Treasures of the RHSV

The RHSV’s image collection includes a treasure trove of photographs, artworks, maps and other visual materials.

The collection of historical photographs dates back to the 1850s and 1860s and includes albumen prints, silver gelatin prints, glass negatives and glass slides among the more than 30,000 photographs. Major subject areas are portraiture, street scenes – both Melbourne and many Victorian country towns, architectural and occupational.

A grant from The Ian Potter Foundation has enabled the RHSV to begin digitising a selection of items from the image collection, some of which will be made available online as Treasures of the RHSV.

Woodbury Panorama 1855

Walter Woodbury made a series of four collodion “wet plate” photographs from the top of the Gasworks chimney. The Royal Historical Society of Victoria holds four glass negatives in the Image Collection which appear to have been made from matted copies of the photographs taken by Woodbury. The images provide an interesting visual portrayal of Melbourne in 1855.

Search Woodbury Panorama
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Lantern Slide Images c1855

The set of nine large painted glass lantern slides depict images of scenes in Victoria and New South Wales possibly in the 1850s.

Lantern slide images c1855
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RHSV Postcard Collection

The RHSV has a collection of 3,000 postcards, collectively showing the development of Victoria particularly in the latter nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The first stage of the Postcard Database is now online.

Postcards Online database
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Travellers Tales: Photography, Travel & the Proliferation of the Postcard
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Hotels in Melbourne in the 1890s

A selection of images of hotels and associated buildings in Melbourne and suburbs in the 1890s.

Hotels in Melbourne in the 1890s database
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