Victorian ‘insanity’ in the 19th century

Why did Victoria have such a high rate of insanity? A new book illuminating the world of Melbourne’s early lunatic asylums recently won the Victorian Premier’s History Award. Jill Giese, clinical psychologist and author of The Maddest Place on Earth, spoke with Tracesabout an intriguing slice of colonial history. When I stumbled on an 1876 eyewitness account of … Read on

Tupaia’s map of the South Pacific

On Cook’s first voyage across the Pacific, Tupaia became an invaluable ‘supernumerary’ aboard the Endeavour, helping to reach far-flung islands, and communicating with other Polynesian cultures. Tupaia also drew a map for which he is long remembered. https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-135949253/view A view in the island of Ulietea [Raiatea] with a double canoe and a boathouse, 1773. Pl. … Read on

What will your family legacy be?

No matter what stage or life you’re at, you might find yourself pondering these existential questions: ‘Who did I come from?’ and ‘How will my family remember me after I’m gone?’ Producing a family history book can help you figure out the answer to the first question, while a personal photo memoir will let you … Read on

WW1 Remembrance Event

The Centenary of the First World War Armistice is of great significance to our nation, as it represents 100 years since the end of the First World War. With so many brave WW1 servicemen and women interred or memorialised within our grounds, Rookwood General Cemetery embarked on a four year project to research the servicemen … Read on

The 1975 Tasman Bridge disaster

At 9.27 pm on Sunday 27 January, a star-crossed bulk iron ore carrier, the Lake Illawarra, struck Hobart’s Tasman Bridge, knocking over two of its concrete pylons along with 127 metres of road that they had supported. The incident The consequences were devastating and immediate: five people in cars plummeted to their deaths in the … Read on

The man who mailed himself from London to Perth

Reg Spiers was once a champion javelin thrower who represented Australia at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, but he is better known as the man who mailed himself from England to Australia than for his athletic prowess. When Spiers failed to qualify for the 1964 Australian Olympic Team, he impulsively set out for London … Read on

Popular baby names of the last 100 years

 Trends and fads come and go – and baby names are not immune. Interestingly, some of the most common baby names from 100 years ago are making a reappearance on today’s top baby name charts in what is known as the 100-year return. Choosing a baby name is no easy task. For some families, culture … Read on

The construction of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

It’s nearly the school holidays and, in Victoria at least, that means thousands of travellers will be making their way down one of the state’s most iconic roads – The Great Ocean Road. While images of this stretch of famous coastline have been made famous on postcards and calendars worldwide, the history behind it may be … Read on

Starting your family tree

Assembling a family tree can be a daunting task, especially as we are so often faced with more questions than answers. As long as you know how to harness the many resources at your disposal, uncovering your roots can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. Here are some tips to get you started. Start with … Read on

Three tips for restoring Art Deco furniture

Looking back in time from a 21st century vantage point, there’s perhaps no era that better evokes a sense of nostalgia than the 1920s. Thousands of immigrants – many of them women – were drawn to Australia by the promise of job opportunities, decent wages and a better life, and luxury goods were becoming more … Read on

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