Maffra and District Historical Society

M&DHS operates the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, part of the Local History Collection at the Maffra Library, and a Dairy Museum at the Robotic Dairy at Winnindoo.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Saturday, November 17, 2012

WSHN - Links

This posts is a number of links that were discussed today at the Wellington Shire Heritage Network meeting.

More may be added as they come to hand
Maffra's uploads of Heyfield Irrigation photos on Flickr
Wellington Shire Heritage Network Photos - all welcome.
History Week photos on Flickr
History Week
Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV)
Linda's post of the Flip Pal scanner, with links to supplier

To come

Link to the Wellington Shire Bibliography

WSHN - Interim Calendar

Wellington Shire Heritage Network

2012-2013 Calendar

CAUTION - this post will be regularly updated as events come to hand. Hopefully the calendar will be e-mailed out to members once it is finalised.

This draft 17 November 

Now: The Chrysler Exhibition is on at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection, Maffra.

23 Nov, Fri  Significance Assessment Forum at Centre for Gippsland Studies. (e-mail Linda for details)

Feb to March Phillip and Lucy Pepper Exhibition from PROV at Stratford Museum

16 Feb WSHN meeting - venue to be confirmed. 

18/19 Feb PROV two-day workshop at Stratford. Details to come.

22 Feb  Applications close for RHSV Banner Grants. Application Forms were enclosed with Nov-Dec copy of History News.

1 March  Applications open for Holsworth Trust grants (up to $2,000 for publishing local history). See RHSV website.

March Display at GVC (The Shed, Maffra), changes to the Sixties.
May Shakespeare Festival at Stratford

18 May Gippsland Affiliated Historical Societies Annual Meeting at Foster.

18 May - was to be WSHN meeting - to be confirmed.

May – June “I saw the Queen” Exhibition from PROV at Stratford Museum

June  Digitisation of Gippsland Guardian due to be finished.

July Continental vehicles arrive at GVC (The Shed, Maffra)

31 July Applications close for Holsworth Trust grants (up to $2,000 for  publishing local history). See RHSV website.

17 Aug, Sat. WSHN meeting - Venue TBA

Oct Scottish Festival at Glenmaggie

13 Oct Federation Picnic at GVC Maffra 

20 – 27 Oct History Week (

20 Oct, Sun. Heritage Farm Day at Stratford

26 Oct, Sat. WSHN History Week event: "Taking History to the People" via stand for all members at the Maffra Show.

Nov: American Vehicles arrive at GVC Maffra

16 Nov, Sat.  WSHN meeting - Venue TBA

Please e-mail Linda ASAP with any further dates - even if they are only approximate.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Digitising the Heyfield Album

In the Society's holdings is a large photograph album, with well over 600 photographs, of the irrigation works around Heyfield in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These show the immense scale of the work, as well as machinery, trucks and the change from horses to mechanisation.

We had almost finished digitising it, when it got a little damp in the flooding last week. However it has dried out well, and we hope it is going to be around for  lot longer. Most of the photographs are annotated with a date and technical details, but usually not with an exact location. The ink, thank heavens, appears to be waterproof.

We have started loading the photographs to a set on Flickr, and would welcome any comments people can make, especially in relation to locations once we start to move out of the town. Some makes of trucks would be useful too - bulldozers seem to be named, but not trucks moving in the buildings.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

At the End of Day 3

As day three ends, things are coming under control. Pauline came to work with us, and instantly went home and got her two clothes horses, above.

The 29-line ones are brilliant, even though they are lightweight. But you don't want to put heavy books on them anyway. Although early telephone books can be quite heavy when wet. Most of the day they sat in the breeze at the front door. The last of the wet books from the library also came down for assessment/treatment.

At the end of the day, with the clothes horses inside, even then the "wet" room was quite ordered. All the single sheets of paper are dry, we just have a job now continually visiting and fanning the books. And boxing the dried items in some sort of order.

Neville came to visit - he is off to try and get funding to purchase about ten clothes-horses, and will offer storage, so they can be grabbed quickly if this happens to anyone else.

Definitely more organised than Day 1 or Day 2. We may yet be clear in time to have our meeting in here on the 19th. Thanks to John, Carol, Spencer, Pauline and Lyn for joining in the fun today.

Stand by in the next couple of days for "What we have learned from all this".

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Big Flood, Day 2

Today I spent at the Library HQ in Sale, where all the library's water-damaged books from the local collection were taken. Again it was a case of assess the books first - what could be saved, and what should have priority for being saved. Was it the only copy in the collection? Was it still in print, and therefore available elsewhere?

Then, a start was made on trying to get them dry. Which is when we discovered a wonderful method for the small books. Simply acquire some clothes-horses, line them all up, cover with plastic (two disposable party tablecloths), put a fan on cool at one end, and leave the other end open. Preferably vent to a door outside.  Voila! One of the best wind tunnels we have seen. (The only one I have previously used was one or two ropes between chairs, and a plastic drop sheet. This is miles better.

So, on the way home I went to The Reject Shop, where I have bought two 29-line clothes horses for $12 each. They will not take heavy books, but will take a heck of a lot of brochures. They are off to the Museum tomorrow tomorrow, where I hear Carol, Spencer and John have been at work, and things are drying out very well.

STRONG HINT - go any buy yourselves a couple of these clothes horses if you have a large documentary collection. Or even just one. They store flat behind a cupboard. One day, they may save a big part of your collection. We have only been successful because we have been able to move quickly.

More tomorrow. I have a pile of the most important books that have come home with me for insertion of sheets of kitchen paper to start wicking out the water.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Museum closed until January 2013

Overnight Maffra has received about an inch of rain (25ml) in a very solid downpour, resulting in flooding in the Maffra Library. More specifically, the worst of the rain came down on the compactus in the workroom, where a quantity of our documents, early albums and other precious material was stored. About half the material was seriously dampened, and we were left with no alternative but to totally clean out our section of the compactus (the reserve local history collection in the other bays has gone to library HQ in Sale), and take it to the Sugar Beet Museum for immediate treatment.

The three filing cabinets of photographs and files are untouched.

A fleet of cars transported the material to the museum,where we triaged it into wet and dry, and were mostly involved in removing the wet boxes in which it was stored. We were indeed fortunate that mostly the boxes took the water, and much of the collection was only slightly dampened.

Dry material was sorted onto chairs in the smaller "Dry Room", where we tried to keep material together while airing it. Much is uncatalogued, and we were concerned we would lose relationships between material if we just laid it all out.

Individal items, such as this large photograph album that was only in the compactus because John had just finished scanning the 600 photographs in it, were interleaved with kitchen paper to absorb initial dampness.

We will be spending the next few days doing the immediate, urgent drying, but setting up the treatment area has necessitated the immediate removal of much of the display material in the main room. We need to carefully dry and sort all material before it is reboxed and stored somewhere other than the compactus - this is the second time it has flooded. Last time was not as serious - or maybe we did not have as much in it then.

Since we were due to close for the year in December, we are taking this opportunity to close until a date to be announced in January. The 19th November meeting will be at a different venue - please check with an executive member if you do not receive advice in time.

With thanks to Lyn, and especially Bill for assistance, and to Judy Richards from Stratford Historical Society. We may even write more here about what we have learned, once we settle down.