Sunday, June 26, 2011

#blogjune 28 City of Hawthorn Centenary 1860-1960 grand parade

During the last year we have been celebrating 150 years of public library service in the area that we have called Boroondara since 1994. The first library in the area and the one that has provided continuous service to the community is Hawthorn Library. Like the City of Hawthorn (well, the municipality of Hawthorn really), Hawthorn Library celebrated its centenary in 1960. There wasn't a Hawthorn Historical Society then, but Mrs Carbines at Hawthorn City Library then based at its Burwood Road site had a keen interest in the celebrations. Unfortunately she also died of breast cancer in 1960 and so 1960 was both a celebration and a tragedy for Hawthorn City Library.

This video celebrates the street procession in Burwood Road to celebrate the Hawthorn centenary in 1960. It is interesting to note all the normal suspects: Hawthorn City Band, Hawthorn City Pipe Band, the scouts, the girl guides and I am sure I caught a glimpse of Happy Hammond! Hawthorn Town Hall also stars and is dressed up for the occasion. You can see the edge of the library in the first couple of images and all of it when there is a scan up the road east from the Hawthorn Town Hall.

And, of course, Swinburne is featured. This film was taken by Swinburne students and, therefore, there is a bit of a focus on the Swinburne float and excitement when it appears. Swinburne has a close and long-standing connection with the City of Hawthorn. It was named after George Swinburne who was a Hawthorn Councillor from 1898 to 1904 and Mayor in 1902/3.

Swinburne has released quite a number of historical videos on Youtube. You can check them out here and may find some of them of interest into your research into Hawthorn's history.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

#blogjune 24 Kew Urban Conservation Study

We have lots of fascinating books covering the history of the area in the City of Boroondara Library Service's collections. And sometimes the titles and covers are not very good give-aways of their usefulness.

Take the cover of Kew: City of Kew Urban Conservation Study which was published by the former City of Kew in 1988. Does that give you any idea of the gems inside it? It looks like a standard report with a meandering Yarra going through it. Volume 1 is just that and covers planning controls, methodology, the Burra Charter, etc.

But volume two whose cover is illustrated above is an incredibly useful tool to family and local historians and to library staff. It has a useful 31 page summary of the history of Kew from early days to the late 1970s. Whilst the focus is on planning and development and the built form, it is a very useful tool if someone is looking for a quick context to a property or just wants a quick glimpse into Kew's past. This section also includes a range of maps and subdivision plans from different eras that give a good sense of how the city came to be as it was in 1988 and provides the context for how it has evolved further until today.

The second part of volume two had detailed histories of Grade A properties and limited information on Grade B properties. This includes houses of various eras from the early to mid Victorian up until post World War II as well as churches, memorials and institutions and provides a great tool. The 1988 illustrations are an historical resource in their own right.

The next section covers open spaces and examines formal parklands such as Alexandra Gardens, something defined as Remnants of Former Users which includes the former Outer Circle Railway, Yarra Boulevard, and Flood prone areas such as the two golf clubs and Hay's Paddock. Again each section provides a short history of each site as well as current conditions.

The final section is entitled Building Conservation Guidelines and includes all sort of useful surveys of elements of buildings. So if you want a bit of information about chimneys in the early 20th century, this is a good tool.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

#blogjune Balwyn Library

The house and surgery of Dr Inglis stood on the site of the Balwyn Library at 336 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn. This photograph was taken in 1919.

Dr E.M.H. Inglis(1891-1955)was Balwyn's first doctor.

Balwyn Library was opened in February 1978. It was designed by Daryl Jackson, Evan Walker Architects Pty Ltd and received a citation in the public libraries section of the Library Design Awards.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Library Services Advisory Committee - Call for Nominations!

The City of Boroondara is currently calling for community nominations for its Library Services Advisory Committee. If you live, work or study in Boroondara and would like to have a say about your libraries, have a look at the Committee's Terms of Reference on Council's website. Nominations close on 20 June and should be emailed to

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#blogjune Camberwell Central Library

Camberwell's free public library service began in 1955 and the City Library was located in the old Subscription Library building in Canterbury Gardens. By 1961 the City's book stock had increased from 6,000 volumes to 18,000 volumes, membership and book loans had also increased and it was apparent that larger premises were needed.

Consequently, in 1961 the City library moved to premises in the old Town Hall building in Camberwell Road. Although built in 1891 as a civic building, the building was converted through major alterations to the interior as a library. This new library replaced the old site in Canterbury Gardens as the Central Library, but Canterbury Library continued as a branch library until the end of 1977.

Councillor H.F.W.Dawson, Chairman of the Library Committee, presided over proceedings at the opening of Camberwell Library on 23 June 1961 and the Chief Secretary, Arthur Rylah, was guest speaker.

Friday, June 3, 2011

#blogjune Camberwell Library and the Bookmobile

In 1957 Camberwell Council spent 8,000 pounds on the purchase of a Bookmobile. The Bookmobile initially visited 8 sites throughtout the Camberwell area, operating from the rear of the Canterbury Library. It was estimated then in 1957 that this "Information, Education, Recreation Vehicle" would serve the City for ten years. In fact the Bookmobile went out for the last time on 20 Dec 1979, having doubled its life expectancy.

City Librarian Tom Woodrow poses for the camera during the official launch of the Bookmobile in 1957. Was this the first book issued from the Bookmobile? And who is the smiling woman?

Ladies boarding the Bookmobile c.1970.

#blogjune Camberwell Library

Thomas Woodrow was the first Chief Librarian of the City of Camberwell. He was appointed in 1954 to establish the new library service. As chief Librarian for 21 years he was known as an innovative and far-sighted individual. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Camberwell-Waverley Regional Library and the establishment of branches at Ashburton and Balwyn.

Camberwell's free public library service began in 1955 and the City Library was located in the old Canterbury Subscription Library building in Canterbury Gardens.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...