The Use of Memory and Material Culture in the History of the Family in Colonial Australia

History Seminar Series

School of Humanities and Social Science,
The University of Newcastle

2011, Semester 1

Held in  Cultural Collections (near the Information Desk)
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus
11am, followed by morning tea

13th May – 11:00am

Dr. Tanya Evans, Macquarie University

The Use of Memory and Material Culture in the History of the Family in Colonial Australia

This paper explores the use of memory and material culture in the history of families who travelled between Britain and Australia and settled in the early colonies from 1788 until the late nineteenth century. It draws on diaries, memoirs, letters, and objects belonging to a variety of cultural institutions including the Museum of Childhood in Perth, Museum Victoria, the Powerhouse Museum, the Pioneer Women’s Hut and the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, as well as those within private collections, to explore some of the meanings of objects brought by families from Britain to Australia. Certain objects connected their owners with past lives back in Britain, reminded them of home, family ties and duty and were transferred to new owners to remind the next generation of their journeys round the world. It suggests that a focus on material culture enriches our understanding of the economic, social and cultural history of the family in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Britain and Australia.

2 thoughts on “The Use of Memory and Material Culture in the History of the Family in Colonial Australia

  1. Pingback: History Seminar Series 2011 – Semester 1 « UoN Cultural Collections

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