Cultural Collections Annual Report 2009

University of Newcastle ’s Cultural Collections Achievements for 2009

1. Enquiries

Cultural Collections staff handled over 15,000 enquiries this year.

On Flickr Statistics collected include hits on the main photostream page, the total hits (including individual images, photostream and on sets), photos added to the Picture Australia group on Flickr, and photos indexed from this group and included in the Picture Australia database. At time of writing (1 December, 2009) there have been 465,717 views of items on our Flickr site since its inception. Well over 200,000 of these were recorded this year. There are 3255 photos in the Picture Australia group, and 2684 of these have been indexed by Flickr.

Copies of all comments, and reports of activity on our photostream sent to us by Flickr have been saved, as have requests for copies of photographs and comments sent to us directly by visitors to the site.

2. Photographic Collections and Digitisation

2.1 Ralph Snowball Glass Plate Negatives (Norm Barney Photographic Collection)

38 boxes containing 864 Snowball glass negatives have been documented, cleaned, scanned and uploaded to Flickr, along with NEWCAT catalogue  entries for all. The negatives date from 1885 to 1923. 161 Glass plate original listings have also been digitised and uploaded. See:

2.2 Conferring of Degrees – University Gazette – University News

The Conferring of Degrees Project was undertaken due to a request from the Alumni Division for a listing of all Alumni. To date 224 Conferring of Degrees booklets have been digitised, metadated and individually catalogued  into the library’s NEWCAT catalogue. Our objective was to have as comprehensive as possible a digitised collection of booklets from 1953 to 2009 listing all graduates from the University and University College, as well text searchable.

All scanned booklets were then linked to the UoNCC Blog story locate here:

and advertised through the University’s Alumni Facebook page.

We also progressed to the digitisation and cataloguing of the University Gazette and University News which will prove to be a most comprehensive series on the University’s public history to 2005. These digital objects will form the documentary backbone to our 6,000 University related photographs residing on Flickr.

The Gazette: University of Newcastle from October 1966 (Vol. 1 No 1) to 1988 (Vol. 20) Complete were scanned, metadated, uploaded to the University Server and linked to UoNCC Blog page:

University News (from 1970-1974) numbering Nos 1-104 were uploaded to the University Server and linked to UoNCC Blog page here:

2.3 Other notable digitised works:

Wallis, James, 1785?-1858. An historical account of the colony of New South Wales and its dependent settlements: in illustration of twelve views / engraved by W. Preston from drawings taken on the spot by Captain Wallis. To which is subjoined An accurate map of Port Macquarie and the newly discovered River Hastings / by J. Oxley London : Printed for R. Ackermann by J. Moyes, 1821. Photographed by Associate Professor Allan Chawner and prepared by Gionni Di Gravio.

Souvenir of the Maitland Flood 1913, (Davies and Cannington Ltd, Federal Printing Works Newcastle, 1913) Digitised by Brenda Sullivan.

Memento of Maitland Floods, (T Dimmock Ltd, Maitland 1913?) Digitised by Brenda Sullivan.

Broughton, W.G. and Threlkeld, L.E. A Selection of Prayers for the Morning and Evening From The Service of the Church of England Intended for the introduction of publick worship Amongst The Aborigines of Australia, 1834. The Venerable W.G. Broughton M.A. Arch Deacon of New South Wales and its Dependencies. Translated Into the Northumberland Dialect by L.E. Threlkeld, 1834. [3.75MB PDF] Courtesy of the Mitchell Library. Thank you to Dr Jim Wafer for alerting us to its existence. We also sincerely thank Mrs Marjorie Raven, great grand daughter of the late Reverend Threlkeld for her permission to publish this manuscript online.

Bramble, Christine W. Relations between Aborigines and White Settlers in Newcastle and the Hunter District 1804-1841 with special reference to the influence of the penal establishment. Dissertation submitted as part of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Letters in History at the University of New England. January 1981. [4.24MB PDF] Made available for download with the kind permission of the Author.

Henry Taylor Plews “On the Coalfield of New South Wales” was published in Volume VI of the Transactions of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers (1858).

Excelsior Land Investment & Building Company & Bank. Plans, views and particulars of the Toronto Estate, Lake Macquarie, for sale by the Excelsior Land Investment & Building Company & Bank Ltd [Sydney : The Company?, 1887?]

Student Research Papers in Australian History was a serial published by the University of Newcastle’s History Club, Department of History, and featured some of the best papers on Australian history written by undergraduate history students at the time. Nos 1-8 complete of the Student Research Papers in Australian History, published during the period 1976-1983 were digitized and available here:

Legislative Assembly. New South Wales. Breakwater at Stockton. (Report of Mr. Moriarty Upon Advisability of.) Ordered by the Legislative Assembly to be Printed, 27 April 1858. With Moriarty’s Plan of the Harbour of Newcastle Shewing the Proposed Extension of the Northern Pier. Thank you to Mr Rod Caldwell who kindly arranged for his personal copy to be digitised and provided for us to publish to the wider research community.

2.4 Decommissioning of CMS1 – CMS2 – Migration of Digital Resources
With the decommissioning of CMS1 around 140 web pages from our finding aids on the University Website have been relocated to The log/diary of Captain John Dalton have been moved to Flickr as well as the Excelsior Company’s brochure on the Toronto Estate, and the Grainger-Burnard correspondence. We have also begun the migration of our digital resources from our website virtual sourcebooks to our library catalogue for future access.

3. Exhibitions and Displays

This year five exhibitions were prepared in the Cultural Collections Foyer area. These included the ‘Old Books New Year’ , Anzac Day, Theatrical and Cinema (to coincide with our presentation to the 2009 PASIG Conference), ‘Your Are Here Now’ and finally the Christmas 2009 display.

The ‘You Are Here Now’ Exhibition

The official launch of the University of Newcastle’s “YOU ARE HERE NOW” Exhibition, a celebration of GLBTIQ (i.e. gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer) staff and students, past and present at The University of Newcastle was held on the 10th October 2009.

The launch of the exhibition included a photography competition, plus a sparkling seminar. The launch of the exhibition was held in conjunction with the opening of the 2009 Rainbow Visions Festival (10-18 October).

The historical exhibition and display of the photographs from the photography competition was on display from 10 October-10 November 2009. The exhibition was a great initiative,  and in the words of one academic was “the first of its kind in Australia for creating awareness about the contribution of the GLBTIQ communities, raising the visibility of our communities at tertiary institutions to foster the virtues of diversity and tolerance as well the recognition that diversity should be valued as a source of strength rather than one of division.” Clikc the following links to access the exhibition’s digital resources:

CATALOGUE –  Exhibition Catalogue: “YOU ARE HERE NOW” (112KB PDF)

RADIO  –  Gregg, Marguerite and Leni interviewed by Maynard on ABC1233 12/10/09 (2.1MB MP3)



VIDEOS – See all 12 videos on the Facebook Group page located here:


4. Cataloguing and Accessioning

A total of 1,776 books have been catalogued from the Colebourne, Bishop’s Library, Tanner and Morpeth Collections. This year, the cataloguing of the Morpeth, Bishop’s Library and Colebourne collections was completed. Excellent progress was made on the Snowball and Tanner collections. Thanks to the cataloguers Sue Williams, Judy Hedley, Virginia Walker and Brenda Sullivan.

Morpeth Collection
64 items, mostly folios and quartos in Latin or Greek were catalogued this year, bringing the total number of items to 2801.

Bishops Library
584 items were catalogued this year, bringing the total number of items in the collection to 1226.

Colebourne Collection
The entire collection of 338 items has been catalogued.

Tanner Collection
982 items have been catalogued this year. To date, the total number of items catalogued is 2571. There are many more bays to go.

General Rare Books Collection
126 books were catalogued and added to the general rare books collection.

797 photos were uploaded and catalogued this year.

A variety of University and Regional research archives have also been accessioned including the papers of Professor Treweek; Norm Barney Photographic Exhibitions Boards ‘Then and Now’ and ‘Bathing, Boating, Boxing and Bowling’; Sparke & Clift Correspondence Book;  and Newcastle and Hunter Region Theatrical Programmes dating from the 1950s-1970s as well as individual items.

5. History Seminars

Cultural Collections hosted a total of thirteen (13) history seminars open to staff and students of the University and members of the general community. These included:

20 March, Philip Dwyer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle
Private Reminiscing, Public Remembering: Military Memoirs, Veteran Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

3 April, Marilyn Lashley, Department of Political Science, Howard University
Strange Bedfellows? Globalization and Indigenous Systems of Communal Land Tenure in New Zealand, Fiji, Canada and Australia

24 April, Ken Fedorowich, School of History, University of the West of England, Bristol
‘We Shall Have a Fine Holiday’: Imperial Sentiment, Unemployment and the 1928 Miner-Harvester Scheme to Canada

1 May, Clare Corbould, Department of History, University of Sydney
‘At the Feet of Dessalines’; Black Americans, the Haitian Revolution and the Myths of History.

15 May, Lisa Featherston, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle
Spinning Sex Education: The Formation of New Knowledges in Interwar Australia

5 June, Victoria Haskins, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle
Domestic Geographies: the place of the Indian Outing Matron in Tucson 1913-1935

12 June, Ian Tyrell, School of History, University of New South Wales
What is Transnational History? And Book Launch, Nadine Kavanagh, IASH

31 July, Barbara Alice Mann, Department of English, University of Toledo
Conquest of Empire: The United States in North America, 1780-1820

14 August, Wayne Reynolds, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle
History, Terrorism and Australia

28 August, Jonathan Bell, Department of History, University of Reading
The two worlds of welfare politics: building an ideology of the left in San Francisco, 1956-1970

11 September, Nigel Penn, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Frontiers of colonial genocide? The Northern Cape and Austrlian settler/hunter-gatherer frontiers compared.

25 September, Barry Morris, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle
An Anthropology of ANZAC

30 October Camilla Russell October, Vocation to the East: The Asian Jesuit missionary enterprise at the
beginning of the global age.

6. Coal River Working Party (Chair – Gionni Di Gravio and Administrative Assistant – Brenda Sullivan)

In September 2009 a review of all CRWP mission objectives and goals was undertaken. It is these goals and actions that form the basis of CRWP agenda and updates. Here is the updated mission and objectives:


To achieve world recognition for Newcastle and the Hunter Region’s historical contribution to the development of the Australian nation.


To provide academic expertise, enthusiasm and guidance to researching and promoting the historic values and cultural heritage of Newcastle and the Regions in which the University of Newcastle operates in line with the University of Newcastle’s Building Distinction Strategic Plan 2007-2011:

University Strategic Priority: (3) Indigenous Collaboration
University Strategic Priority: (4) Community Partnerships and Engagement
Vice Chancellor’s Your Voice Staff Climate Survey Action Plan 2008: Key Action: Cross University Co-operation.


1.1. To critique and revise the Pearson 1995 Report with recent discoveries relating to Convict sites in Newcastle
Status: Professor Erik Eklund (Monash University) and Dr David Roberts (UNE) will undertake a scholarly review of the findings of the 1995 Pearson Report.

1.2. To prepare a national nomination.

Status: National Nomination was prepared on behalf of the CRWP by Ann Hardy, Amir Rezapour Mogadam (Conservator), Dene Hawken (Awabakal Descendent), Doug Lithgow (President, Park and Playgrounds Movement Inc), Roslyn Kerr (Geologist), Barbara Heaton (Newcastle City Council) and Gionni Di Gravio (University Archivist and Chair) and sent to the Nominations Division of the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Heritage and the Arts on February 3rd 2009.

1.3. To contact all elected representatives, senators, organisations and groups for support, feedback and comment.

1.4. Compile, lodge and promote the national nomination.

Ring Bearers: Ann Hardy, Amir Mogadam, Barbara Heaton, Dene Hawken, Doug Lithgow, Cynthia Hunter, Susan Effenberger.


2.1. Set up a team of people with necessary legislative expertise to review all local, state and federal legislation affecting heritage matters.
2.2. Draft amendments to achieve better outcomes for the safeguarding of our history.
2.3. Contact, negotiate and seek feedback on draft amendments with elected political representatives.
2.4. Present agreed amendments to elected representatives for support in Parliament.

Ring Bearers: Doug Lithgow, Keith Parsons, Terry Moore, EDO Representative (TBC), Newcastle University Law School Representative (TBC)

Status: A workshop is scheduled to be held next year as part of the Macquarie 2010 celebrations.


3.1. Locate and acquire archival records and/or request hi res digital copies
3.2. Ensure that physical archives are accessioned and that digital archives properly safeguarded in the University’s Digital repository
3.3. Continue to develop and update the CRWP website and blog site as a means of publishing and sharing documents and other research resources.

Ring Bearers: Gionni Di Gravio and CRWP.


4.1 Ground Penetrating Radar of ‘mystery ship’ in Stockton Caravan Park (NCC Council Land).
Ring Bearers: Peter Sherlock, Mike Scanlon.

Status: A GPR attempt to locate the vessel was made on 30 October 2009. This proved inconclusive as the presence of underground water created anomalies in the survey result.

4.2 Prepare a scoping document and seek advice of the New South Wales Heritage Branch for:
4.2.1 Archaeological investigation of gunpowder tunnels under Nobbys and underground brick water tank on Nobbys summit.
4.2.2 Archaeological investigation and excavation of convict mine drifts under Fort Scratchley.
4.2.3 Archaeological investigation of Macquarie Pier
Ring Bearers: Roz Kerr, Peter Sherlock and Russell Rigby.

4.3 Verify and validate the discovery of the 1801 Survey Mission’s carved tree on Mt Elizabeth dating July 10, 1801. (Private Land)
Ring Bearers: Russell Rigby, Emeritus Professor Fryer

Status: On the 208th anniversary, 12 members of the University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party and local landowners and community embarked on a mission to Mt Elizabeth. Mount Elizabeth was the furthest west that the original 1801 Survey party led by Colonel Paterson reached on the 10 July 1801. On the peak they left two blazed trees with their initials and date 1801 which we had hoped to re-discover. CRWP investigators located one of these two blazed trees and are now awaiting confirmation from a Dendrochronologist to examine the tree and independently date the tree and the blaze. Please see interim report on CRWP blog:

4.4 Proposed Archaeological Investigation of Mt Hudson Pioneer Homestead. (Private Land)
Ring Bearers: Terry Moore, Peter Barden.

4.5 To document and record Aboriginal engraving and art sites across the Wollombi and Mt Yengo Region.

4.5.1. To re-establish University linkages with Yengo Country rock art research through Wollotuka and the Binghai Aboriginal Sites Team.
4.5.2. To organise field trips to document and record sites using 3d photogrammetry where feasible.
4.5.3. To augment Wollombi/Mt Yengo World Natural Heritage Listing with cultural importance and historic significance of rock art and engravings.
Ring Bearers: Garry Jones, Greg Blyton, Emeritus Professor John Fryer, Dene Hawken.

Status: On 14 February 2009 Gionni Di Gravio along with academics from the University of Newcastle and the University of Sydney were guest speakers at Wollombi Gathering at Laguna Community Hall discussing the important of the Wollombi Mount Yengo Library of Stone. Two site visits with conservator Amir Mogadam and rock art specialists were conducted to public and private Aboriginal sites in the Mount Yengo and Congewai districts for advice on lichens and natural erosion in rock art and engraving sites.

4.6 To investigate ‘care packages’ to provide protocols for researchers and land owners with regards to historical research conducted on sites of indigenous and colonial historical significance lying on private lands.
Ring Bearers: Dene Hawken and Jane Delaney-John.

4.7 Newcastle Government House and Barracks Historic Site (1804) – former James Fletcher Hospital site
Ring Bearers: Ann Hardy, Howard Dick, Rod Caldwell, Russell Rigby, Emeritus Professor John Fryer, Peter Sherlock, Gionni Di Gravio.

Status: The Government Domain Committee has been formed to protect Newcastle’s birthplace and ensure that this Government Domain remains in public hands with Heritage Listing and an imaginative Masterplan for its future use. This goal also supports community engaged research for our students as Ann is a post-graduate student at this University who is research this historic site as part of her PhD thesis.


5.1.1 Participate in Annual Heritage Trust Festivals – next is Macquarie 2010.
(Ring Bearer: Ann Hardy)
Status: Heritage Trust Festival 2009 – Our Place in Space – Under the Southern Cross. Completed – See REPORT

University of Newcastle’s CRWP assisted with the Heritage Trust Festival 2009 – Our Place in Space – Under the Southern Cross. Chair was MC for Cocktail party at Monet’s Cottage in the grounds of the historic James Fletcher Hospital. The University’s Dr Troy Duncan spoke about the history of this mental health institution that first opened in 1871. Videos of the presentation and poems were uploaded to UoNCC’s You Tube Channel, blog and Facebook site.

5.1.2 Accept speaking engagements and distribute media releases relating to the work of CRWP as required
(Ring Bearers: Chair and CRWP participants)

5.2. Encourage interdisciplinary collaborations across University in teaching, research, and cultural activities.

5.2.1 To investigate survey readings and create a full colour illustrated version of Mitchell’s 1828 Field Book Sketches of Newcastle. (Ring Bearers: Emeritus Professor John Fryer and Ann Llewellyn)

Status: Mr Chris Towers and Troy Sumner, two final year surveying students have prepared an excellent report on Sir Thomas Mitchell’s survey sketches of Newcastle. They presented their findings at a seminar held on Friday 6 November 2009. Both students will again present their findings and report at the next meeting of the CRWP on the 7 December 2009 1-3pm. Dr Ann Lllewellyn’s scientific illustration students who worked on the identical sketches will also present their work. The survey report has been placed on the Coal River blog. See:

5.2.2. To create and perform new musical compositions for the Newcastle Sesquicentenary including:

To compose and perform an new orchestral composition in honour of the Sesquicentenary for the City of Newcastle by Colin Spiers. (Ring Bearer: Colin Spiers)

Status: The World Premiere of A Slender Strand of Memories by Colin Spiers was performed on Sunday 1 November 2009 at 3pm in Newcastle City Hall (Australia). A webite containing story, video and photographs from the event was created on the CRWP blog and uploaded to the UoNCC’s You Tube Channel:

5.2.3. To perform Dreaming Endeavour composed by Dene Hawken, Awabakal Descendant.
(Ring Bearers:Dene Hawken and Associate Professor Allan Chawner)

5.2.4. Support 5th Year Architecture Student Andrew Cavill Design of Coal River Precinct Interpretation Centre
(Ring Bearer: Andrew Cavill)

Status: Andrew Cavill launched his design for the Coal River Discovery and Interpretion Centre (The Midden) at [In Transit] University of Newcastle Final Year Architecture Exhibition 2009 on Friday November 13th 2009 at the Architecture Design Studio University of Newcastle. Links to the opening as well as display boards were uploaded to the Blog. See:

5.2.5. To create Coal River Research Publications to publish new findings to wider research community
(Ring Bearer: Emeritus Professor John Fryer)

5.2.6. Investigate, identify and develop links between the digital and published resources of the Coal River Working Party and the emerging national history curriculum for primary and secondary schools, particularly if NSW adopts the new curriculum.
(Ring Bearer: Brian Walsh)

5.2.7. To investigate and apply for grants opportunities as they become available.
(Ring Bearer: Brenda Sullivan)

5.2.8. Revise Membership of CRWP – who’s missing from the table that we need to invite? (Ongoing)
(Ring Bearer: Brenda Sullivan)

5.2.9. Assist in historical background research and support for Drama students’ performance(s) and Honours projects
(Ring Bearer: Gillian Arrighi)
Status: Two student productions were created along historical themes The Story of the ‘Big Red Kangeroo/The Tale of Nobbys’ and the Newcastle Rail Line Performance. Honours student Brook Alexander is also being assisted in her Mayfield Pool Community Arts practice research.

5.2.10. Support and Promote support the Newcastle City Council’s unanimously adopted Coal River Heritage Precinct Interpretation plan (Pizzey Report). (Ring Bearer: Barbara Heaton)

7. Notable Donations and Grants

Emeritus Professor Athanasius (Ath) Treweek
Emeritus Professor Athanasius (Ath) Treweek – Professor of Greek (University of Sydney) – Pappus of Alexandria Research papers and library. Deposited by Bob Berghout. Department of Mathematics. June /July 2009

Kelmscott Chaucer
On 15 January 2009 Mrs Pauline Black, (Grand-daughter of the late composer and photographer Alexander Galloway) donated an exquisite facsimile edition of William Morris’s Kelmscott Chaucer.  The Kelmscott Chaucer, a Fine Facsimile Edition by Geoffrey Chaucer, was published by th Folio Society in 2002 in a limited edition of 1000 copies of which our donated copy is No. 318.

Vera Deacon Regional History Fund
A steady stream of donations have been made to the Fund this year. These donations are specifically made to the Cultural Collections Unit of the Library as part of the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund set up and promoted by the University Foundation. This fund is specifically related to regional history archives and with regard to Vera’s donations, especially relating to labour history and our environmental related collections.

Richard Pope Diaries
Author Debbie Robson donated a bound photocopy of her great great grand uncle Richard Pope’s diaries. There are fourteen volumes of the diaries of Richard Pope diaries plus an extra volume which a diary account of a voyage. Richard Pope was born in Cornwall in 1834 and travelled extensively throughout his life. His diaries make for interesting reading not just for mining historians but also for historians generally.

Kime Family papers
Mrs Pat Smith donated two cashbooks relating to Kime Family Vineyards (German Vignerons) in the Hunter Valley. Both were authored by Sussana Kime grand mother to Kevin Kime (Pat’s father). The two cashbooks were given to Pat by her mother Joyce Kime. The vineyards were formerly on the estates of Rothbery and Hunter Valley gardens. Cashbook 1 dates from 1898-1908 and Cashbook 2 dates from 1909-1922. Also donated were books and research files.

Wood’s Dawn in the Valley Research papers
Walter Allan Wood’s research papers relating to his book ‘Dawn in the Valley’ and its subsequent sequels.

The Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduate Nurses Association Inc.
The Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduate Nurses Association Inc. has donated $2,000 to us through the University Foundation to assist the accessioning of archives from the Royal Newcastle Hospital in particular relating to the RNH Nursing documents and memorabilia.

The Mining and Power Collection
A collection of over 11,000 plans relating to coal mining in the Hunter Region and the Wangi Wangi Power Station.

The Nautilus, in five cantos… by A. Sailor
Bruce Watson Wilson donated a copy of The Nautilus, in five cantos… by A. Sailor. This  is a very rare book which, according to Libraries Australia, is not held by any other library in Australia, and very few held by libraries elsewhere in the world. The value of the book is greatly enhanced by the handwritten dedication in the front “Presented to Mr W.J. Huggins by the Author”. WJ Huggins was the painter of the pictures in the coloured plates.  This dedication makes the item unique.

Other Rare Book Donations
Dr John Sippe donated a collection of biomedical books by various authors mostly related to dermatology; Les Reedman donated one of 15 printed copies of his Early architects of the Hunter Region: a hundred years to 1940; George Garnsey donated a collection of theological works by various authors;  Amanda Hallinan  – Volumes 2-15 of A new and general biographical dictionary containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation… (London: printed for G.G. and J. Robinson [and 27 others], 1798); Ray Bullock – Leffmann & Davis (eds) Allen’s commercial organic analysis.. 4th edition, London : J. & A. Churchill, 1909-1917; Christine Kermaire –  World libraries of artist books: 1 April 2007 – 2017  and Flight Textile Book Two by Christine Kermaire; Harold Barnes – The “Westy” Tramlines: a brief and incomplete history of the Speers Point and West Wallsend tramlines (2008)  by Harold Barnes; Russell Cooper – Assorted religious works, some having a link to Samuel Marsden; Dick Adams –Levers on the Coalfields: Life on the Coalfields of Lancashire, Cheshire and New South Wales 1791 to 1955 by Dick Adams.
Bill Cook donated a collection of books on sports; Professor Ellak I. von Nagy-Felsobuki –  The chemical history of a candle, London : Hutchinson, 1907 by Michael Faraday and The story of the atmosphere, London : G. Newnes, Ltd., 1901 by Douglas Archibald; Dr Judy Henderson, Northern Rivers Catchment Authority  – Numbers 40 and 41 of a limited edition of 60 copies, of the Facsimile Edition of Australia from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay by Clement Hodgkinson (1845); Professor Emeritus H Trevor Clifford – Prolegomena to a Family History, St Lucia : De Quiros Press, 2007 by H Trevor Clifford.; Professor Emeritus Saxon White – Journal issues from Monumenta Serica,  Journal of the West China Border Society, Bulletin de l’Universite ‘Aurore, The China Journal, and the T’oung Pao Archives and of the Catalogue of the Exhibition of Chinese Tomb Pottery Figures (1953).

8. Speaking Engagements, Lectures and Community Broadcasts for 2009 (Gionni Di Gravio):

12 February 2009 – Presentation to Wallsend Heritage Group (Wallsend Public Library)

14 February 2009 – Guest speaker (with academic guest speakers from University of Newcastle and Sydney) at Wollombi Gathering at Laguna Community Hall

17 February 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – The Antiquities of the Wollombi District See:

10 March 2009 – Presentation to Merewether Historical Society

17 March 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – Captain Law and Six Escapees from New Caledonia. See:

4 April 2009 MC Monet’s Event Public Lecture History of James Fletcher Hospital Site by Dr Troy Duncan (University of Newcastle)

6 April 2009 Guest Speaker on Convicts under the Southern Cross Heritage Walk.

16 April 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – An Australian Badge Collection (Jim Downie) See:

19 May 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – Windows to another time – Ralph Snowball’s Glass Negatives. See:

21 May 2009 Guest Speaker and MC at Opening of Cooksey Café (Mayfield East Public School initiative)

27 May 2009 – Pictorial Renaissance Presentation at Web 2.0 ASA NSW Branch Seminar (Rocks)

30 May 2009 – Keynote Speaker at launch of Huntington’s History of Newcastle and the Northern District, and The Story of Lambton – a Newcastle Suburb by Newcastle Family History Society. More info:

12 June 2009 – Presentation to RSL Coffee Pot Day Club (St Augustine’s Church Hall Merewether)

15 June 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – Theatrical and Cinema Archives in the Hunter Region. See:

20 June 2009 – Presentation to Lake Macquarie Family History Group (Marmong Point Community Hall)

21 July 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – The first journey to the Moon. See –

28 July 2009 – History Presentation on Mayfield for launch of Bendigo Community Bank (Stag and Hunter Hotel, Mayfield)

18 August 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – Sesquicentenary of the City of Newcastle

23 August 2009 – Guest Speaker at Maitland Family History Circle Inc. 2009 Family History Fair held at Rutherford.

24 August 2009 – Lecture Presentation to HUMA 1001 students

2 September 2009 – Presentation to First Year Drama Students on work of Coal River Working Party

11 September 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – Witches, Wends and Werplons See:

20 October 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – The Late Brian Tomson See:

14 November 2009 – MC at the Mayfield Pool 43rd Birthday Celebrations and Launch of Solar Power Initiative. Also assisted University Honours/PhD Student with research and community liaison with Mayfield Pool History.

17 November 2009 – ABC 1233 Radio Broadcast – James Wallis Historical Account of New South Wales (1821) See:

9. Publications

Promotional publications: 865 decorative bookmarks have been produced and 555 postcards have been produced with 20 different bookmark designs and 30 postcard designs based upon our treasures from the Cultural Collections. Thanks Brenda.

10. Conservation and Preservation

Our conservator Amir Rezapourmoghadammiyandabi has been primarily employed as conservator on our Barney Snowball Photographic Collection. He has been documenting, cleaning and carrying out conservation treatments on the Ralph Snowball glass negatives, the most important collection of glass negatives in the Hunter Region dating from the 1890s. These negatives have been digitised and made available to the wider public through Flickr and are regarded as the most outstanding and beautiful collection of historic images freely available online. Our digitised collections have received over 465,496 hits through Flickr. This quality of work would not have been possible without his expertise and knowledge in dealing with these fragile archives.

In addition Amir has conducted expert training for library staff in conservation techniques, so they now possess a theoretical knowledge and practical skills in paper conservation and restoration.

In the wider Aboriginal community the Binghai Aboriginal Sites Team invited Amir to visit Aboriginal sites in the Mount Yengo district and Congewai district for advice on lichens and natural erosion in rock art and engraving sites.

Amir has also reviewed our library building’s data logs and examined all archival storage areas. He has collated data and prepared reports for management noting fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity levels and offered recommendations for strategies to ameliorate the effects of environmental anomalies in records storage areas. This has provided highly detailed scientific data for our Facilities Management personnel to better manage environmental control in our building.

He has also begun preparatory work in the design of a conservation atelier for the library. Office space (L216) was established as conservator office and workspace. Another designated area of the Library on the Level 1 was also cleaned, and prepared as a conservation atelier. A funding application for over $1M was prepared by the University through the Commonwealth Jobs Fund to establish a regional conservation centre in that space. Amir advised on the most appropriate conservation tools and supplies for the range of needs, which our specific collections require, which will facilitate best practice for conservation among in-house staff.

This position has provided the Library and Cultural Collections with world-class conservation expertise, which has enhanced this University’s prestige.

Thank you for a very productive year

Gionni Di Gravio

Merry Christmas – The Year in Review

Xmas Greetings by the First All Australian Air Mail

Xmas Greetings by the First All Australian Air Mail

Xmas Greetings by the First All Australian Air Mail (verso)

Xmas Greetings by the First All Australian Air Mail (verso)

Day Shift – 16/12/2008 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Producer: Beth McMullen
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University

Newcastle University Archivist Gionni Di Gravio brings in a Xmas souvenir of the first all Australian air mail that was meant to arrive at Christmas 1931, but due to misadventure didn’t get to Australia until January 1932 and discusses the achievements of the year 2008 in retrospect.

Broadcast Notes:

I’ve brought in the following item:

A5609 (iv) First day covers including:
Australian National Airways Limited : Xmas greetings by First All-Australian Air Mail, January 21st, 1932.
Souvenir postcard carried by Air Australia to New Zealand, November, 1933.

Here is a description from another one held in the Australian War Memorial (ours is signed only by Mr G. U. Allan):

“The first all Australian air mail from Australia to England left Melbourne on 20 November 1931 in the “Southern Sun, piloted by GU Allan. The plane crashed at Alor Star in Kedah. Charles Kingsford Smith flew to Kedah in the “Southern Star”, retrieved the mail and flew on to England, arriving on 16 December 1931.

The “Southern Star” left London on 7 January 1932, after some repairs due to an accident, carrying mail originally intended to be delivered by Christmas.

The envelope has the message “Xmas Greetings by First All-Australian Air Mail” and is post marked 21 December 1931. It is autographed by both GU Allan and Charles Kingsford Smith. It contained a note reading “Australian National Airways. This letter was carried by air from England to Australia in the SOUTHERN STAR, the first All Australian Mail Aeroplane to leave England. Piloted by Air Commodore CE Kingsford-Smith and Mr GU Allan. Left London 22 December 1931”

University’s Cultural Collections Achievements for 2008

1. Enquiries

Cultural Collections staff handled over 15500 enquiries this year.

2. Photographic Collections

Over 6,089 University photographs have been accessioned. (Thank you Sue and Cheryl)

Over 7,080 digital images have been scanned and uploaded on Flickr during 2008 bringing the total number of images in Flickr to over 8,000.( Thanks to Peter and Brenda )

These included: The Jim Lucey Collection – Maitland Floods 291 images; University of Newcastle – over 4,500 images; St John’s Morpeth – 131 images; Newcastle Teacher’s College – 262 images; Souvenir visit of the Great White Fleet – 40 images; BANZARE Antarctica Expedition 1931 – 56 images; Royal Newcastle Hospital – 41 images; The Great White Fleet Visits – over 100 images; Richmond Main Colliery – 36 images; Newcastle and the Hunter Region – 200 images; Berrima Concentration Camp – 49 images; World War I – 26 Images and Anglican Diocese’ Christ Church and Denman Parish registers – over 2000 images dating from 1826 – 1936. Transcriptions of six Christ Church registers have also been completed.

We have 42 contacts on Flickr including: Blue Mountains Local Studies; Gordon Institute of TAFE; Iowa State University Library Special Collections; Library of Congress; National Archives of Australia; Old Parliament House; Seattle Municipal Archives; State Records NSW; University of Delaware Library.

77 people have made one or more of our images their “favourites”.

There have been 168,817 views of our photos, sets and collections by 21,505 people since the site was set up.

We have 1,770 images in the Picture Australia group on Flickr of which 1,707 have been indexed by Picture Australia itself.

Foyer Displays

During 2008 Peter, Virginia and Lyn created 10 eye catching displays in the Cultural Collections foyer. Of these, seven were related to significant events, while the other three featured important collections including: First Fleet (Australia Day); Town and Gown (University Orientation Week); ANZAC Day (featuring 90th anniversary of the Battle of Villers Bretonneux); Polar Regions (1929-1931 BANZARE Voyage); Great White Fleet (August marked the centenary of the visit of the American Fleet to Australia as part of its voyage around the world). Ms Judith Fergin, the US Consul General, was most impressed with the display and wrote to us and the Vice-Chancellor commending the display. The French Collections (Bastille Day); The Morpeth Collection; Halloween; Found Treasures (our new book), and Christmas.

Cataloguing and Accessioning

We have catalogued approximately 1180 books from a variety of collections within Cultural Collections including the complete Libraries of Orpheus Island, Lambton Mechanics Institute Collection, and John Turner Collection and 95% of The Newcastle & Hunter District Historical Society. Thanks Virginia.

26 items from the Newcastle Dramatic Arts Club archives have also been added to NEWCAT – many of these were signed by prominent members of the dramatic arts profession.

And work has begun creating records for the Snowball negatives in NEWCAT – this involves a record for the online and physical versions – to date 23 negatives have been added.

336 University archival items including boxes of material were added to the University’s records management database TRIM CONTEXT. Thanks Gregg.

History Seminars

Cultural Collections hosted 10 History lectures/seminars during 2008. Highlights included Dr Troy Duncan’s Batty lecture; another on white male sexuality in late colonial Australia; Professor Edward James from Dublin gave us excellent advice in recognizing barbarians and Dr Michael Ondaatje black conservatism in modern America (very topical in light of Obama’s ascendancy).

Coal River Working Party

The CRWP was formed in 2003 as a University business and community partnership to actively research and promote Newcastle’s history.

With the farewell of the founder of the Coal River Working Party, Dr Erik Eklund, who left the University to accept a Professorship at Monash University late last year, the CRWP appointed Mr Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist as its new Chair.

CRWP 1. Membership and Administrative Support
We were very fortunate to secure representatives from the Awabakal Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle East Residents Group to join the CRWP. We were also able to secure an Administrative support person (2 days a month), Mrs Brenda Sullivan, and a meeting room in the library. Thanks to DVC (Academic) Professor McConkey and Mr Greg Anderson University Librarian who made this possible. Parking permits for our community members were kindly supplied by the Admin Team at Facilities Management.

CRWP 2. Barrallier Handover and Launch of Vera Deacon Regional History Fund
On the 1st February 2008 framed copies of the rediscovered complete 1801 survey of the Hunter Region by Ensign Barrallier were presented by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales to the community delegates of the Aboriginal, Stockton, University and Newcastle Council. Her Excellency also launched the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund. Thanks to the Kelver Hartley Bequest Committee and the Office of the DV C (Academic).

CRWP 3. Coal River Research Press Publications
In February we posted two surveying reports by the University’s Emeritus Professor John Fryer on our Coal River Working Party and Aboriginal Sourcebook sites. Both reports pinpoint important locations in the region’s history including the site of the Reverend Threlkeld’s mission house at Belmont and the location of Barrallier’s camp site during the early survey mission in 1801. This led to the establishment of a Coal River Research Press Publications design team involving Allan Morse’s Design Students (Honours) which developed design templates and mockups for future publications. An editorial committee has been formed led by Professor Fryer and he and Peter Sherlock (Director of Monteath & Powys) will seek corporate sponsorship in 2009. Thanks to Allan Morse and Tom Hislop (Honours Students Convenor)

CRWP 4. Back to the City – Breath of Life Art Installation
In January members of the CRWP took part in the collaborative Breath of Life Art Installation as part of Professor Steffen Lehmann’s Back to the City Event, to erect windmills on the historic Obelisk Hill site. The Breath of Life Installation went on to be one of two joint winners of the Back to the City Project awards. The Installation will feature in the soon to be launched ‘Back to the City: Strategies for Informal Urban Interventions’ Edited by Steffen Lehmann and published by Hatje Cantz Stuttgart/Berlin in 2009.

CRWP 5. Heritage Week 2008 – Interpretations Exhibition and Heritage Walks Launch
Heritage Week 2008 was officially launched on April 3 2008 at the John Paynter Gallery, the lockup Museum with the magnificent Interpretations exhibition that featured the works of 25 local artists that were inspired by Newcastle’s historic Coal River Precinct. They created an exciting display of paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media. The Exhibition was launched by Chair of the CRWP who took the opportunity to launch the Coal River Heritage Precinct walking tours at the function. Thanks to Ann Hardy, Dr Erik Eklund, Antoinette Eklund and Brenda Sullivan.

CRWP 6. History Week 2008 – Newcastle on the Edge Open Air Exhibition
In September we created the stunning ‘Newcastle on the Edge ‐ Panoramic Visions of Newcastle on the Coquun Hunter River’ outdoor exhibition of seven (7) panoramas of Newcastle dating from the 1812 to the present. It was a collaborative event involving the University’s School of Humanities and Social Science, the Maritime Centre and the History Council of New South Wales. Thanks to Associate Professor Allan Chawner, Professor John Germov and the History Week Committee.
The Panoramas have been now incorporated into the Maritime Centre’s permanent displays as have been Coal River 2D Time displays from the CRWP’s Russell Rigby and Caribe Tawara (Final Year Surveying Student).

CRWP 7. Time Team Submission
A submission to the popular BBC Time Team show to investigate important archaeological sites in the Coal River Precinct was prepared by the CRWP and sent off on 21 August 2008, the 207th anniversary of Governor King’s announcement to Sir Joseph Banks of the fledgling Colony’s first return of 2 pounds 5 shillings from a cauldron of coal from Coal River. Thanks to Professor Fryer, Cynthia Hunter, Roz Kerr, Russell Rigby and Liz Farquhar news editor at ABC 1233.

CRWP 8. 1828 Mitchell Field Book and Dual Naming Application to GNB
In October /November Professor John Fryer submitted an application for dual naming for Nobbys/Whibayganba to the Geographical Names Board (GNB). The application was accompanied with a letter of support from the Aboriginal representatives on the CRWP, the Awabakal Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. Professor Fryer is Emeritus Professor of Surveying and Photogrammetry at the University of Newcastle. This application was inspired by a recent rediscovery of an original 1828 survey book by surveyor Sir Thomas Mitchell that contains the first recorded mention of Nobbys’ Aboriginal name. The original manuscript has been digitised and is freely available to the Newcastle community on the Coal River Working Party’s blog:‐1828‐field‐book/ . At the November meeting of the CRWP Professor Fryer informed us that he had received acknowledgment thanking him for his application. The GNB will be in consultation with Newcastle City Council and the local Aboriginal Community, a process which we understand will take a number of years.

CRWP 9. National Nomination Coal River Heritage Precinct
Work has also proceeded on a revamped National Nomination for the Coal River Heritage Precinct that is synthesized with five key stories within the Newcastle City Council’s Coal River Heritage Precinct Interpretation plan (Pizzey Report). Thank you to Ann Hardy, Barbara Heaton, Dene Hawken and Doug Lithgow.

CRWP 10. Coal River Time Machine
A series of meetings and discussions have taken place in order to forward the proposal for a 3D Digital terrain model of early Newcastle. 2D presentation has been prepared by Russell Rigby and Caribe Tawara. Mr. Richard Allen and his advanced 3D modeling TAFE students are currently working on this goal utilizing early maps, plans and paintings supplied by the CRWP.

CRWP 11. Coal River Precinct Conservation and Cultural Tourism Management Plan
The CRWP actively assisted and supported the Newcastle City Council’s unanimously adopted Coal River Heritage Precinct Interpretation plan (also known as the Pizzey Plan). It involves the celebration of Newcastle’s historic Precinct with light cannon sculptures and oral sound garden. A feasibility study is currently under way by NCC’s Barbara Heaton.

CRWP 12. Community Inspirations
We have seen quite a renaissance in enthusiasm this year in the Coal River Working Party’s work. We have been invited to speak at the Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors (AIMS) Sydney Conference, Australian Society of Archivists Perth Conference, Reference, Access and Public Programs (RAPPSIG), Mine Subsidence Board, the John Turner Memorial Lecture, Newcastle Club, Enterprise Rotary Club (Mayfield), Association of Independent Retirees Merewether, and the Merewether Ladies Probus Club.

We have also created a Facebook Group and Twitter (thanks to Robert McLardy), posted news broadcasts and videos on You Tube, and continue to expand our online blog resources, and had many news high profile stories in the Newcastle Herald and local radio stations that have followed our progress during the year.

On the 10 November 2008 a select audience was treated to a splendid performance piece ‘Where the Coal Meets the Sea’. Created by David Witchard and his fellow Dram1020 colleagues ‘Where the Coal Meets the Sea’ was a University of Newcastle Drama 1020 production of a Historic Walking Tour (with a twist) around Newcastle’s historic Coal River Heritage Precinct located in Newcastle East. The team hopes to be able to again present the performance during the Heritage Festival in April next year. Thanks to their lecturers and mentors Dr David Watt and Dr Gillian Arrighi.

We have been also invited to participate in the Macquarie 2010 committee convened by Member for Newcastle the Hon. Jodie McKay, and have been actively working toward s an event for next year’s Heritage Festival (Our Place in Space Under the Southern Cross) in 2009 as well as assisting where we can with NCC’s Pride of Place Committee’s sesquicentenary celebrations.

A new symphonic piece is being prepared for Newcastle by the Conservatorium’s Colin Spiers. We also have an Awabakal musical piece entitled ‘Dreaming Endeavour’ by a post graduate student and Awabakal representative Dene Hawken which we hope can be performed as well during the sesquicentenary celebrations.

Notable Donations and Grants

– The Vera Deacon Regional History Fund Thanks to the generous support of Mrs Vera Deacon and her fellow donors we were able to complete the accessioning of the massive Mervyn Copley Collection which included over 348 boxes of his news clipping files and 86 boxes of his diaries and autobiographical writings. In addition a number of other collections that arrived through Merv Copley were also accessioned including those of the South Maitland Mines Rescue Station 1925-1984 (9 boxes), Hunter Regional Council for Social Development, 1973-1977 (30 boxes) and Chamber of Manufacturers of New South Wales, 1925-1983 (47 bound items). In addition the following papers were also accessioned: the papers of the late Ernest Hartup, a fisherman of Hexham, (1933-1998); the Federated Moulders’ (Metals) Union of Australia – Newcastle Branch (1928-1983) , Bob Power Papers including the famous Les Darcy files (1907-2003), Newcastle Workers Co-operative Club (1945-1997) The Parks & Playgrounds Movement (1958-2004), and the Cardiff Rail Workshop (Date Range: 1982-1993); John Turner Papers 48 boxes and over 1400 slides; Damaris Bairstow Slides; Professor Geoff Evans Public Broadcasting Files (16 boxes).

– The Norm Barney Photographic Collection including the Ralph Snowball Collection. Thank you to Mrs Daphne Barney, Mr Geoff Barney and Mr Bill Hillier.

– The Lucey Maitland Flood Photographs – Thank you to Mr David E. Sciffer

– The Papers of Alexander Galloway – Thank you to Mrs Pauline Black

– Archives in the Bush – State Records of New South Wales Thank you to the State Records of New South Wales Archives in the Bush funding are proud to have a conservator Amir Rezapour Moghadam working with us.

Amir Rezapour Moghadam is a qualified art conservator who has worked in the field since 2001 and gained experience over a variety of ancient and historic materials. He has worked a conservator at four world heritage sites, including the limestone façades of Persepolis and even more sites of national heritage in cooperation with international teams from Germany, France, United States, and Italy. He has worked for the Iran Cultural Heritage and Truism Organization, Research Centre for Conservation of Cultural Relics (Iran), Parse- Pasargadae Research Foundation, Persepolis Museum and library of Parliament.

We are very honoured to have Amir here in our Cultural Collections primarly working on our State Records and Norm Barney – Ralph Snowball Photographic Collections. Amir is reviewing our conservation and preservation strategies, constructing a conservation atelier, and conducting free seminars on preventive conservation to the wider campus and regional community.

Speaking Engagements (Gionni Di Gravio)

1 February 2008 Barrallier Plan Handover and Vera deacon Regional History Fund Launch

1 March 2008 36th Annual Convention of Hunter and Coastal Region Museums and Historical Societies
10 March 2008 Presentation to Theological Students in Cultural Collections

4 April 2008 Opening the Coal River Interpretations Exhibition, Lock Up Newcastle.
6 April 2008 Presenter on Coal River Precinct Tour
17 April 2008 Forum: Newcastle: Our Place, Past Present and Future presentation on “Creating a Novocastrian Renaissance.”

20 May 2008 Regional Repository Forum 2008 – “Managing Archival Challenges” Presentation Web 2.0 and Archives

6 August 2008 Karrie Room, Parmelia Hilton, Perth. Reference Access and Public Programs Special Interest Group Seminar “Looking to the Future” and 9 August 2009 Fremantle Room, Parmelia Hilton, Perth. Presented on Web 2.0 and community work with Archival collections and 3d virtual heritage initiatives through the Coal River Working Party.

19 August 2008 Frends Reading Room Auchmuty Library – Address to Hist 1010 students
19 August 2008 Phoenix Club (Wests) Mayfield – Newcastle Enterprise Rotary Club 6.15-8 pm

30 August 2008 Souths Leagues Club Merewether. RNH Graduate Nurses Inc. 2008 Annual Luncheon.

23 September 2008 The John Turner Lecture
30 September 2008 The Newcastle Club Tour of Cultural Collections

7 November 2008 The Association of Independent Retirees Group (Merewether)
24 November 2008 Address to the Merewether Ladies Probus Club
26 November 2008 Mine Subsidence Board’s Annual Christmas Function

We have had a blistering year in providing the University and wider community with a rich variety of state of the art digital resources from some of the region’s oldest and most treasured archival and rare book collections.

We have to thank our supporters, donors and benefactors who place their trust in our custodianship of their treasures for present and future generations of researchers.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Gionni Di Gravio