South Australian Government Photographic Collection (c.1890-1957)



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The South Australian Government Photographic Collection (c.1890-1957) consists of 14,000 images. A small number of images in the collection predate 1890. These are generally reproductions of earlier line drawings rather than contemporary photographs. The images were produced by the Department of Lands who was responsible for the official photographic record of South Australia at that time.

The collection broadly documents sixty-seven years of government activities, state celebrations, and the growth of industry, trade and townships between 1890 and 1957. The collection includes 288 Frank Hurley images showcasing the state as part of its 1936 Centenary celebrations, as well as images of country shows and field days, educational institutions, hospitals and nursing, railway stations and infrastructure, shipping and ports, and the River Murray.

The South Australian Government Photographic Collection (c.1890-1957) is a collection of images that were taken by the Department of Lands photographic branch to record government activity, achievements and state celebrations over a sixty-seven year period. For a fee, photographs were also taken for other government departments for use in annual reports and parliamentary records. Over the years the collection also became a repository for government commissioned photographs including those taken by Frank Hurley in 1935 for the State's Centenary Committee to record the State after 100 years of European settlement (1836-1936). They are an excellent record of South Australia at work and at play, and recorded within the collection are ceremonial events, day-to-day progress of major public works and the growth of townships, ports, industry and trade.

A History SA collection. Access to collection items is by appointment only.

The original glass plates are held by State Records of South Australia (GRG35/342). History SA holds the catalogue and digitised copy set of the collection.


Department of Lands; Glass plate negatives; Photographs; South Australia; State Government

Glass plate negatives

History SA, South Australia

Coverage Spatial

Australia; South Australia

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:43

2011-05-02 15:18