On the other side of the trenches

On the other side of the trenches : The Ottoman Empire Display title poster

If you are passing through the corridor adjacent to Cultural Collections in the Auchmuty Library over the next two or three weeks, you will see a very interesting display curated by two students of the Library and Information Services Certificate III at Newcastle TAFE.

This display looks at the history of the Ottoman Empire, the forces of which were on the other side of the trenches at Gallipoli in 1915. It features 14 great posters created by the students, as well as some chosen by them from our collections. There are also many books on various aspects of the Ottoman Empire society and history, and on the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns.

Looking back at the war

Finally, there are some artefacts from the First World War, some chosen from our archives and others provided by the curators themselves.

Many thanks to the two students for preparing this display – they are a credit to the TAFE!

Coal, railways and mines : the railways and collieries of the Greta and South Maitland coalfields, Volume 2

Dust jacket of Brian R. Andrews' latest book

We are delighted to report that the second volume of Brian Robert Andrews‘ latest work is now available and a copy will be housed in Cultural Collections very soon.

Mr Andrews and the Cultural Collections team have been colleagues for some time. He has made extensive use of our resources in the J & A Brown and South Maitland Railways archives during his research for this 5-volume work.  He has allowed our team to digitise thousands of his photos and provided expert advice on railway and mining history in Newcastle and the Hunter Region.

Table of Contents

  • Development of the coal lands in the vicinity of Cessnock
    • The Aberdare Collieries Syndicate
      • The Aberdare Collieries Railway Bill
  • The Newcastle Cessnock Coal Mining Company
  • Hebburn and Elrington Collieries
    • Hebblewhite’s Mine (Later Hebburn No. 1 Colliery)
    • Hebburn No. 2 Colliery
    • Hebburn No. 2 Colliery Branch Railway
    • Elrington Colliery
  • The Railway and Collieries of the Abermain Colliery Company, Limited
    Later Abermain Seaham Collieries Ltd
    Later J & A Brown & Abermain Seaham Collieries Ltd

    • Abermain Colliery (Later known as Abermain No. 1 Colliery and Abermain Tunnel)
    • Abermain No. 2 Colliery
    • Abermain No. 1 Shaft Colliery (Abermain No. 3 Colliery)
    • Formation of J & A Brown Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited
  • The Collieries and Railways of the Caledonian Coal Company, Limited
    Later Caledonian Collieries Limited

    • Development of Aberdare Colliery
    • Caledon Open Cut
    • Aberdare Tunnel Colliery (Later Aberdare North Colliery)
    • Aberdare West Tunnel (Later known as Aberdare West Colliery)
    • Aberdare Extended Colliery
    • Caldare Colliery
    • Caldare No. 2 Colliery
    • Abernethy Main Colliery (Later Aberdare South Colliery)
    • Aberdare South Colliery Branch Railway
    • Aberdare Central Colliery
    • Aberdare Extended No. 7 Colliery (Later known ad Aberdare No. 7 Colliery)
  • Wickham and Bullock Island Coal Company, Limited
    Later Cessnock Collieries Limited

    • Commencement of Neath Colliery
    • Neath Colliery Branch Railway
    • Neath Opencut Workings
    • Cessnock Colliery
    • Cessnock No. 2 Opencut Workings
    • Re-commencement of Kalingo Colliery
    • Formation of Cessnock Collieries Limited
    • Change of Names of Cessnock and Kalingo Collieries
  • The Great Northern Coal Company, Limited
  • Photo Gallery

For further information and purchase details, please contact Brian R. Andrews via email – n_andrews@bigpond.com

Lost Diggers of Weston – Update

Towns with Heart & The Coalfields Heritage Group present

Alexander Galloway’s Lost Diggers of Weston

A group of Australian soldiers outside a hotel, [Criterion Hotel-], [1914-1918]

A group of Australian soldiers outside a hotel, [Criterion Hotel-], [1914-1918]

Lost to the world for almost 100 years, these timeless images will be on public display for the first time.

Who were they? What is their story? Are they your Great Grandfather or Uncle?


  • Thursday April 25
  • Friday April 26
  • Saturday April 27
  • Sunday April 28


St. Paul the Apostle Anglican Church Hall
Lang Street, Kurri Kurri
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Entry by gold coin donation.

Lost Diggers of Weston

On Friday 1 March 2019, two members of the Cultural Collections team attended a very interesting presentation on Alexander Galloway’s Lost Diggers of Weston at the Kurri Kurri Library.

The presentation was given by representatives from Towns with Heart and the Edgeworth David Museum, including Lexie Matthews and Cheryle Shoesmith (Edgeworth David Museum) and Graham Smith, Bill Holland and Sharon Dyson-Smith (Towns with Heart).  The presenters covered the story of Alexander Galloway, coalfields photographer, as well as the stories of the Great War diggers whose photos he captured prior to their embarkation.

This presentation was the prelude to the Lost Diggers Exhibition to be held on the 2019 ANZAC weekend in the Saint Paul the Apostle Anglican Church Hall, Lang Street, Kurri Kurri. The exhibition will feature photos of all 60 Lost Diggers, together with the stories of those who have been identified. These photos were produced from scans of the original glass plate negatives.

Full details of the forthcoming exhibition will be posted as soon as they are available.


UON Memories



If you studied at the University of Newcastle (Australia), Newcastle Teachers’ College, or Newcastle CAE/HIHE,  you may enjoy a trip down memory lane by browsing through some of the diverse selection of serials published by student societies or by the institutions themselves.  These include:

All of these serials are held in the University Archives.

Some wonderful volunteers in the Cultural Collections team have digitised them and we have finally brought them together in Living Histories @ UON. You can browse through them at https://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/79874 or search for a name at https://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/index

If you have some recollections you would like to share with the world, we have some instructions.

East Maitland Church register digitised

Page from Register

One of the most popular registers in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle’s Archives is the East Maitland baptisms (1829-1859), marriages (1828-1897) and burials (1829-1854) register which was recently digitised by Damien Linnane, one of our wonderful volunteers.

Damien and two of our other amazing volunteers, Emily Hampton and Ethan Simpson, have started digitising  registers from the Diocese. This is a VERY large collection and it will take a long time to get through them as we only have one book scanner, but you can see any that have been done from the lists at https://libguides.newcastle.edu.au/anglican/parishregisters

If the text of a date is dark blue and bold the register has been digitised and is available from Living Histories @ UON.

If you would care to assist us by transcribing a register, or even part of a register, please email archives@newcastle.edu.au


Kurri Aluminium Smelter

Kurri Hydro

Aerial view from the east immediately prior to commencement of construction of Hydro Kurri Kurri Ltd, 7 Dec 1977

Photos of Kurri Hydro

The aluminium plant at Kurri Kurri, owned by Alcan, began operations in 1969, and was acquired by Hydro in 2002.  The smelter was a significant employer for the community, employing around 500 people at the time of its closure. [Source: Wikipedia]

Sadly, Hydro Kurri Kurri ceased production in October 2012 and was permanently closed in 2014.

However, photos of earlier days have been preserved in an album donated by Hydro to the Coalfields Heritage Group, and their digitisation enables us to revisit this time. You can see them on our Living Histories @ UON site.

When was your subdivision sold?

Bingles Hill Estate, Tighes Hill

We have just transferred the wonderful Northumberland and Permanent Building Investment Land and Loan Society collection of land subdivision plans from our Flickr site to the Living Histories site. As we did so, we added some details, corrected information and generally fixed up the records.

We invite you to help us to make more improvements:

Any help you can give us is much appreciated!