There was movement in the Research Centre yesterday afternoon as news spread about a momentous event in the history of the AWM4 First World War unit war diaries digitisation project. For those who have been involved in this project, space was not an issue as we crammed into the digitisation room to witness the scanning of the final page at 2pm on 5 January 2010.
At Christmas time most people take the opportunity to stop and think about family and friends and pass on their greetings and well wishes by means of the traditional Christmas card. The Memorial holds an interesting collection of Christmas cards - different types, various shapes and sizes, and from all conflicts. One of our earlier and more unusual Christmas cards can be seen below.
Friday 18 December 2009 by Robyn van Dyk.
The Australian War Memorial’s Bean diaries digitisation project was short listed for the Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards – 2009. The Award recognises outstanding contributions to the quality of Australian cultural life in 2009.
Emma Jones previously mentioned in 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress – a conservation challenge the preparation of Miss Platt-Hepworth’s wedding dress for the exhibition Of Love and War. The decision was made by the curator Rebecca Britt to keep the staining as evidence of use.
Friday 11 December 2009 by Bridie Kirkpatrick. 3 comments
Collection, Exhibitions, Conservation, Of love and war Exhibition, Conservation, Of Love and War, Textile, kitbag, Sgn John Conrad Lynam, Dorothy Lamour, pin-up
Isn’t it funny how things come about? While working on the textiles component for the exhibition Of Love and War a painted kitbag came to me for treatment. The lovely pin-up painted on the bag looked an awful lot like Dorothy Lamour, a beautiful actress known as the “Sarong Girl” in the 1940’s. As the exhibition will be travelling I had to chuckle that Dorothy Lamour made a string of Bing Crosby/ Bob Hope “On the Road” films. The kitbag belonged to Signaller John Conrad Lynam, a timber cutter from Brisbane.
“’Rock Around the Clock’ took the place by storm,” recalls Doug Lewin. “People in Butterworth and Penang loved it.”
This was 1956 and the global hit by “Bill Haley and the Comets” was broadcast through a small radio station set up by the men of RAAF No. 2 Construction Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia. The squadron was there to construct an airfield strip in Butterworth for the British during the Malayan Emergency. They were housed in a camp of Attap huts next to the construction site, and rock was sourced from a quarry about 5 miles away.
Once we determined that the remaining three wedding dresses, requested for the exhibtion Of Love and War, were able to be safely put on display, the textile conservators worked in collaboration with curators and exhibition staff to determine the dimensions of showcase and, the types and styles of mannequins.
Preparations for the Memorial’s new travelling exhibition Of love and war are nearly complete. The showcases are being built, all the labels and captions are being printed and we’ve been in the recording studio as well.
A large part of the Memorial’s collection relating to love during wartime comes from private records, particularly the letters that were exchanged between lovers separated by conflict.