Australian history through objects
September 14, 2010 2:42 PM Subscribe
Objects Through Time
posted by Rumple (7 comments total)
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tells the story of immigration and the changing ethnic diversity of New South Wales, Australia through "movable heritage
" - that is, artifacts and objects with historical resonance. While almost ignoring 50,000 years of aboriginal occupation, the site does a nice job of both familiar topics through a fresh lens (e.g., Captain Cook's "secret instructions
"), but also takes pains to look at those lesser known topics which may be more accessible through material culture than through texts.
For example, these wax casts
of the hands of a quarantined smallpox sufferer tell an eloquent story of misery, hope and racial relations. The board game "White Australia
" speaks to casual racism of the 1920s, while the Tu Do refugee boat
documents changing patterns of immigration. Poorly known modern history, such as Italian prisoners of war, are also approached through their objects
. The site is a small part of a much broader and equally interesting project to document immigration history in New South Wales.