Tuesday 30 January 2018

Valuable Old Photos Come Home

Above is one of many previously unseen images of Campbelltown. This view is looking towards the court house and Railway Street. Note the ferris wheel in Mawson Park.

Campbelltown Library has purchased around 250 amazing photographs of Campbelltown dating back to the 1960s, 70s and 80s. In 2013 Fairfax Media sent the two million photograph archive of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper to a company in Little Rock, Arkansas to be digitized. The scanning company was disbanded prior to completing the scanning, and the work was eventually managed by a court receiver. Part of the deal Fairfax made was to trade the vintage prints for the scanning services. From the turmoil in the scanning company, the archive eventually became bank owned by a regional Arkansas bank with no interest in holding these photographs. After much discussion and negotiation, Duncan Miller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA bought the entire collection of vintage photos, with the goal and purpose of repatriating many of these historical documents back to Australia.

The photographs are an extremely valuable and interesting addition to our photo collection. They cover everything from street scenes to people and buildings, with many filling a gap in the records. There’s even a whole folder on the exhumation of graves from the Presbyterian Cemetery in the 1980s! An exhibition of this valuable collection is planned in the near future.

Written by Andrew Allen

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