Archives Outside

For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

This year History Week 2012 looks at threads, fabrics and clothing…they wore what?

We’re celebrating History Week 2012 this week. This year’s theme is Threads: They wore what?!

Long before the fashionistas of today decided ‘the look’, dress was an important element of human expression. From status to style, culture to professional identity, clothes have defined us. History Week 2012 will explore the history of threads and unpick the meaning behind the wardrobes of the past.

from the History Council website

The link above takes you to the program of events on the History Council website so make sure you check to see what’s on in your area.

State Records staff have put together a new webpage called The Threads of history in the State archives:

Showcasing some of our archives made from threads and fabrics. Non-paper materials are not common in our collection and the wonderful details, colours and textures captured in these items are a beautiful sight to see.

from the State Records NSW website


Fashion sure has changed in the last 100 years. For instance this head-wear was worn by women working in a cannery in 1925.

Cannery head-wear. Women working in the factory wore this type of cap.This cap was found in a Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area file – NRS 14511

Non-clothing cloth

And on a non-clothing, but nevertheless threaded theme, there is this beautiful watercolour-on-silkscreen plan of the town of Leeton, 1913. The plan was designed by architect Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin prepared coloured sketches on silk.

Silkscreen Plan of Leeton, 1913 [Document No 224]Silkscreen Plan of Leeton, 1913. The plan was designed by architect Walter Burley Griffin; the plan was prepared by his brother-in-law, architect Roy Alstan Lippincott, and; Walter’s wife Marion Mahony Griffin prepared the coloured sketches on silk

What else have you seen online for History Week 2012?

The criminal underworld of Sydney in the 1840s [video]


Scandals, Crime and Corruption: History Week 2009 will be a wild journey through the dark shadows of our past. Discover the scandals, crime and corruption that have shocked us over time and shaped our history, sometimes in unexpected ways.

In keeping with this criminal theme we have put together this entertaining video Registry of Flash Men. It is a unique insight into the criminal underworld in Sydney during the 1840s.

The video features extracts from the journal Registry of Flash Men narrated by its writer ‘William Augustus Miles’ (aka Fabian LoSchiavo)

The journal was an official surveillance record by William Augustus Miles who was Superintendent, then Commissioner, of Sydney Police in New South Wales from July 1840 to July 1848. Miles held the belief that much crime was caused by the contamination of innocent people, and that most of the crime in Sydney was the result of former convicts mixing with free immigrants. He believed that the criminal class required constant surveillance by the police.