Such was life

Cycloramas in Melbourne

The cyclorama emerged in the 1700s and became a popular form of entertainment at the turn of the 20th century before cinema rendered the genre obsolete. Read the rest of this entry »

News by telegraph; the 19th century internet

On 21 October 1872 readers of Melbourne newspapers scanned the latest news from Europe. The reports included news that the Emperors of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary had met to discuss the uneasy peace after the recent Franco-Prussian war, the Portuguese government was battling against a mutiny in the army, and that Catholics in Bavaria were rioting against the Bismarck governments treatment of Jesuits. But this ‘latest news’ was already six weeks old. Read the rest of this entry »

Rob Roy hill climb

The Rob Roy hill climb is a car time trial in Smiths Gully, Victoria. It was initially established by the Light Car Club of Australia and began in 1937 and ran until 1962, when bushfires destroyed the track. It wasn’t until 1993 that the race was run again, and it still continues today. Read the rest of this entry »

Food in early Victoria

Eating in early Victoria was a different proposition for the Aborigines than for early Europeans. The Aborigines lived off the land. The women, in the main, collected vegetable foods and small animals, whilst the men hunted large game. (Koorie plants, Koorie people, p. 3)  Their vast experience living on the land saw them develop an intricate knowledge of food. Read the rest of this entry »

Picture this: Maryborough, Victoria

Did you know you can view over 200,000 digitised images on the State Library’s online catalogue? To find pictures of your favourite Victorian town, simply head to the catalogue, and click on the ‘Pictures’ tab. Then, type in the name of the town, followed by the word Vic, (for example Talbot Vic) and click ‘Search’. Read the rest of this entry »

History fellowships at the Library

This year the State Library of Victoria is offering several fantastic research opportunities for people who propose thoughtful and innovative ways of using our collections. Read the rest of this entry »

History and people of early Ballarat

If you’re interested in the history and people of early Ballarat, then we’d like to introduce you to a classic research resource, written by journalist WB Withers.

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Gippsland watercolours

Daniel Long’s sketchbook dates from 1856 and contains charming watercolours and pencil drawings depicting various locations in Gippsland. Read the rest of this entry »

Captain Cook’s cottage

Captain Cook’s cottage, located in Fitzroy Gardens, was initially built by Captain Cook’s family in the town of Great Ayton in Yorkshire, England. It is believed to have been built around 1755 and was transported then erected in Melbourne in 1934. But did Cook ever actually live there? Read the rest of this entry »

Continental Cafe, Greville St, Prahran

The area on the eastern side of Prahran Station has a long history as a performance venue. In 1920 the famous Leggett’s Ballroom was built and became a dancing institution for decades to come. On the same site, The Continental Cafe at 134 Greville Street became a lynch pin in the Melbourne live music scene from 1993-2001. Read the rest of this entry »