Join us as we round up a few key history resources available through the University Library in support of History Week 2021.

  • Living Histories
    Living Histories is a favourite resource to many a history student at the University, not to mention researchers around the world. The online platform is an easy to access, interactive archive of unique artefacts and historical sources from the local Hunter area that also have significance worldwide.
    JSTOR is one of the world’s most popular databases for historical study and research, and currently offers more than 12 million academic journal articles, 85,000 books, and 2 million primary source documents in 75 disciplines. Many of the best publications, as well as high quality images can be found on this database.
  • History Subject Resource Guide
    The Library’s curated list of the most useful online resources for those studying History – including databases, ebooks, online ebook collections, video streaming databases and lots of tips!

We asked Claudia Donovan, a current History student, to highlight 3 resources she was currently using in her history courses, and she highlighted the following items from our collections which show the diversity of access to historical materials provided at the Library.

This extended interview by Ronald Heathcote is with Edna Mavin, local Awaba resident about the early history of Awaba, Lake Macquarie.  

Edna’s father’s parents (surname ‘Field’) moved to Awaba in 1894 and were involved in cutting timber for the railway construction. Edna went to Awaba Primary School in 1921 and left aged 14 to work at her aunt’s dairy. Throughout the interview, she describes community life in Awaba, including the local church, sports and the social events at the community hall in a deeply personal and detailed recollection of life in the area in the early 20th Century.

Interview by Lyn Staley in 1989 with Joyce Staley (nee Cummings) about single working women in the Great Depression. 
Joyce was born in West Wallsend in 1918. She was one of eight children from a sporting family. In this interview, she recalls the hardships faced by her family during the Depression, the soup kitchen at the local public school. She recollects stories of her father and their subsistence farming as he grew his vegetables, planted fruit trees, raised chickens and ducks, hunted for food and lived a self-sufficient lifestyle as best they could. This fascinating tale of economic and social hardship during the depression from a local resident is an excellent resource for those looking for primary sources.

  • Conservation & History of Northern Parks & Playground Movement – Located In Living Histories

In this interview by Vicki Neech with Doug Lithgow about conservation in Newcastle and the history of the Northern Parks and Playground Movement (NP&PM), the history of this valuable community led conservation organisations is revealed.

Established in 1952 as an offshoot of New South Wales’s now-disbanded Parks and Playgrounds Movement, the Northumberland County Plan was first exhibited. In 2016 the organisation was known as the Parks & Playground Movement (P&PM). Conservation in Newcastle is synonymous with the NP&PM, one of the region’s oldest environmental organisations.

This timeline of HIV/AIDS history within the Hunter between 1986-1989 shows the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on Australia, with a focus on events and experiences in the Hunter region. It includes many primary sources from the time, including newspaper articles and news footage and is an essential source for any student studying the effects of the pandemic on social history.

Don’t forget that University Special Collections will be live online for a zoom panel event as part of History Week – find out which 5 items from the collection our panellists will choose to examine! Register here.

You can read more about History Week, including the online events here.

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