Digital Humanities MULT900056

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.

Marine Drive and Harbour, Albany, Western Australia, 1933-1936
Marine Drive and Harbour, Albany, Western Australia, 1933-1936. Commercial Travellers’ Association Collection, 1979.0162.03165

Commercial Travellers’ Association posts

The Commercial Travellers Association: Plotting an Image of Australia

Erroneous Ambitions: A geo-temporal analysis of the colonial project

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

The Mimic of the Bush: The Australian Lyrebird in its Natural Habitat

Scenic photographs: staging the Australian land

A View from the Harbours of ‘White-only’ Australia: Captured for the Commercial Travellers’ Association

A Glimpse into Farming in New South Wales

‘Tourist Gaze’ and Society

The Spirit of Sacrifice: The First War Memorial in Australia

An Inhabited Space: Helmut Newton’s Lovers

Pre-2020 blog posts

‘Daub’ 1947, 1948 and 1949: The Magazine Produced by Students of the National Gallery of Art School

The Raymond Priestley diaries

The Frank Tate diaries

Una Porter photograph album

The Una Fraser collection

The Trades Hall Poster collection

The Overland Letter

Aunt Mavis’ Basket Maker: Germaine Greer’s CUNT index cards

First industry steps for those who feed us: The Master Caterers Association