The Biggest Family Album in Australia Collection




The Biggest Family Album in Australia project undertaken by Museum Victoria between 1985 and 1991. It resulted in the collection of copies of over 9,000 photographs from rural and regional Victoria dating from the 1890s to the 1940s.These photographs continue to be a resource for the entire community, appearing in education programs, history books, exhibitions, student projects, and community projects.

The Biggest Family Album in Australia (BFA) project aimed to document Victorian history and culture using family photographs. Commencing in 1985 and continuing until 1991, rural and regional locations in Victoria were identified and two Museum Victoria staff were stationed at each area for two weeks. At each location staff copied images and collected the associated information using a one page worksheet. The project was promoted in each area before staff arrived to undertake copying and recording work. The criteria used for selecting images was that they contained information about people, their activities at work, home and play, and the built environment. Landscapes and portraits, particularly studio shots, were not copied as part of the BFA project, as it was felt they did not meet the aims of the project. The BFA project was conducted to increase the representation of images of everyday life, taken by ordinary people, in Victoria's State Collection. These types of images are a unique and highly significant historical resource, and provide insights into domestic and working life, education, recreation, travel, settlement and much more. As these types of images degrade significantly with time, this project was a means of preserving these images and their associated information before it was lost or forgotten.The collection comprises over 9,000 copy negatives, with the originals remaining with the owners. In 2006 a related project, Melbourne's Biggest Family Album. collected approximately 1,200 images of Melbourne's history using the same collecting methodology.All of the images from both collections are digitised and accessible through the Museum Victoria website and Picture Australia.Several publications have resulted from the project:Bate, Weston (1989). 'Having a Go! Bill Boyd's Mallee', Museum of VictoriaMcConville, Chris (1988). 'Mum and Dad Made History', Museum of VictoriaMuseum of Victoria (1990). 'The Biggest Family Album in Australia', Museum of VictoriaPitts, Lillian Louisa (1990).'Merrigum Frank', Museum of Victoria

Please direct access requests via Museum Victoria's Discovery Centre


1890-1950; 8 Hours Day Celebrations; Agricultural equipment; Agricultural Implements; Agricultural Machinery; Agricultural Produce; Agricultural shows; Agriculture; Amateur Photography; Anzac Day; Australian Army; Backyards; Beaches; Building & Construction; Building Sites; Bushfires; Celebrations; Children; Children's Play; Christenings; Christmas; Christmas Celebrations; Coastal Landscapes; Corner Shops; Domestic life; Easter; Farm Houses; Front Yards; Games; Gardens; Guest Houses; Handmade Games & Toys; Holiday Houses; Horsedrawn Vehicles; Hospitals; Hotels; Houses; Housing Estates; Immigration; Landscape photography; Leisure; Leisure Activities; Manufacturing Works; Motor cars; Motor Vehicles; Natural Environments; Oil Engines; Photography; Photography Exhibitions; Portable Steam Engines; Portraits; Public Gardens; Public Transport; Rail transport; Recreation; Recreation Activities; Road transport; Rural Landscapes; Scouting Movement; Shops; Social history; Social Life; Sports; Sports Grounds; Sports Ovals; Steam Engineering; Steam Engines; Steam Railway Locomotives; Steam Ships; Steam Traction Engines; Steam trains; Streetscapes; Swimming; Tractors; Trade unions; Travel & Tourism; Trick Photography; Urban Landscapes; Wars & Conflicts; Water Storage; Water Supply; Water Tanks; Water transport; Weddings; Working life; World War I, 1914-1918; World War II, 1939-1945

Coverage Spatial

Victoria, Australia; Australia

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2011-03-31 18:32