Friday, 31 August 2012

Professor Hirst and The Argus Index Project, 2012

From the left, Professors John Hirst, Bill Russell and John Poynter
The audience for Professor John Hirst's lecture on The Argus Index Project was enhanced by the presence of several volunteers who work on the index, including one of our own RHSV volunteers.  The inclusion of The Argus in Trove has led to the online index being no longer supported by the National Library of Australia, which is a great shame as doing word searches in a text base of such low machine readability, is not nearly as effective as using such a detailed and carefully executed index as The Argus Index.

The NLA website, in reporting about the Argus Index says:

"The Argus Index website - a high quality index covering 1870-1879 - was retired on the 28th June 2012. The National Library of Australia, working with La Trobe University, redeveloped the Index content into a set of searchable and browsable ePublications, covering the 1870s and 1880s. These ePublications should be available in the near future.  The entire Argus newspaper - running from 1848-1956 - has been digitised and is available via Trove. The new Argus Index ePublications provide links from Index entries to the relevant digitised Argus pages in Trove. (

Professor Hirst said that they are working on an electronic version of the 1860s Index as well, and it is hoped that the indexes will become available on the Latrobe University website.

Professor John Poynter, in thanking our guest speaker, remarked that the Argus Index is a work of great scholarship in itself.

A podcast of the lecture is available from the RHSV website:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


In celebration of Melbourne Day, Melburnians are invited to find out how they can unlock long lost stories of the city, as the Royal Historical Society of Victoria presents “History from The Argus”. To be held on Thursday 30 August at 5.45pm, historian Professor John Hirst will provide an insight into the Argus Index Project and some of his observation after reading decades of newspapers.

“The Argus was Melbourne’s morning daily newspaper, established in 1846 and widely known as a conservative read for most of its history,” said Professor Hirst, Editor in Chief of the Argus Index Project.

Professor John Hirst is scholar emeritus at La Trobe University and Editor in Chief of the Argus Index Project. He is also the author of many books, most recently Sense and Nonsense in Australian History, Looking for Australia, and The Shortest History of Europe.

 Date: Thursday 30 August
Time: 5.45pm – 6.45pm (tea/coffee from 5.15pm)
Address: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne

Cost: $10 non members; free for members of the RHSV

Remember picnics at Cranbourne?

Picnic at Cranbourne, circa 1937.  Source Museum Victoria
Bring a picnic lunch to Cranbourne and visit the South East Victoria Family and Regional History Expo,  to be held at the Cranbourne Public Hall, 166 High St, Cranbourne, on Saturday 1 September, from 10 am till 4 pm.   The RHSV will have a table at the Expo, so come along and say hello.  We will be pleased to see you all.

Monday, 27 August 2012

RHSV welcomes new staff member

Jason Odering has been appointed to the position of RHSV Local History Librarian.  This is a part-time position, so you will find him in the office on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Jason has a background in academic libraries, and is continuing studies in archival management.  We are excited to have Jason with us, and we know he will make a very useful contribution to our organisation. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Victorian Community History Awards 2012 close on Friday

Last year's Overall Winner.

Entries for the 2012 Victorian Community History Awards close this Friday, 10 August, at close of business (4 pm), so if you are planning to enter something, now is the time to do it.  Go to the RHSV website to download the entry form.