Articles by: Sarah Matthews

Victoria through the ages: the boom years

Victoria through the ages: the boom years

September 16, 2021

Collection spotlights:

In the 1880s, Victoria experienced an unprecedented property bubble. When it eventually burst, it left the economy in tatters.

Read all about it!

Read all about it!

August 30, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories, Victorian history:

From as far back as the 1850s, newsboys were a common sight on the streets of Melbourne. Most were poor and many were illiterate. But they were not without their friends and allies…

Canvas Town: ‘a floating city, devoured by the sun’

Canvas Town: ‘a floating city, devoured by the sun’

March 31, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

It was November, 1852, when almost overnight, a strange sight sprang up, near Princes Bridge, in Melbourne. Canvas Town, as it came to be known, was a large tent city, set up to accommodate people on their way to the goldfields…

Melbourne’s first newspaper

Melbourne’s first newspaper

January 1, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

On New Year’s Day, 1838, pioneer John Pascoe Fawkner published Melbourne’s first newspaper. Printing presses were scarce in the colony, so Fawkner handwrote the newspaper himself…

Ania Walwicz: rebel with a cause

Ania Walwicz: rebel with a cause

November 9, 2020

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories:

The Victorian literary community has lost one of its own, with the death of much-loved poet, performance artist and creative writing teacher, Ania Walwicz

The Show must go on!

The Show must go on!

September 18, 2020

Social life & customs, Such was life:

The Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled this year so let’s look at how it came to be- and the fun times we can look forward to next year.

The riotous Williams

The riotous Williams

September 17, 2020

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street was once a waterway known as Williams Creek. Today, the creek runs underground, but every now and then, it returns with a vengeance…

Fireworks in Little Bourke street

Fireworks in Little Bourke street

August 4, 2020

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories, Victorian history:

There’s an air of intrigue around these deserted Chinese shopfronts, captured by artist Eric Thake in Melbourne during World War II

Time travelling with Sands & McDougall

Time travelling with Sands & McDougall

June 16, 2020

Buildings & streets, People & professions, Such was life:

Bell hangers and nightmen, leech merchants and lightermen; these are just some of the nineteenth century characters you may find lurking within the pages of a Sands & McDougall directory.

On the ‘shick’ in Little Lon

On the ‘shick’ in Little Lon

April 16, 2020

Buildings & streets, Social life & customs, Such was life:

Of all the slums in inner Melbourne, ‘Little Lon’, was the most notorious. But there was more to the precinct than met the eye…