Each year, students from the graduate course Digital Humanities MULT900056 produce blog posts based on various digitised University of Melbourne Archives collections.
In 2020 the students focused on the Australia Today photographs from the Commercial Travellers Association (CTA) collection, 1979.0162. The 1,000-plus photographs were commissioned for the publication as a means of attracting (mostly British) immigrants to the country, in theory boosting the size of the customer base for the travelling salespeople represented by the CTA. For more general information about the collection, see this Pursuit article.
As university students caught in a long lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the photographs represented an opportunity to escape across Australia. The broad range of themes and research practices represented in the assembled blog posts demonstrate the versatility of a single set of material within UMA’s vast collection. They also show the creativity that UMA’s collections can inspire when used in university subjects.