Tuesday, November 18, 2003


boynton has been strolling this Public Record Office of Victoria exhibition:
Our Nation's First Capital Federation and the story of Melbourne. " A Virtual tour of Melbourne's streets and buildings".
After inspecting the many splendid arches, boynton ambled round the 1914 map before stopping at Frosterley- built as consulting rooms for Dr William Snowball before being leased by the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.

I found this PRV site through googling George Dunderdale after David alerted me to GD's "The Book of the Bush". A reference was found in this long but fascinating PDF of The First Years of The Victorian Archives

It seems that Dunderdale was one of the first archivist heroes of the colony.
On page 16 there is a plan of the Alberton court house with the text:

In this tiny court house in the Gippsland Port settlement of Alberton, two men of letters, Alfred Howitt and George Dunderdale, were magistrate and Clerk in 1883-84. When missing shingles led to swallows defiling the records of the court, Howitt and Dunderdale listed and protected the records, sending precious Convict Indents back to Melbourne by sailing ship for preservation.

Again, the power of records to evoke the bigger picture.
The mix of historical circumstances that aligned momentarily obscurely in Alberton.
Later it was disturbing to read of the pulping of records during WW2 in an economy drive. Vast amounts of records lost from regional court houses that carried so many voices and stories between the bureaucratic lines of archival code.

Provenance a new journal of Public Record Office Victoria. Drawing on the wealth of records within the Victorian State Archives, the journal aims to promote archival research within Australia

Comments: records

Thank you VERY much. What a good thing to find. I had a trawl for Mr Dunderdale, but didn't find that..
Posted by David at November 18, 2003 08:35 PM

Interesting man. Of letters.
It worried me that I hadn't come across GD in my travels. I had read a bit of Howitt here and there.
btw - I've tracked down a copy of GD's book so may be abe to read it one day.
Posted by boynton at November 19, 2003 09:22 AM

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