The State Library and Archive Service is issuing a challenge to Tasmanians to read five different examples of nineteenth century handwriting from our Heritage Collections, each featuring a different set of records held in the State Archives.
The scripts are selected to give you insights into some of the key strengths of our collection and we hope they will pique your interest to explore further.
Today’s challenge is to decipher a note (which the library holds a reproduction of) made on a British Admiralty template by the members of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition for the Northern Passage of 1845. The State Library holds many resources relating to Franklin’s time as both Lieutenant Governor and as an explorer.
Your Transcription Challenge
This note has multiple parts to it, with writing in all directions. This challenge focuses only on the writing in the centre of the page, and not the marginalia. This is a challenging transcription that gives two very different messages to the reader…
The Answer …
will be published in our blog this afternoon. Stay tuned!
There have been some recent enhancements to how you can search the Tasmanian Names Index.
We have added more fields to the search filters on the drop-down menu to the left of the search bar. Some of these have always been there (while some are new additions). Many of you might not have been aware of the drop-down menu at all, but it can be a useful tool for refining your searches in our ever-expanding database of Tasmanian life.
Here is a short guide to what those options mean and when it might be useful to use them.
This week in Esther’s story, we break away from the whaling logbook where we first found her as a five year old girl. Now we’ll trace her and her parents through two institutions which housed the most vulnerable people in Hobart in the 1870s – the Brickfields Invalid Depot and the Cascades Establishment. To piece that story together, we have to jump forward and backward in time a little bit, but I promise it is worth the journey!
“Cross Street, Sandy Bay Road,” “Be a good girl, Esther,” “Esther shall not go out again,” “Bombay is in Asia, ABC,” “Evil communication corrupts,” “Love your grandmother Esther” – each of these were written over and over again in a whaler’s logbook, and signed “Esther Mary Paul” in November or December, 1865. What was little Esther doing writing these lines, in -between and alongside the records of her uncle and aunt’s adventures at sea long before she was born? Was she being educated or punished, or both? Where was she living and why was she there? In this continuing story of little Esther Mary Paul and the whaling logbook in the Crowther Collection, we’ll try to piece together Esther’s young life. It’s a tale of sorrow, struggle, and abandonment, but also of strength, resilience, and love.
Hospital records are like the holy grail of archives. Because medical histories are so personal, they are carefully controlled. In the busy world of a hospital, not every slip of paper could be kept, particularly before computers. By the time 19th and early 20th century records reached the archives, many volumes had gone missing or been destroyed, and only intriguing clues have survived.
Some of the surviving records from the General Hospital in Hobart are the hospital’s registers of deaths (HSD145, 1864-1884) and orders for coffins ‘required for pauper interments’ (HSD146, 1864-1876). These records have now been digitised and added to the Tasmanian Names Index, under the record type ‘deaths’.