The University of Newcastle, Australia

Historic images provide Newcastle a new window into WWI

Monday, 3 April 2017

The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales in association with the University of Newcastle Auchmuty Library will honour ANZAC Day this year with the opening of a new exhibition, Windows into Wartime.

Health workers from Surry Hills
Health workers from Surry Hills ready to combat the Spanish influenza pandemic. Courtesy: State Records Service of NSW

Windows into Wartime has been produced by the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW for the Centenary of Anzac - an event which marks 100 years since Australia’s involvement in the First World War.

Executive Director of the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW, Geoff Hinchcliffe, said the series of historic images captured by NSW government photographers during and immediately after the War depicts how communities across NSW worked together to support Australia’s war effort.

“This unique exhibition documents the variety of activities that took place on the home front including recruitment campaigns, the development of soldier settlement schemes, the establishment of the Red Cross in NSW, the infant health movement and patriotic fundraising activities,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.

Exhibition Curator, Dr Penny Stannard, explained that new digital technologies enabled these images to be brought to life 100 years later from original glass plate negatives.

“It has allowed us to re-discover and fully appreciate the technology of early 20th Century photography and the role that it played to capture our history,” Dr Stannard said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC, said he was delighted that Newcastle, which has its own unique stories from the First World War era, was included as part of the exhibition’s year-long regional tour.

“The Hunter made a significant contribution to the Great War, including heavy sacrifices that shattered the community. My grandfather served and was wounded on the Western Front. Retaining their history is important,” Mr MacDonald added.

University of Newcastle Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor John Germov, said it was vital in today’s society that we look back and learn from lessons of the past.

“The University of Newcastle is proud to be hosting this important exhibition, which so clearly illuminates our history,” Professor Germov said.

Windows into Wartime is free to attend, and is on at the University of Newcastle’s Auchmuty Library until 12 May, 2017.

Historic images provide a window into WW1 from DFSI Newsroom on Vimeo.

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