Sunday, 21 November 2010

RHSV Floor Talk & Lunch - A Singular Record

Liz Coady is a volunteer with the RHSV with more than 20 years of experience in historical societies and academia. She is one of the team of volunteers who developed the
exhibition A Singular Record.

Liz will present a Floor Talk about the exhibition on Thursday 25 November at 12.30.
Lunch will be provided.

To assist with catering please RSVP to
Phone: 9326 9288 or
Email by Tuesday 23 November

Time: 12.30 pm
Date: 25 November 2010
Cost: $10.00 Members $15.00 non members (includes lunch)
Address: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne


Thursday, 4 November 2010

RHSV Lecture - Vera Deakin's War Effort

Speaker: Carole Woods
Date: 9 November 2010
Time: Coffee/Tea 5.15pm Lecture 5.45pm
Address: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Price: Members free - Non-members $5.50

Vera was the youngest of the three daughters of Pattie and Alfred Deakin, and she studied cello and singing in Budapest prior to the outbreak of the Great War. Rebelling against the Australian government's restrictions on women's participation in the war effort, Vera sailed to Cairo in 1915 and became the founding secretary of the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau, the forerunner of Australian Red Cross tracing services. Vera moved the Enquiry Bureau to London in 1916 and two years later received the OBE for outstanding humanitarian work.

The Australian Red Cross Enquiry Bureau's endeavours to trace missing soldiers and report on wounded soldiers in hospitals brought relief to thousands of anxious relatives. When Bureau staff found that a missing soldier had died, they tried to provide details of death and burial to relatives desperate for information. The greatest joy for a Red Cross searcher was to hear a man indignantly declare from a hospital bed: 'I am not missing. Who says I am?'

Vera led a close-knit team of mostly Australian women, and the Enquiry Bureau became widely known in the AIF as the fount of knowledge on missing and wounded soldiers and also as a home away from home.

Today the records of the Australian Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau stand at the heart of the Australian War Memorial archive on the Great War.

Carole Woods worked as a librarian at the State Library of Victoria and La Trobe University Library. She later became a freelance historian and her work includes Local History in Victoria: an annotated bibliography (1980), Beechworth: a Titan's Field and Vision Fugitive: the Story of David Allen. She plans to publish her biography of Vera Deakin White in 2011. Carole is a Fellow and secretary of the RHSV and has served on the Publications Committee for 21 years. She was a judge of the Victorian Community History Awards for 10 years, and has completed several projects for the Fitzroy History Society.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

RHSV Lecture - Italians ans Swiss-Italians on the Walhalla Goldfield

Speaker: Annamaria Davine
Date: Tuesday 12 October
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 5.15 tea/coffee 5.45 lecture
Cost: members free - non members $5.50

In the decades following the discovery of gold in Walhalla in late 1863, thousands of men and women went to the district eager to make their fortune. Among them were hundreds of Italian and Swiss-Italians (Italians), mostly males. These were usually sojourners, temporary residents who, although assumed to be ‘migrants’ when entering Victoria, did not necessarily have a commitment to permanent settlement. They were woodcutters, timber contractors, tramway builders and charcoal makers and it was not unusual for them to travel from Europe to the Walhalla goldfield 2-3 times during their working lives. Nor were they always desperately poor. Pietro Bombardieri, for example, ‘migrated’ to Australia at least seven times over a forty year period and lived in Walhalla for part of this time working as a timber contractor.

Who were they and what were their aspirations? I will provide some background into my research and, using two case studies, discuss what ‘migration’ may have meant to Walhalla’s Italians. Has its meaning changed over time, or has its use oversimplified and formularized a complex and diverse process in time, place and belonging?

Annamaria (Anna) Davine is an honorary research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical Studies and a member of the Professional Historians` Association.

Two new exhibitions at the RHSV

A Singular Record
A selection of manuscripts from the RHSV collection including documents relating to prominent Melbourne identities such as John Batman as well as the newcomer hoping to make a fortune on the goldfields.The exhibition highlights the value of the manuscript collection for a variety of research purposes including family history research.

Victorian Community History Awards 2010
The winners and commended entries in the Victorian Community History awards, along with a number of the other entries, are now on display in the RHSV foyer.

Both exhibitions can be viewed at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, Mondays to Fridays between 10 am and 4 pm.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Workshop - Designing and maintaining a website

This session is designed for groups planning to have a website or planning to redevelop their website. Topics include basics of website design, methods for creating websites, technical aspects including use of images on the web including copyright and access rights, pdf files, hosting of websites, maintaining websites and publicising the website.

Date: Wednesday 13 October, 2010
Time: 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
Price: Free
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria,239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne
Bookings essential
Email: or
Phone: 9326 9288


Workshop - Pocasting for historical societies

Digitally recording audio files and putting them online is increasingly being undertaken by groups to make the talks from meetings, oral history excerpts and self guided audio tours available to a wider audience. Topics will include recording and editing audio files and putting the audio files online. Examples from RHSV audio projects and projects from other groups will be provided. Ethical issues in recording will also be discussed.

Date: Wednesday 20 October, 2010
Time: 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
Price: Free
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne

Bookings essential
Email: or
Phone: 9326 9288


Workshop - Indexing for historical societies

Presenter: John Adams
Place: RHSV 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Friday 29 October 2009
Time: 10 am - 3.00 pm
Cost: $40 Members - $45 Non-members (Fee includes a book and morning tea)
Bookings essential 9326 9288 or

John Adams, a member of the Australian Society of Indexers and a Fellow and honorary indexer of the Victorian Historical Journal, will outline the processes of indexing uncluding the selection of key words and formatting index entries. Particular issues relevant to the peculiarities of indexing non-book items ( periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs and other non-book materials) will also be discussed. A copy of Indexing for Historical Societies will be provided to each participant.

Oral History Workshop

Oral History Association of Australia (Victorian Branch) is holding an oral history workshop focussing on the following aspects of recording oral history:
- Ethical guidelines
- Interviewing for oral history projects
- Recording equipment
- Listening to, transcribing and logging interviews

Date: Saturday 20 November, 2010
Time: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Where: William Angliss Institute, 555 La Trobe Street Melbourne VIC
Cost: $75 non-members; $55 members and unwaged
Lunch, morning and afternoon tea provided
Bring a digital recorder if you have one.

These workshops are very popular so it is advisable to book early.

Book by sending payment with details of your name, address, telephone number, email , amount enclosed, (student / Pension No. if applicable) to
Treasurer OHAA Victorian Branch 14 Lower Road, Wattle Glen 3096


Lecture - The Great Melbourne Telescope: Restoring our astronomical heritage

JOINT ANNUAL LECTURE: The Royal Society of Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Speaker: Dr Richard Gillespie
Date: Thursday 23 September, 2010
Time: Pre-lecture refreshments 6.15pm Lecture 7.00 pm
Where: Royal Society Hall, entrance now at 8 La Trobe Street Melbourne
Price: $20 on the night

RSVP for catering essential: 12 noon 21 Sept, telephone 9663 5259 or email

RSV Website:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Don't forget the RHSV Annual Giant Book Sale

Book sale update

Sunday 12 September from 10 am to 4 pm
at 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne

The exhibition area at the RHSV is now full of tables laden with boxes of books on a wide variety of subjects including - history, geography and travel, biographies, education, sociology, religion, science, psychology, health and well-being, music, art, gardening, cooking ... There is also a great variety of fiction available plus reading for children.

So come along to the RHSV at 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne on Sunday 12 September between 10 am and 4 pm to purchase some bargains for your bookshelf and also also assist the RHSV in this fundraising event.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

RHSV Lecture - The Many Lives of Kenneth Meyer

Date: Tuesday 14 September
Time: 5.15 tea/coffee. Lecture 5.45
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Members Free - Non-members $5.50
Speaker: Sue Ebury

When Kenneth Baillieu Myer’s father fell dead on the footpath in 1934, Ken’s life changed in an instant. As the eldest son of the Jewish immigrant retailing genius, Sidney Baevski Myer, who went from pedlar to philanthropist millionaire in fifteen years, 13-year-old Ken was immediately acknowledged as head of the family.

Despite a conventional education at Geelong Grammar and a year at Princeton University, Ken was an unconventional man. He had hit headlines when he was born and continued to make news throughout his life-as the powerful Executive Chairman of Myer; in his refusal to be Governor-General of Australia; with his separation and divorce from his wife Prue and remarriage to a Japanese woman half his age, Yasuko Hiraoka; as Chairman of the Victorian Arts Centre and the National Library of Australia; and during his disastrous years as Chairman of the ABC-a reward for signing the 'Myer It’s time' letter, acknowledged by Whitlam as influential in bringing the Labor Party to power in 1972.

Ken Myer introduced Australia to the first regional shopping centres, with Chadstone changing the face of the Australian landscape. Parking meters, state of the art information systems at the National Library of Australia, ground-breaking medical research at The Howard Florey Institute and genetic engineering at CSIRO were all facilitated by him.

With unprecedented access to family documents, Sue Ebury paints a vivid portrait of the many aspects of Ken Myer’s life, and the man himself.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

RHSV Lecture: Victoria in focus

Date: Tuesday 10 August
Time: 5.15 tea / coffee 5.45 Lecture
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: members free; non-members $5.50

Michele Summerton will discuss the The RHSV's Photography Collection in her lecture, Victoria in Focus. Michele will explore the many themes in Victoria’s history represented throughout the collection and will overview the many photographic processes used to capture the images. The talk will provide a taste of this valuable collection and also an insight into the role of photography in history.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

RHSV Book Sale for 2010

The annual RHSV book sale will this year be held from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday 12 September at 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne.

Donations of books are now being received for the sale. If you are able to donate books either bring items to the RHSV (10 am - 4 pm Monday to Friday) or contact the RHSV - phone: 9326 9288 or email: - to make arrangements for delivery / collection of the books.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

New Historians / Professional Historians Association joint lecture

Date: Tuesday 13 July
Time: 5.15 tea / coffee 5.45 Lecture
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: members free; non-members $5.50

Lucy Bracey will discuss the production of a radio program she is producing for the history show on Radio National, Hindsight. The program tentatively titled Sex, power and panic looks at the lives of three women who were thought to threaten the moral wellbeing of Nineteenth century Victorian society - Lola Montez, Madame Brussels and Emma Williams. Lucy will discuss the processes involved in the production of the radio program, plus the ways in which public historians can engage with history using different mediums, like radio.

Kirstie Close will talk about her research for her PhD thesis at Deakin University looking at the Fijian Methodist Church between 1930 and the year of the church's independence in 1964. Her research involves both archival sources, including church archives in Suva, Melbourne and Canberra plus oral history interviews.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

RHSV Lecture - How I became a local historian

Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Tuesday 11 May
Time: 5.45pm following the RHSV AGM at 5.00pm
Cost: Free - members; $5.50 Non-members

Weston Bate talks about how he came to write local history and his passion for researching the experiences of ordinary people and projects involving and supporting local communities in historical research, discussion and conservation.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Temporary closure of Manuscript Collection

Due to renovations in the Manuscript Room, the manuscript collection will be unavailable until Monday 10 May.

Anzac Day holiday

The RHSV will be closed for the Anzac Day holiday on Monday 26 April.

Friday, 2 April 2010

RHSV Centenary Garden Party images

View a slideshow of the RHSV Centenary Garden Party held in November 2009.

RHSV Lunchtime Lecture - Beyond the facade - Flinders Street, more than just a railway station

Speaker: Jenny Davies
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Thursday 22 April
Time: 12.30 pm tea/coffee - 1.00 pm Lecture
Cost: Members free - Non-members $5.50

2010 is the centenary of the opening of Flinders Street Railway Station. Jenny Davies will tell the station's story including some of the thousands of memories of those who worked, played or visited the station during the past 100 years. A series of photographs and the projection of digital images will accompany her talk.

The exhibition, Beyond the Facade, will open at the RHSV in May.

RHSV Lunchtime Lecture - Robert Law - the man, the collection, the exhibition

Speaker: Tony Aplin
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Tuesday 20 April
Time: 12.30 tea/coffee - 1.00 pm Lecture
Cost: Members free - Non-members $5.50

Tony Aplin will speak about the Robert Law exhibition, Minted Melbourne, currently at the RHSV. The talk will include information about Law's military service as well as an insight ito his public and private life.

Prior to a guided tour of the exhibition, members and visitors will be treated to a ' behind the scenes' story of the manner in which the exhibition was staged as well as the possibility of viewing further images from the collection.

RHSV Lecture - A black apron view of history?

The Annual CJ La Trobe / Royal Historical Society of Victoria Lecture
Speaker: Bev Roberts
When: Tuesday 13 April
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 6.00 pm refreshments - 6.45 Lecture
Cost: $20.00
Bookings essential: 9326 9288

Bev Roberts discusses the lives of two remarkable pioneers - Anne Drysdale and Caroline Newcombe - in the context of what might be called the 'black apron' view of history. These independent single women worked on Anne's successful squatting run and played active parts in the early life of the Geelong region.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Exhibitions - Minted Melbourne

Date: until 16 April 2010
Time: Monday to Friday 10 am - 4.00 pm
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne

Images from the Robert Law Collection at the RHSV

Born in Scotland in 1870, Law arrived in Melbourne to take up his posting at the Royal Victorian Mint in 1890. His talent an an amateur photographer has left a rich visual history of his times.

The images in the holdings range widely from formal and informal pictures of his family to scenic landmarks, cityscapes and street scenes from Australia and around the world.

HVSG Seminar Day - Moe

Date: Saturday 13 March
Time: 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Place: Old Gipps Town, 211 Lloyd Street, Moe
Cost: $15 (includes lunch) - paid on the day

Program includes the following sessions:
Linda Barraclough - publishing on blogs and Flickr
Vicki Court - footnoting, references, bibliographies and indexes
Lenore Frost - researching, interpreting and using photographs

There will be plenty of time to explore Old Gipps Town

Bookings essential by Wednesday 10 March
Phone: 9326 9288

Friday, 19 February 2010

RHSV Lecture - George Higinbotham and the Family

Speaker: Susan Priestley
Date: Tuesday 9 March
Time: 5.15 tea/coffee 5.45 Lecture
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Members Free Non members $5.50

George Higinbotham succeeded Sir William Stawell in 1886 as Victoria's third Chief Justice. In 1937, forty-five years after his death, the then Chief Justice, Sir Richard Mann, unveiled a life size bronze statue north to the Old Treasury entrance steps. Mann's speech revealed that Higginbotham's high repute was undiminished by time. Recent biographies have suggested that his public repute was at odds with his private behaviour. This paper seeks to counter that charge.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Lecture - The governor general, the entertainer and a tale of two vexatious litigants

Speaker: Dr Simon Smith
Date: Tuesday 9 February
Place: RHSV 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 5.15 pm tea / coffee 5.45 lecture
Cost: Members free. Non-members $5.50

Australia cherishes its excentrics, dissenters, rascals, ratbags, cranks and agitators. However in the legal sphere, the environment is more restrained. Those individuals who persist in self litigating and try the patience of those administering the system are eventually decalred by the court to be 'vexatious litigants'. Somon Smith's book, Maverick Litigants, traces the evolution of this harsh sanction since its introduction in Australia in 1930 and brings to life previously untold stories of six Australian vexatious litigants.