Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Round the history blogs 12 - genes, architecture & a steam ferry

With my computer back, I have taken the pleasure of doing another history blog browse. Looking at the various blogs after a gap, dear it's hard for people to keep up regular posting!

On A Corner of tenth-Century Europe, Jonathon Jarrett's Iberia: your genes are riding up on one side looks at the evidence for genetic mixing in what is now modern Spain.

Does anybody know of a proper survey of DNA analysis carried out on Australia's Aboriginal peoples? I have tried web searches, but the on-line material is very fragmentary and hard to interpret for a total ignoramus like me. It's important from my viewpoint in setting a broader context for my writing on New England's Aboriginal peoples.

CVT Woolgoolga While I focus here on history blogs, other blogs also carry material of historical relevance, especially to New England.

This rather wonderful photo from Mark's Clarence River Today photo blog is entitled Guru Nanak Gurdwara: Woolgoolga and shows the second Sikh temple at Woolgoolga, the temple on the hill.

I made passing reference to the history of the Sikh community at Woolgoolga in Sunday Essay - for Ramana: India and Australia. This is yet another thing that I have to follow up!

Turning to another ethnic group with New England connections, Sharon Brennan's The Tree of Me is a family history blog with many New England connections. I am going to do a proper review of Sharon's blog; for the moment I just wanted to note the German connection via the Scheef family.

While New England's population in European times was relatively homogeneous (British Isles) at a macro level, it becomes much more varied as you drop below this. I have a part completed note on the important German influences that I have to follow up.

Staying at the micro level, a post on my general New England blog, Memories from a Glenreagh past, contains a video providing a fascinating insight into the past life of that community.

Looking more broadly now, Archives Outside has had some interesting posts. I have already dealt with one in 23 things for archivists - a great intro to internet & tools. Another post, Uncovering Hidden Treasures – NRS4481 The Government Printing Office Collection, provides some fascinating insights into one collection of NSW Government photos. I spent several hours happily digging through some photos in the broader collection.

This photo carries the inscription "The ferry 'Helen' built c.1908. Used by the Sydney Harbour Trust as a cross-river ferry at Grafton."

Helen. Built c 1908

Such an innocuous looking ferry. It was the withdrawal of this ferry from the Grafton run in 1915 that launched the first major twentieth century new state agitation in Northern NSW led by Earle Page. 

Turning in a very different direction, I met Art Deco Buildings through another of my favourite blogs, Helen's ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly. When I went to Albury a year or so back I noticed the art deco buildings. You will see what I mean if you look at Albury Delightfully Deco Exhibition, T&G Building, Albury and a A House in Albury.

Architecture remains a real gap in my historical knowledge base. I used architecture as an example in my short post Themes vs topics in history. There my focus was on squatting as a theme, the houses the squatters built a topic. I am not especially conscious of art deco in New England as compared to the Victorian period.

Changing countries, in A book so interesting Mary Stokes reviews a history of Hudson Bay Company map making. I haven't read the book, but it sounds interesting for the HBC was THE dominant map maker for one period of the history of what is now Canada. Maps, such simple things, but also symbols of ownership and indeed conquest. Further, the simple map with its firm lines has actually conditioned modern thinking in ways we don't always recognise.

That's just five blogs, but I am out of time for today.

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