA). Created through Carto, the map provides a spatial and temporal overview of the 1,203 photographs in the collection. As an historian, a means of simultaneously analysing date and location plays into my discipline’s insatiable interest in change over time; with the digital map making it possible to plot patterns of typicality or indications of rupture, shifting agendas, progression and regression.

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Deflowering Karri Country: settler-colonial seductions in the Commercial Travellers’ Association collection

Simon Farley is a writer, theatremaker and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. They are researching settler Australian attitudes towards non-native animals from the 1820s to the present.

The karri is a tree of gargantuan proportions. This species of eucalypt can live for up to three hundred years, growing above sixty or even seventy metres in height.[1] The straight, towering trunks of a karri forest dwarf any human who walks among them. Karri grow only in high-rainfall areas of southwestern Australia.[2] The karri forests on Noongar country, south of Perth, were one of the few heavily wooded parts of the continent when British colonisation began.[3] It was not until the 1870s, however, when settler Australians began to log them intensively.[4] Over time, the region developed an ambivalent reputation – both rugged wilderness and industrial frontier, a place apart from ‘civilisation’ and yet providing the raw materials for that civilisation.

A bridge over the Blackwood River in the Karri timber Country, August 1923
A bridge over the Blackwood River in the Karri timber Country, August 1923. Commercial Travellers’ Association collection, 1979.0162.03225

Continue reading “Deflowering Karri Country: settler-colonial seductions in the Commercial Travellers’ Association collection”


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