25 September 2023

Find of the month Award finds 10th birthday

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ArchivesACT has announced that its popular Find of the Month has turned 10 years old.

The milestone was celebrated with the Australian Society of Archivists presenting ArchivesACT with a prestigious Mander Jones Award in recognition of its work engaging with the community through stories and information found in Government archives.

In a statement to mark the anniversary, ArchivesACT thanked its readers and staff, past and present.

“To celebrate our win we thought it might be fun to revisit some of our most popular stories, and some of the fun facts we have collected over the years, from gorgeous guvvies, to lost roads and the life of a drover,” the statement said.

“For this reason Finds of the Month past are October’s Find of the Month.”

Archives said that in 2013 it uncovered a significant Government publication, Housing Review 1961 – 400 Series Designs which detailed plans and photos of different types of Government housing units being built at the time.

“Anyone living in Canberra long enough would recognise the 400 series of guvvie houses,” it said.

“With so many being built in the 1960s and early 1970s, these compact houses with their quirky entranceways are easy to spot.

“Prior to the establishment of Canberra, much of the region was already inhabited by European settlers, and while ArchivesACT receives lots of requests to access records about the establishment of the capital, we are not often asked to look further back at the existing infrastructure of the 1800s.”

It said archivists used parish maps from the early 1900s to research two ‘lost roads’ in Canberra’s south, the Long Gully Road and the Tharwa Road, and were able to establish their location.

An old 1980s ACT Parks file covered the establishment and usage of travelling stock routes in the ACT.

“Full of tales of local stock drives, drovers and rangers, this file provided us with the opportunity to explore a tradition now centuries old … it’s hard to imagine a time when stock regularly roamed across the Monaro Highway without warning, prompting one ranger to advise management that a simple warning sign would suffice given the infrequent traffic,” the Archives said.

This month’s Find of the Month can be accessed at this PS News link.

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