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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sapper Galbraith at Leighton Studios, Moonee Ponds

Sapper A G F Galbraith, 1915.  Museums Victoria Collections
I have just noticed that Museums Victoria have now made out-of-copyright photos in their collection Public Domain.  The last time I looked, admittedly some while ago, permission was withheld for the use of their online images, despite being out of copyright.

Having a look through the collection last night I noticed the change.  The above portrait is interesting to me because firstly it is a portrait of one of the local men who volunteered for the Great War.  This portrait now appears on the webpage of Sapper A G F Galbraith of Essendon, who did not return to Australia.

The description of the photo reveals that it was taken at the Leighton Studios, which was in Margaret St, Moonee Ponds.  This photo gives the first view of a studio backdrop which appears in other photos, but is not revealed in other portraits, and this is useful for a study of backdrops of local studios which you can see on the Time Travellers of Essendon, Flemington, &c website.

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Foundling Archive

Catalogue description "women; group; lost and found; 1940".  I wonder if there is a studio name on the back?
While browsing through Victorian Collections, I came across this never-previously-encountered collection called "The Foundling Archive".  Contrary to expectations, the archive does not record lost children, but lost photos and ephemera.  The collection is described as follows:

"The foundling archive was established in 2013, as an experiment. We wanted to see if we could track Australia's social history through the old, personal photographs, films and small objects that no longer seemed relevant to their owners. These are the objects that find themselves being sold on ebay and in second-hand shops throughout Australia.

By looking at the bits and pieces we create, keep and eventually throw away, the foundling archive documents evidence of everyday life -of personalities, family dynamics, technological change and social development".

There are photos from places besides Victoria, though they are located in Brunswick, Victoria. A large group was taken in West Sydney.  Unfortunately, when they were cataloguing, other than occasionally including a placename in the title,  they didn't seem to think of recording the photographer's studio and place in the subject headings, so I saw, for instance, two photographs taken in a Perth Studio which you wouldn't know unless you enlarged the photo.

But they are interesting and worth a browse.   Victorian Collections can be searched by place or name, and many of you may find some items of interest there.  I just found a 1941 letter of condolence from the RSL to a woman who used to live in the house I lived in in the 1970s.   Amazing!