This blog is one of a series that explores in greater depth some of the fascinating stories that we uncovered while researching Duck Trousers, Straw Bonnets, and Bluey: Stories of fabrics and clothing in Tasmania, an exhibition currently on display in the State Library of Tasmania and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room in Hobart. These blogs are designed to complement the exhibition, expanding some elements of the exhibition story walls to provide more context and different perspectives.
Female Factories in colonial Van Diemen’s Land were arrival and hiring depots, as well as somewhere to house those who were unfit for service outside, whether ill, rebellious, or pregnant with nowhere else to go. They were also the instrument of systematic and severe punishment of convict women for often minor offences and were also known as a ‘Female House of Correction’. Thanks to the Convict Department’s aims of strict discipline, control and reform through hard labour, which it was hoped would earn enough money to help to cover costs, women worked long hours at tasks including standing for hours in the cold at outdoor laundry tubs, picking apart old tar-laden ropes, spinning wool, and sewing and clothes-making.
Continue reading “Sewing for freedom: clothes production at the Cascades Female Factory”
For the moving visual addition to the Duck Trousers, Straw Bonnets, and Bluey exhibition now showing in the State Library Reading Room, we were able to find a few gems from the late Tasmanian Film Corporation. The Tasmanian Film Corporation was the last incarnation of the Tasmanian Government film unit, which was established in 1946 by the Lands and Surveys Department. It would evolve into the Department of Film Production in 1960 to oversee the full range of film production in the state before being transformed into the government owned commercial business model in the guise of The Tasmanian Film Corporation in 1977. If it moves, we’ll shoot it was a witty commercial made in 1968 by the Department of Film Production about their services.
Continue reading “Tasmanian Textiles and Clothing in Film”
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.
Continue reading “Tasmania Reads: Sir John Franklin and his Expedition of 1845 (Part Two: The Answer and Historical Background)”
Research is not a straight path. It is a trail that twists through mountains and valleys. There are forks in the road and enticing sights that lay off the beaten track. These distractions can be the most treacherous aspects of the journey. Often they can be so alluring that one can forget where one was going in the first place. I stumbled across one of these tangents recently while researching the life and work of Charles Gould (1834-1893), a journey that took me from Tasmania’s wild west coast to mainland China, from giant freshwater crayfish to dragons, and from natural history to the realms of myth.
Continue reading “Charles Gould’s Mythical Monsters”