ADFAS Schools of Arts/Mechanics’ Institutes Project

The Assoc. of Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) Newcastle held a special information day held at the Newcastle Club on the 16th May 2016 to discuss a research project of School of Arts/Mechanics’ Institutes in the Newcastle and Hunter Region. Guest speakers were Marlena Jeffery and Helen Creagh who presented different perspectives on why ADFAS is undertaking this project that will contribute to the preservation of national heritage. There are many buildings associated with ‘Schools of Arts’, ‘Mechanics Institutes’ and community Halls in the Hunter Region, some of the buildings are still standing, others are long gone. Like many other historic places these specific educational institutions need to be recorded and their stories told for generations to come.

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New Lambton Mechanics Institute, New Lambton, NSW, 21 September 1901 Photograph by Ralph Snowball (Norm Barney Photographic Collection)

The Newcastle Herald published several stories about Schools of Art and can be found here HISTORY: The local Schools of Arts is a snapshot into our past by Mike Scanlon and Our Places: Hunter Schools of Art by Frances Thompson.

Representatives from UON’s Cultural Collections were invited to support this community heritage project of Newcastle and the Hunter Region, and if members of the public  would like to contribute any information they have from their own research they are welcome to contact Bronwyn Law (ADFAS Newcastle Research Group) at bronwyn.law@bigpond.com or Ann Hardy (Historian, UON’S Cultural Collections) at ann.hardy@newcastle.edu.au . 7847103778_e82e0e07f6_z

G Kelly. Photo. 53. SCHOOL OF ARTS. DUNGOG. [undated]

AUDIO – UONCC Soundcloud

ORAL HISTORY with Jack Morton about the Newcastle School of Arts and Newcastle public library. Interviewer is Denis Rowe and interview conducted on 21 April 1983.

VISUAL SOURCES- The following visual sources are held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Pender Archive of Architectural Plans.
M5067: Plan of Proposed Building for the School of Arts at Largs (24/9/1877)
This architectural drawing was prepared for the School of Arts, represented by Robert Graham, by John W. Pender. The plan consists of the front elevation, cross section, ground plan and side elevation of the School of Arts building at Largs, near Maitland NSW. The construction was contracted to Alexander Dickson on the 27/11/1877.

M5741 Plan of the Memorial School of Arts at Scone, NSW (9th October, 1922)
This architectural drawing was prepared for H. Taylor. The plan consists of a front elevation, section A. B., ground plan and side elevation of a plan of the Memorial School of Arts in Scone, NSW.

M5400 Plan of additions to the School of Arts at Largs, NSW (10th April, 1884)
This architectural drawing was prepared by John W. Pender for the School of Arts. The plan consists of a back elevation, ground plan and a section A.B. of additions to the School of Arts at Largs, NSW. Reuben A. Taylor was the builder.

M5222 Plan of the School of Arts, Paterson, NSW [c.1882]
This architectural drawing was prepared by John W. Pender. The plan consists of a ground plan, north elevation, section at A. B., section at C. D. and a west elevation of the School of Arts, Paterson, NSW.

M5038-2: Plan of School of Arts building in Wallsend No. 2 (4/10/1878)
M5193-4 Sketch plan of the School of Arts, Muswellbrook, NSW [c.1870]
M5193-2 Sketch plan of the School of Arts, Muswellbrook, NSW [c.1870]
M5193-1 Sketch plan of the School of Arts, Muswellbrook, NSW [c.1870]
M5188 Working Plan of the Morpeth School of Arts, Morpeth, NSW (24th Sep, 1863)
M5038-3: Plan of School of Arts building in Wallsend No. 2 (4/10/1878)
M5038-7: Plan of School of Arts building in Wallsend No. 1 (4/10/1878)
Certificate of Merit, Waratah School of Arts Flower Show, NSW, Australia [n.d.]
M5193-3 Sketch plan of the School of Arts, Muswellbrook, NSW [c.1870]
Wyong, N.S.W. Some public buildings (Police Station, Post and Telegraph Office, School of Arts).
Laying School of Arts foundation stone, Abermain, NSW, 19 February 1916
Technical College, Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, 29 August 1895. (School of Mines)
Hamilton Mechanics Institute, Tudor and Milton Streets, Hamilton, NSW, 8 Feb 1892

C918-0407 New Lambton Mechanic’s Institute, New Lambton (c.1901)
C918-0394 Men playing chess and checkers, Lambton Mechanics Institute, undated [c.1930]
Mechanics’ Institute (1880), Wallsend, NSW, Australia
Mechanics’ Institute 1880, Wallsend, NSW, Australia
School of Arts, Wallsend, NSW, Australia [n.d.]
Presbyterian Church and School of Arts, Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, NSW, [n.d.]
School of Arts, Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, [c.1890’s].
School of Arts Cessnock
School of Arts, West Maitland, NSW, Australia [c.1900]
A5059 (cxxvii) Programme Kaffee Klatsch Mechanics Institute.
A5059 (cxxviii] Programme Fancy Fair Mechanics Institute

C918-0407 New Lambton Mechanic’s Institute, New Lambton (c.1901)
C918-0394 Men playing chess and checkers, Lambton Mechanics Institute, undated [c.1930]
Steam tram in Tudor Street, Hamilton, NSW, [1892-1925]
New Lambton Mechanics Institute – Interior, New Lambton, NSW, 21 September 1901

The following sources have been compiled with assistance of Gregg Heathcote (May 2016) to support researchers on this project.

SECONDARY SOURCES
Science, success and soirees : the Mechanics’ Institute movement in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter. (1997) By Heaton, Barbara
The development and history of the Lambton Mechanics’ and Miners’ Institute [manuscript] (1984). By Mary Rabbitt.
Aspects of the School of Arts movement with particular reference to the Newcastle institution [manuscript]. (1985) By Barbara Heaton

ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
NEWELL, COLIN:
Photographs of Newcastle and suburbs and Minmi c. 1906 – c. 1910 including:
A5693 (iii) Collieries, schools, shops, railway stations, houses, fire stations, and Council Chambers and New Lambton Post Office, Public School, Mechanics Institute and Fire Station. Rundles employees picnic at Cockle Creek, September 10th, 1910 and Newcastle to Dudley horse drawn coach [n.d.].
M. CAMPBELL& CO. PTY LTD – MERCHANTS:
A5826 (v)Printed leaflet: Muswellbrook School of Arts : laying the Foundation Stone, March 7th, 1871.

LAMBTON MECHANICS INSTITUTE:
A5903A (i)Annual reports and balance sheets, 1919 – 1920, 1926, 1936, 1954 – 1957, 1963.
Valuer General valuation notices 1931, 1933, 1936, 1953 – 1954.
Correspondence 1926 – 1953.
Invoices 1955 – 1958.
Bank balance notification July 15, 1955.
Bank Pass book 1909 – 1912.
List of male members of The Institute. [n.d.].
Printed material:
…Catalogue of books : Mechanics and Miners Institute, Lambton, September, 1894.
Rules and regulations of the Lambton Mechanics Institute…and Library By-Laws, 1902. [2 copies.]
City of Newcastle terms and conditions of electricity supply. [c. 1902?].
Leaflet – Department of Education Appointment of Trustees to fill vacancies on School of Arts Trusts.[C. 1902.]
Advertisement for Empire Day Bonfire, May 24th, 1949.
Notice of conditions under which books will be lent by The Public Library of New South Wales to country libraries.[c. 1890s.]

A5903 (i)Undated press clipping Suburban libraries.
Plan for toilet block, October, 1947.
Call to arms certificates World War 1939 – 1945.
Map of New South Wales. [n.d.]

A5903A (ii)Book borrowers cards, 1927 – 1967.
SAMUEL FOSTER AND SONS, GREAT NORTHERN POWER BROOM BRUSH AND HANDLE FACTORY, Bowthorne, Hinton, N.S.W:

A5942 (iii)Sydney School of Arts lending library, October and November,1924Book mark.
NEWCASTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY – ARCHIVAL FINDING AIDS.
Deposited by Dr. Peter Orlovich Archivist SBW Collection (NIDA) Kensington. March 2009.

A6625 (iv) A Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Newcastle School of Arts, 1868-1964. [Archival Inventory No. 2] Newcastle Public Library.The Council of the City of Newcastle,NSW, Australia,1967.Foolscap.25 pp
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE – ADMINISTRATION – VICE-CHANCELLOR’S UNIT – FIRST VICE-CHANCELLOR – PROFESSOR J.J. AUCHMUTY:

A6912 (xv) Mechanics and Miners Institute,Lambton Catalogue of books, September 1894.
J. & A. BROWN – COAL AND ALLIED LTD:

A7662 (iii) The Wallarah Coal Company Limited – correspondence, Lease conditions, Rules, By-Laws and proposal for Memorial relating to Catherine Hill Bay Memorial School of Arts,September,1923 – April,1926.

PENDER FAMILY, Maitland – SPECIFICATIONS:(Conduit:Mrs.Winsome Pender)[Received May 2000] [Accessioned May,2002].
A7775/242 – School of Arts at Paterson [19.2.1896]
A7776/269 – Dancing Floor for Singleton Mechanics Institute 10.2.92[?] P&S
A7776/277 – New Hall Mechanics Institute Singleton 19.8.89 P&S
A7777/302 – Gas fittings for New Hall of the Mechanics Institute Singleton 24.7.90 & 12.8.90 P&S
A7778/375 – Repairs etc to School of Arts Largs 17.10.00 & 4.11.00 P&S
A7779/461 – First Portion of Mechanic’s Institute Gundy 8.5.05 & 1.6.05 J.W. Pender
A7780/477 – Alterations to School of Arts West Maitland 28.11.04 J.W. Pender
A7780/478 – Repairs, Painting etc School of Arts West Maitland 8.1.07 & 28.1.07 J.W. Pender
A7780/486 – Additions etc to Mechanic Institute Gundy 5.12.06 & 22.4.07 J.W. Pender
A7780/489 – Entrance Porch and Light to School of Arts West Maitland 27.5.08 J.W. Pender
A7780/525 – Alterations and Additions to the School of Arts West Maitland 16.8.09 W.H. Pender
A7782/626 – Painting and Repairs to School of Arts Hinton 27.2.18 W.H. Pender (pages loose)
A7782/654 – Alterations and Additions to the “Literary Institute” at East Maitland 15.6.21 (Tenders close 9.6.21) W.H. Pender
A7782/686 – Memorial School of Arts at Scone 12.9.23 W.H. Pender
A7783/701 – School of Arts Building at Cessnock 16.4.24 (Tenders close 31.3.24) W.H.Pender
A7784/761 – School of Arts at East Gresford 23.11.29 W.H. Pender
A7784/810 – Brick School of Arts at Paterson 27.5.35 W.H. Pender
A7785 (lix) – Brick School of Arts at Paterson 27.5.35 W.H. Pender.(810 copy approved.)
A7786 (iii) – Singleton Mechanics Institute letters 1880 to J.W. Pender (etc)

STEPHEN DATE COLLECTION OF SCHOOL MAGAZINES AND YEARBOOKS (Conduit:Stephen Date)[Received 19th June, 2003; 21st September,2005]
A8154 (xxii) Newcastle School of Arts: Journal, May, 1939

THE LITERACY INSTITUTE – 20 BANK STREET, EAST MAITLAND.
[Conduit: P.J. Curran Enrights Solicitors, High Street Maitland. Date Rec’d August 2005. Date Accessioned February 2006]
A8298 (vi) Minute Book, 7th March 1905 – 2nd February 1921. Including Financial Statements and related correspondence, 1962 – 1966.

PENDER, IAN WALTER – ARCHITECT – CLIENT FILES: (Conduit: Mrs. Winsome Pender.) [Date Received: May, 2000][Accessioned 19th November, 2002.]
A8499 (xiii) Morpeth Progress Association, High Street, Morpeth. School of Arts Hall. Additions. Plan, Specification. 1972.

NEWCASTLE AND HUNTER DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY: (Conduit: M. Ebert). [Received: September, 2000].[Accessioned: 11th November, 2003].
A8792(i)Testimonials concerning Mr. Colin Christie, musician, from Waratah School of Arts, Victoria Theatre, Newcastle, Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle ; Certificates for Victor Bird from Sydney Technical College, NSW Govt. Railway and Tramway Institute ; collection of tickets, permits, licences, ration coupons, receipts, telegrams. 1876-1949
A8798(vi)Printers block – Longworth Institute, Scott Street, Newcastle. Condition good. 17x12cm. n.d.
A8802(xxii)Newcastle Technical School. Classes listed and held in the School of Arts, Newcastle. Edward Dowling, Secretary.Pamphlet 1 p.[n.d.]

NEWCASTLE & HUNTER DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY:
PHOTOGRAPHS: [Accessioned: July, 2004.]
A8803/P00060 (a),(b)West Maitland. School of Arts, Reading Room. [Victoria Street?] [1900?]. 2 copies.
A8803/P00128(a),(b)Wallsend. School of Arts. Illustrated postcard. Original and copy. n.d.
A8804/P00186 Newcastle. Hunter Street. School of Arts. A.D.1875. Signs shown are “Hunter the Stationer”, “The Commercial Bank of Australia Limited”. Boys, men and a hansom cab stand in the street, hats are seen on balcony. Sepia photograph from A. Clack, photographer. [1890’s].
A8804/P00407 Newcastle. Railway Station. Buildings in Scott Street – 1.Terminus Hotel 2.Dibbs, Thorne & Co, Later J.& A. Brown, South British Insurance 3.English, Scottish and Australian Bank (demolished in 1950’s) 4. Centennial Hotel 5. Longworth Institute. [1930’s?].

REPRODUCTIONS FROM ORIGINAL RALPH SNOWBALL PHOTOGRAPHS/GLASS PLATES.
Purchased from Cooks Hill Books
A8898 (iii) Hamilton Institute, Hamilton, NSW, [n.d.]

LAMBTON MECHANICS INSTITUTE:
B10310 Minute Book, 1878 – 1896.
B10311 Minute Book, 1896 – 1906.
B10312 Minute Book, 1907 – 1924.
B10313 Minute Book, 1924 – 1945.
B10314 Minute Book for Debating Class Mechanics and Miners Institute, 1878-1879 [contains lists of entrants for music, needlework and cooking competitions, and books for acquisition proposed by members].
B10315 Contribution Book, 1870 – 1884.
B10316 Subscribers Ledger, 1902 – 1928.
B10317 Subscribers Ledger, 1929 – 1958.
B10318 Book Borrowers’ Register, 1903 – 1913.
B10319 Stock Book Containing Lists of Books Received [flyleaf dated 16 July, 1903],1696? – 1928.
B10320 Ledger, 1902 – 1926.
B10321 Ledger containing a few entries in index, rest blank, [n.d.].
B10322 Cash Book, 1913 – 1915.
B10323 Book containing annual financial statements,1908 – 1952.

D’OMBRAIN, ATHEL:
B10398/N443-444 Maitland Literary Institute, 1888

DOCHERTY, JAMES
B11759 Manuscript and typescript notes and photocopies for thesis, including:-Schools of Arts and Mechanics Institutes 1897 – 1915; etc

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR JOHN TURNER
DEPOSITED SEPTEMBER 1998 – ACCESSIONED NOVEMBER 2007.
C887(viii) Document ‘Science, Success and Soirees: The Mechanics’ Institute movement in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter (1990s); Correspondence relating to archive searches for records of the School of Arts (1997); P/Copy press clippings relating to School of Arts in Newcastle (1896 – 1899); Printed pages relating to the Newcastle History Monograph Board (1996)
C890(v) Research notes relating to the Longworth Institute (Undated); Document ‘A Brief History of the Longworth Institute’ (Undated); P/Copy document relating to the Australasian Society of Patriots (Undated); P/Copy press clippings relating to the Longworth Institute and Air Force Club (1928 – 1989); Original Title/Trust Deed for the Longworth Institute (1928)

JOHN TURNER SLIDE COLLECTION
C917/428 Burra Institute/Burra Town hall, Burra, South Australia, 1979
C917/429 Burra Institute/Burra Town hall, Burra, South Australia, 1979
C917/430 Burra Institute/Burra Town hall, Burra, South Australia, 1979
C918/394 Photograph, Lambton Mechanics Institute, undated
C918/407 Photograph, New Lambton Mechanic’s Institute, New Lambton, c.1901

ADDITIONAL SLIDES DEPOSITED BY DAMARIS BAIRSTOW RELATING TO JOHN TURNER PAPERS.
C919B (ii) Item – Engraved Morrisett Umbrella Handle: “Presented to C.S. Morrisett, Esq. by Tumut School of Arts & friends”
C919B (v) Contact prints and film negatives, with attached Finding Aid and two Floppy Discs (Conduit: Damaris Bairstow)

New Lambton Mechanics’ Institute, 17 Sept., 1901, Ralph SnowballRoll 44 13A

WILLIAM LINKLATER, UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN
Received September 2000
C2079 (i)Lambton Mechanics Institute Collection (1995-1996) ; Library Budget (1998) ; Library Budget: Air Conditioning (1998) ; Library Budgets (1993-1994).

JOHN PRICE PAPERS
C2530 (xv) Lambton Mechanics Institute: Catalogue of Books 1894

WARATAH SCHOOL OF ARTS (1881-1890)
Conduit: John Turner
Received: July 1998
C2650 (i) Waratah School of Arts Minutes Book 1881-1890
These sources from UON’s Cultural Collections can also be downloaded Schools of Arts & Mechanics Institutes

The following is from the Statistical Registers of New South Wales 1883 (pp 24-27) showing the location and other information such as the date various ‘Schools of Arts’ opened, Freehold/Leasehold, costs, contribution and total number of books, opening hours.

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Also see newspaper article – Mechanics’ institutes, athenaeums revived as historians preserve the past – The Australian, July 30, 2016.

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