Gold Museum Blog has moved!

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BLOG HAS A NEW HOME ON THE GOLD MUSEUM’S WEBSITE

Thank you for following our blog. We wish to advise that it has now moved to the Gold Museum’s new website and that all future posts will be found here:

http://www.goldmuseum.com.au/category/blog/ 

All existing posts can also be accessed at the new site.

Digger's Hut (1852) by S.T. Gill Image: Gold Museum Collection (96.11510)

Digger’s Hut (1852) by S.T. Gill
Image: Gold Museum Collection (96.11510)

Gold Museum Collections Now Online

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SEARCH THE GOLD MUSEUM COLLECTION RECORDS DATABASE ONLINE

Chinese vase from the Arnott-Rogers Collection Image: Gold Museum Collection (84.1094)

Chinese vase from the Arnott-Rogers Collection
Image: Gold Museum Collection (84.1094)

The Gold Museum is excited to announce that our collection records are now available for the public to search online at the new website www.goldmuseum.com.au.

A total of 63,031 records have been uploaded out of the Museum’s 100,000 objects, with plans to add more in the coming months.

Approximately 4,000 of the online records have digital images attached, and we are currently engaged in an active digitisation program to increase this amount in the near future.

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Mary Fenton Whitelaw’s Ball Gown (1867)

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DRESS WORN BY MARY FENTON WHITELAW FOR ROYAL BALL IN BALLARAT, 1867

Mary Fenton Whitelaw's Ball Gown (1867) Image: Gold Museum Collection (91.0431)

Mary Fenton Whitelaw’s Ball Gown (1867)
Image: Gold Museum Collection (91.0431)

Mary Fenton Whitelaw’s green silk gown from 1867 is one of the highlights of the Gold Museum’s Costume Collection. At the age of 17, she wore it to an exclusive ball in Ballarat, to celebrate the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. This was an important event in Ballarat’s social history, as it was the first time the city had hosted royalty. Prince Alfred was the second son of Queen Victoria, and he spent five months touring Australia in 1867.

Mary’s dress is part of a collection of more than 50 items relating to her family, including letters, photographs and objects. Together they provide a glimpse of what life was like for a respectable middle-class family in Ballarat from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

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Gold Museum Collections Centre Launch

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BUILDING REDEVELOPMENT WORKS COMPLETED AT THE GOLD MUSEUM 

Gold Museum Collections Centre (exterior view)

Gold Museum Collections Centre (exterior view)

In 2011, the Gold Museum was awarded a grant of $3 million from the Victorian Government to renovate the building. After years of planning and 12 months of construction works, the new Collection Centre has now been completed.

The aim of the project was to construct new state of the art storage facilities, develop new working areas for staff, volunteers and public researchers, and to improve overall access to the collection through a new collection management system.

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Anne Frank Exhibition

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TOURING EXHIBITION ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY OPENS AT THE GOLD MUSEUM

Anne Frank Image: © Anne Frank House/Anne Frank Fund

Anne Frank
Image: © Anne Frank House/Anne Frank Fund

On 6th May, the touring exhibition Anne Frank: A History for Today opened to the public at the Gold Museum. This exhibition was created by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and it has been seen by millions of people around the world. Anne Frank was a courageous Jewish teenager who kept a diary of her experiences when she and her family lived in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland in World War II.

The exhibition features photographs of Anne, her friends and family, extracts of her writing and a chronological timeline of the events of World War II, plus a film documentary and a replica of her famous diary.

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Fake “Mermaid” Photograph

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PHOTOGRAPH OF A “MERMAID”: AN EXAMPLE OF A POPULAR FORM OF FAKES AND HOAXES

Fake "Mermaid" (1923)Image: Gold Museum Collection (2011.0072)

Fake “Mermaid” (1923)
Image: Gold Museum Collection (2011.0072)

This unusual photograph was donated as part of a larger collection of social history items relating to a local Ballarat family. The donor’s father had a keen interest in photography, collecting images as well as taking them himself. The donor believes that this particular image may have been brought back to Australia by a member of her father’s family who went overseas to serve in the First World War.

Close inspection of the bizarre object depicted in the centre has revealed that it is a fake “mermaid” (or “merman”). Although the handwritten caption on the back of the photograph states that it was “caught in China Sea, half human, half fish, now be exhibited in South Africa (Nov. 1923),” it looks remarkably similar to other famous fakes such as the “Banff Merman” that is currently exhibited in the Banff Indian Trading Post in Canada.

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Phoenix Foundry Model Locomotive Engine

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MODEL LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE CREATED BY APPRENTICES FROM THE PHOENIX FOUNDRY, BALLARAT

Model Locomotive EngineImage: Gold Museum Collection

Model Locomotive Engine, Ballarat Historical Society Collection (78.0953)
Image: Gold Museum Collection

One of the highlights from the Ballarat Historical Society Collection is this working model of a locomotive engine. It was manufactured by five apprentices from the local Phoenix Foundry Company for the Australian Juvenile Industrial Exhibition held in Ballarat in 1878.

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Eliza Perrin: An “Ordinary” Woman of the Goldfields

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ELIZA PERRIN: THE STORY OF AN ORDINARY WOMAN ON THE BALLARAT GOLDFIELDS

Eliza Perrin and her children (undated)Image: Gold Museum Collection

Eliza Perrin and her children (c.1860s)
Image: Gold Museum Collection

Life on the Ballarat goldfields in the mid-nineteenth century was hard enough for a man trying to make a living and survive, but for a miner’s wife it could be even more difficult, as her own fortunes were bound to the decisions her husband made. Eliza Perrin was an ordinary woman who followed her prospecting husband from England to the goldfields of Victoria, but her story is representative of the experiences of so many others.

The Gold Museum holds a collection of items relating to Eliza and her family including copies of letters written to her sister in England, a photographic portrait with her children (depicted left) and the exact dress she is wearing in the photograph.

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Langton Nuggets Collection

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THE STEVE LANGTON GOLD NUGGET COLLECTION

The recent discovery of a 5.5 kg (177 oz) gold nugget found within 30 km of the Ballarat city centre just goes to show that there is still treasure out on the Ballarat goldfields waiting for those who seek it. In the 1980s, one such lucky prospector was Steve Langton,a retired mining engineer and speedway motorbike rider, who discovered the magnificent collection of 13 nuggets currently on display at the Gold Museum.

Archbishop NuggetImage: Gold Museum Collection

The Archbishop Nugget
Image: Gold Museum Collection

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S.T. Gill: The Artist of the Goldfields

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ARTIST OF THE GOLDFIELDS: SAMUEL THOMAS GILL

Cradling at Forest Creek (1859) by S.T. Gill Image: Gold Museum Collection (96.11503)

Cradling at Forest Creek (1859) by S.T. Gill
Image: Gold Museum Collection (96.11503)

The Gold Museum holds a large collection of artworks by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880), better known to history as S.T. Gill, or ‘the Artist of the Goldfields.’ As there are few photographs from the 1850s and 60s still in existence, his vivid illustrations provide some of the best examples of life on the early goldfields of Victoria. Continue reading

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