NSW Government Supports Our Diverse and Rich Local History, One of Our State’s Greatest Assets

23 June 2020

Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) President Christine Yeats announced today that ten local history projects will receive funding from the Small Grants Program for Local History and Archives. This grants program is administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government through the Heritage Council of NSW.

‘History matters and it doesn’t have to be history on a global or national scale to be important. Focusing on history from the ‘ground up’ is the best way for communities to understand and appreciate their place in the world,’ said Ms Yeats.

Grant recipients of the Royal Australian Historical Society Cultural Grants cover a diverse range of projects including research, publications, and conservation of historic material.

A number of digitisation projects were funded by the 2020 grants program. Digital technology has revolutionised how we record and practice history. Their projects ‘will preserve unique historical collections and expand the range of primary sources available to historians,’ explained Mrs Yeats

The Heritage Council of NSW Chair, Mr Frank Howarth commended the grant recipients.

“The Heritage Council of NSW is proud to support these local projects. They build a greater appreciation of our heritage, and allow reflection on how our past impacts us today and how it can shape our future. I am particularly pleased that our migrant heritage is being recognised through a number of these projects” said Mr Howarth.


The recipients of the 2020 Small Grants Program for Local History and Archives are:

  • Albury and District Historical Society, Digitising Border Morning Mail Albury, 1946-1947, $3,696 – to digitise this border district newspaper and make it available on Trove – an online service created by the National Library of Australia that offers free public access to digital reproductions of newspapers, journals, books, maps, and other published and digital content.

  • Barnados Australia, Barnados Australia Photographic Collection Management Plan, $5,000 – Barnardos Australia has a collection of over 4,000 photographic prints capturing historical events, i.e. child migration as well as shifts from defunct care practices in NSW (in particular, training schools and larger-scale residential care). They have never been catalogued, very seldom accessed or displayed and are deteriorating. We propose to have them digitised to ensure preservation, facilitate and further access and research, as well as connect and engage with our care-leaver cohorts and the greater community.

  • Chinese Australian Historical Society, Chinese Australian Voices, $5,000 – To publish a landmark oral history project by Australian-born Chinese author Mavis Yen. An opportunity to posthumously realise a unique insight into Australia’s Chinese history told by immigrants from China or their first-generation descendants in their own voice. This work will change and advance the understanding of Chinese Australian history.

  • Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski, In their own image: Cassette digitisation project, $5,000 – The project is the largest and most comprehensive documentation of Greek-Australians nationally. The interviews have been conducted since 1982, and the aim is to begin to digitise the analogue cassette tapes from the collection. The collection comprises of over 2,000 interviews.

  • The Infants Home, Digitising the Infants Home Historical Records, $5,000 – to digitise and index a priority range of the organisation’s historical records (1930-1990) stored at the State Library of NSW. This will ensure that we can expedite free records searches for the children and mothers who spent time in care with us from 1874 to 2002, and preserve the records to improve access to our organisation’s history.

  • Our Chinese Past Inc, Chinese Template Heritage of the New England NW Region, $5,000 – to photograph/digitise and research Chinese language inscriptions on artefacts from at least five 19th-century Chinese temples of Uralla, Tingha and Emmaville preserved at 5 museums in New England North West. To create a website to publicise the digitisations, translations and research of the museums’ temples heritage.

  • Roslyn Maddrell, Braidwood District Hospital 1850-2020, $5,000 –The photobook is intended to capture the changing history of Braidwood District Hospital. It includes descriptions and photographs of the experiences of employees, patients and visitors who came from all over the world between 1858 and 2020.

  • Fort Street Archives, Fort Street Digitsation Project 1849-2019, $3,640 – to digitise a deteriorating collection of approximately 30,000 images of photos and school information from 1849-2020. They will not only be scanned for preservation of this public asset but also as a digitised resource to assist the community in its research of the history and heritage of NSW .

  • Book Collectors Society of Australia, Digitisation of Biblionews, $5,000 – to digitise Biblionews, the journal of the Book Collectors Society of Australia for the years 1947-2019. This would enable a global audience to access, appreciate and utilise 73 years of articles, editorials, book reviews, and other forms of contribution including notes and queries.

  • Olivia Nigro, Behind a Migrant Lens, $4,500 – Lucio Nigro is one of Sydney’s first migrant photographers employed in the media industry in 1969, and has over 1,000 unpublished photographs. This project will explore through the visual evidence and oral history, his migrant experience over 3 decades in NSW.

Grant Media Enquires:
RAHS Grants Administrator Maryanne Byrne: email grants@rahs.org.au

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