Victorian history

Coles Book Arcade, 1883/1903. Photo by Spencer Shier; H96.207.1

Marvellous Melbourne’s own Willy Wonka – E.W. Cole and his famous Book Arcade

September 6, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Meet Marvellous Melbourne’s own Willy Wonka, E.W. Cole, author of Cole’s Funny Picture Books and the man behind the famous Cole’s Book Arcade, once spanning all the way from Bourke St Mall to Collins St.

The lighthouse, Cape Schanck, Vic., [ca.1917] Shirley Jones collection of Victorian postcards. H90.140/264.

Beacons of hope: Victorian lighthouses

August 26, 2022

Victorian history:

Standing tall on rugged coastlines, lighthouses captivate the imagination. Dotting the Victorian coastline, they were lifesavers for ships navigating treacherous seas, seeking a safe harbour.

Miss Anderson’s motor service

Miss Anderson’s motor service

August 5, 2022

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

In 1919, at just twenty years of age, Alice Anderson founded Victoria’s first all female motor garage. Her vision, as she would later tell magazine ‘Woman’s World’, was ‘to turn a trade into a profession for women.’

New Idea turns 120

New Idea turns 120

August 1, 2022

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

On 1 August 1902, a magazine called ‘New Idea’ was published for the first time. Its aim was ‘to present the newest ideas continually arising in every branch of a woman’s life and interest.’

Neon magic!

Neon magic!

July 28, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

There is something magical about the sight of neon against the backdrop of an evening sky. Whilst neon signs have fallen out of favour in recent years, many of those remaining have achieved iconic status. We look back at some of the highlights.

Magic in the night sky

Magic in the night sky

July 2, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Moomba, the Royal Melbourne Show, New Years Eve…Victorians love to celebrate major events with fireworks. While we might have an idea of what a typical firework display looks like (such as the regular ones held each New Years Eve), the displays of the nineteenth century were completely unlike like what we see today.

A trick of the light: a personal response to several paintings in the Cowen Gallery

A trick of the light: a personal response to several paintings in the Cowen Gallery

June 14, 2022

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

The Library’s Cowen Gallery features some magnificent paintings by Australian artists, whose work sheds light on how the Australian Impressionist movement inspired Australian painters around the turn of the century.

From flappers to fast fashion: 100 years of style in Melbourne

From flappers to fast fashion: 100 years of style in Melbourne

June 4, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Join us on a journey from the 1920s to now. See what women were wearing across the decades and which trends mark each changing era.

The Chalet, winter, Mt. Buffalo 9Vic.) [1910]

Mount Buffalo Chalet: the island in the sky

June 1, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Over 110 years old, picturesque Mount Buffalo Chalet sits atop a plateau in the Mount Buffalo National Park. This grand old lady has provided a leisurely holiday escape for almost one hundred years. Little wonder that for decades, Victorians made the chalet their favourite winter and summer retreat.

Setting the curriculum: the history of Victorian school readers

Setting the curriculum: the history of Victorian school readers

May 28, 2022

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

To mark the 150th anniversary of public education in Victoria, we take a look at school papers and Victorian school readers. What insights can these texts offer into the social, political and cultural environments of their day?