Parkville: Parks, People, Place and Terraces

Naomi Mullumby, Faculty Librarian and Sarah Charing, Liaison Librarian, Architecture, Building and Planning, discuss some of the research highlights behind the latest ‘Digitising our Collections’ window display in the ABP Library.

“Parkville” is the theme of the latest ‘Digitising our Collections’ window display in the ABP Library, chosen both to complement symposiums being held by the faculty this year, and because it provided an opportunity to reflect on the University’s physical positioning, its influence, impact and inspiration.

The research and design process for this window display was undertaken by a team of librarians, academics, and designers. We had the freedom to take the display in whatever direction we chose, using material from the University’s digital collections, with no limitations on what it could cover. It was the opportunity to discover what the University has been able to collect and digitise that had me most excited.

The search uncovered quite a few gems, the standout being Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning student work from the 1950 and 60s. The students documented the urban landscape of Parkville, and the widow display includes some of their wonderful photographs of terrace housing, and hand drawings of the terrace’s ironwork. Part of the process of using the images was obtaining permission to reproduce them. One response to the emails contained an additional surprise – past student, Charles Ho, was able to give us permission for both himself and his co-author of the report.  It transpired that their collaboration as students led to their marriage. Charles and Lesley’s student work is valuable research that is cited in Hilary Lewis’ very readable 1974 book, South Parkville. Along with other students, notably David Saunders, their documentation of the terrace house topology made a significant contribution to understanding the heritage of the suburb.

The Parkville window display is on the eastern side of the MSD Building (facing the Elisabeth Murdoch courtyard), we welcome you all to come take a look. This exhibition draws upon digitised collections including materials from the ABP library collection University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) and Business Services.

For those interested in submitting an abstract for the Parklife symposium the callout is open until 25th July.

More information:

Find out more about our collections

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