This blog features some of the recently digitised items from the Tasmanian Archives and the State Library of Tasmania.
Read on to find out more about our new additions to our digital collections! To discover even more, you can also search our catalogue and Tasmanian Names Index or visit us on Flickr, YouTube and Instagram.
In this blog:
- Richard Simson Photographic Collection – Ref: NS6351/1/1-95
- Albums of Gladys Midwood – Ref: NS6759/1/2-3
- Photographic Albums by Margaret Smithies, Ernest George Record and the McDowell family
- Tasmanian Government Railways
- 1920s aerial view of Hobart city block bounded by Murray, Harrington, Liverpool and Melville Street looking North from behind His Majesty’s Theatre and Hobart Rivulet – Ref: NS892/1/61
- Artworks of Launceston
- Emu Bay by Thomas Unwin
- The Pests of the Prince by Henry Manly
- TGR Williams glass plate negatives – Ref: NS1409/1/46-48
- Judges notes on capital offences committed at Norfolk Island, 1846 – Ref: CSO20/1/449
- Burial Plot Maps, Cornelian Bay Cemetery 1915-16 – Ref: AF86/1/1
- Wills from AD960/1/5
- 1829 journal written from London to Van Diemans Land by John Owen Lord – Ref: NS301/1/2
Richard John Simson was a long-standing member of the Smithton Camera Club, the New Norfolk Camera Club, and was the inaugural Vice-President of the Tasmanian Photographic Federation. Photographs vary from the early to mid 1900s of the Simson family, Launceston, Hobart and surrounds.
Gladys Midwood was the daughter of Thomas Claude Wade Midwood who was a prolific Tasmanian cartoonist and artist, draftsman and musician during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The albums contain photographs of family and friends, postcards of the era, Tasmanian scenes and sketches by Thomas Midwood. For more on Thomas Midwood’s life and cartoons, see our recent blog.
Photographic Albums from our Launceston Collections
LPIC146/1/1, LPIC146/1/2, LPIC146/1/3 by Ernest George Record. Ernest lived most of his life in Launceston, working as a chartered accountant and playing an active role in many community organisations. These included Toc H, the Ashley Boys’ Home, Glenara Boys’ Home, the Honorary Justices’ Association, the Queen Victoria Hospital, the Tasmanian Cancer Committee, the Baptist Union of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Tree Planting Committee, the Masonic Lodge and the Rotary Club of Launceston. When the pre-war polio epidemic broke out in Launceston he became a foundation member of the Society for the Care of Crippled Children and took a life long interest in the St Giles home. He was awarded an OBE in January 1948, and held the Legislative Council seat for Cornwall from October 1948 until 1954 when he did not stand for re-election due to ill health.
LPIC143/1/1 (c1935) McDowell family album. John McDowell left the UK on the “Mooltan” in 1935. In Tasmania he worked as an engineer for the Hydro Electric Commission. His wife Lillian was a watercolour artist.
LPIC89/1/1 (1945-1953) Margaret Smithies Album. Margaret Smithies, born 1934, was the daughter of Frederick and Jean Smithies (nee Perrin). Frederick Smithies (1885 – 1979) was a conservationist, bush-walker, wilderness explorer and photographer born at Ulverstone but lived most of his life in Launceston. Margaret’s album is a great portrait of childhood, documenting adventures with family and friends, especially at the beach and in the snow.
In celebration of 150 years of railways in Tasmania, we have digitised a range of railway records, including architectural plans drawn by the Civil Engineering Branch of the Tasmanian Government Railways Ref: P1330, P1332 and P1279. The plans range from detailed drawings of fit outs and minor alterations to workshop layouts, plans of new buildings and measured drawings of heritage listed buildings. In particular, there are extensive drawings of the buildings and workshops at both Launceston and Hobart. There are also drawings of alterations and additions to station and other buildings along the various lines in Tasmania. There are also some drawings relating to cottages and stationmasters residences throughout Tasmania. Plans in this series sometimes contain location information of surface and underground services such as diesel overflow pits and spill containments, drainage, sewerage, storm-water and fire hydrants. There are extensive plans relating to the Launceston flood mitigation scheme.
For more on Tasmanian Railways, see our recent railway blogs series, railway records guide, railway record guide for family historians (video), and the 150 Years of Tasmanian Railways photography exhibition in libraries around Tasmania and online.
Hobart – aerial view of city block bounded by Murray, Harrington, Liverpool and Melville Street looking North from behind His Majesty’s Theatre and Hobart Rivulet (c1920) – Ref: NS892/1/6 (Tasmanian Archives)
Hobart Town Punch cartoon on the occasion of the visit of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to Hobart, 1868 / by John Henry Manly (Tasmaniana Collection, State Library of Tasmania)
The drawing from the Tasmaniana Collection of the State Library of Tasmania depicts Emu Bay, from on board a ship unloading cargo. In the midground of the image three stevedores are using a counterweighted derrick to unload, with the characteristic basalt outcrop clearly visible in the image. Thomas Unwin was born in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, in 1814, son of William Unwin, a gamekeeper. He arrived as a Van Diemen’s Land Company indentured servant, with his wife Emma, on the Thomas Lawrie in 1840. The couple appear in the 1842 census for Circular Head. Van Diemen’s Land Company records confirm he was a tenant at Emu Bay from at least August 1842 through to 1847, at minimum. He continued to farm in the area, died in 1873, aged 58. The Unwins are identified as pioneering potato farmers, also responsible for the introduction of rabbits and skylarks, in Richard Hilder’s ‘Real pioneers of Emu Bay‘.–Advocate, 13 October 1934, page 5.
Artworks of Launceston
View of the cottage at the Flag Staff station, Launceston, Tasmania (Old Signalling Station and cottages Windmill Hill) by Charlotte Cleveland (1819-1884) from The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts. Charlotte was born in London to a family of important architects. Her uncle, Sir Charles Barry designed the British Houses of Parliament and her cousin, Sir John Wolfe Barry, designed the Tower and Kew bridges. Her husband was a trader between Sydney and Launceston, and they lived between Europe and Australia, living in Launceston from 1852-1864 and from 1877 to her death in 1884.
Launceston : Tamar Street Bridge area, Launceston from the eastern end of York Street showing the city proper and Launceston: the bend of the North Esk by Sarah Ann Fogg (1829-1922). Sarah grew up in England and Germany, and moved with her mother and siblings to Launceston in 1850. She travelled in Europe and other Australian colonies, returning to Tasmania several times and lived with her brother in South Africa until her death.
Thomas G.R Williams was a photographer who resided at Scottsdale. Many of his photographs appeared in the Tasmanian Mail and he often toured conducting lantern slide shows with his works. Photographic inserts of the Tasmanian Mail newspaper can be viewed in our catalogue. Here he can be seen with a bioscope, an early version of the movie camera.
Judges notes on capital offences committed at Norfolk Island, 1846 – Ref: CSO20/1/449 (Tasmanian Archives)
Most of this volume comprises notes (e.g. witness statements, depositions, defence statements) relating to possibly the most violent uprising in Norfolk Island’s penal history, the Cooking Pot Riot of 1 July 1846 (14 convicts were charged with murder of four minor officials; 12 of them were convicted & executed). The rest of CSO20/1/449 covers a small number of unrelated capital offences of 1846. CSO20/1/449 also has some colourful and detailed plans at the beginning that appear to have been exhibited in court.
Burial Plot Maps, Cornelian Bay Cemetery (Church of England, Child Plots, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and Free Church of Scotland – 1915-16). Ref: AF86/1/1 (Tasmanian Archives)
These can be used together with the burial order records in our Names Index to find the location of a person’s gravesite. In time, we will have these images linked to the Names Index.
Journal written by John Owen Lord on board the Brig Lion during voyage, from London to Van Diemen’s Land (c1829) – Ref: NS301/1/2 (Tasmanian Archives)
John Owen Lord was the son of Edward Lord and convict woman Maria Riseley – early Hobart entrepreneurs and the subjects of Alison Alexander’s book Corruption and skullduggery : Edward Lord, Maria Riseley, and Hobart’s tempestuous beginnings. John Owen was born in Sydney in 1910, educated at Oxford and died in December of 1829, aged 20. The journal was passed down through family members before its donation to the Tasmanian Archives.
Wills Image Replacement Project
Access to our early wills dating from 1828 will see a new lease of life with pages from the early volumes of the AD960 series being replaced with higher quality images. Wills from AD960/1/5 is now available to view online via the Tasmanian Names Index.
A note about permissions
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