The Renaissance of early Greek maps

The University of Melbourne’s rare and historical map collection holds over 8,000 rare original maps plus more than 100 original atlases with maps of significance, including some of the earliest cartographic charts of Australia, the Pacific and other parts of the world. Four maps are highlighted here and they depict Asia Minor—or the modern-day equivalent of Turkey and parts of Armenia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and Bulgaria. They were donated as part of a collection of 130 maps to the University in 1991 by Australian diplomat Ronald Walker and his wife Pamela. Ronald and Pamela Walker made several donations of rare maps over the last 20 years. The first donation was of Asia Minor maps and later donations included more than 70 rare original cartograph items from the 16th and 17th centuries of Constantinople and other parts of the world. Walker was posted to the Turkish capital Ankara in the 1970s where the couple begun their collection of ‘maps of Turkey before 1700AD,’ much of which the University now owns. [1.]

Martin Waldseemüller after Claudius Ptolemy, Tabvla nova Asia Minoris, woodcut, 1513.
Martin Waldseemüller after Claudius Ptolemy, Tabvla nova Asia Minoris, woodcut, 1513.

Continue reading “The Renaissance of early Greek maps”

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]

Continue reading “Women of the Conservatorium: Phyllis M Allinson”

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.

Continue reading “The Commercial Travellers Association: Plotting an Image of Australia”

Number of posts found: 366

Post type

Previous posts