William Boyd Childhood Collection




The William Boyd Childhood Collection has over 1450 objects and includes most of the childhood possessions of William (Bill) Boyd, who was born in 1947 in regional Victoria.

The William Boyd Childhood Collection is significant collection featuring most of the childhood possessions of a boy who grew up in rural Victoria in the 1940s-1960s.William (Bill) Boyd was born in 1947 and raised in the Victorian town of Maryborough. The items were kept by Bill's mother, Lillian Boyd, for decades and upon her death the collection was donated by Bill to the Museum of Childhood at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. The collection was transferred to Museum Victoria in 2008, when the Museum of Childhood closed. Encompassing toys, books, clothing and other items, the William Boyd Childhood Collection is rare in its comprehensiveness: even ephemera such as the back of a Cornflakes box is included. The collection comprises over 700 items, and includes family photographs and interviews with Bill Boyd undertaken in 2008. The collection demonstrates a range of prominent themes in the lives of post war Victorian children, such as the ability to 'make do' under austere circumstances and the shift in toy manufacture towards plastic materials and mass production. The collection also represents the continuing cultural influence of Britain as well as the increasing embrace of American popular culture by Australian youth at the time. We also see the prominence of gender roles in toys focussing on the popularity of transport and war themed toys for boys during this period.

Please direct access requests via Museum Victoria's Discovery Centre


1947-1960; American Wild West; Antarctic Expeditions; Child Rearing; Children; Children's Play; Domestic life; Gender Roles; Handcrafts; Hobbies; Toys

Coverage Spatial

Maryborough, Victoria, Australia

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