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Extension History Seminar: The Project Research Skills in Practice State Library of New South Wales Tuesday 1 November 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Extension History Seminar: The Project Research Skills in Practice State Library of New South Wales Tuesday 1 November 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Extension History Seminar: The Project Research Skills in Practice State Library of New South Wales Tuesday 1 November 2011

2 Matthew Stephens, Reference Librarian Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales

3 Today’s Session The session will be divided into two parts: 1.Discussion of key aspects of research 2.Case study: Rediscovering a lost convict building

4 Two Key Factors  Creativity  Being original  Choosing your sources  Which research approach?  Discipline  Referencing & Bibliographies  Choosing your sources  Applying critical thinking  Being ethical

5 Key Aspects of Research Being original  Think for yourself  Weigh up the results of your research and say what you think  Even if we share many common experiences each of us brings something unique to our research

6 Key Aspects of Research Choosing your sources  Primary sources Records that provide firsthand accounts or evidence of historical events or experiences. Primary source material can be published (eg. reports, autobiographies, interviews in contemporary newspapers) or unpublished (eg. original letters, diaries, papers held within an archive). Source:

7 Key Aspects of Research Choosing your sources cont.  Secondary sources Secondhand accounts of historical events or experiences, which analyse and interpret the relevant primary sources. Secondary source material (eg. books, textbooks, journal articles) is usually written at a much later time after the event. Source:

8 Key Aspects of Research Locating Sources – some examples:  Online  In a library  In an archive  At a museum  Talking to people

9 Key Aspects of Research Some useful online sources:  Trove (


11 Key Aspects of Research More useful online sources:  State Library of NSW (  Manuscripts, Oral History and Pictures (State Library of NSW) (  Google books (




15 Key Aspects of Research Choosing your research approach  A study of documents  A study using pictures  A study of objects  A series of interviews  A combination of all the above and more

16 Key Aspects of Research Referencing & bibliographies  Referencing Because you are expected to refer to the work of others in the course of your research, you are required to document where this material comes from.  A bibliography is a list of all works used to write an essay and appears at the end of the paper.  For More info visit ASLA Referencing Guide :

17 Key Aspects of Research Thinking critically  When considering a source don’t just take it at face value  Think about who created it and why  Consider the arguments put forward and make a judgment based on all the evidence you have collected

18 Key Aspects of Research Being ethical  Documenting your sources If your research involves recent events or interviews, you will need to be aware of -  Maintaining confidentiality  Cultural sensitivities  Protocols relating to different interview subjects

19 Key Aspects of Research In Summary:  There is scope for being creative in your research but this must be built on a foundation of methodological discipline.  There are many online sources available but you must always assess which are the most authoritative and trustworthy.

20 Case Study Rediscovering a Lost Convict Building

21 Case Study Robert Russell, 1836, lithograph. Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales. Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, 1836.

22 Case Study Background:  A kitchen garden is known to have existed next to Hyde Park Barracks in the 1820s.  The life of the garden was short-lived and was abandoned by the end of the 1820s.  There is evidence from plans of the site that there was a small building in the garden.

23 Case Study Research Question:  What was the building in the garden like and what was its function?  What was its architectural form?  What materials was it made from?  How was it used?  When was it demolished?

24 Case Study Getting Started:  What research approach shall we take?  What sources can we use and where shall we find them?

25 Case Study Research approach:  Establish what is already known  Published material – books, newspapers, periodicals  Consider a combination of sources:  Documentary  Pictorial

26 Case Study Sources:  Books, reports, periodicals, online documents  Newspapers  Maps and plans  Archives  Paintings  Photographs  Aerial surveys

27 Possible information sources:  Heritage reports about Cook + Phillip Parks  Heritage Reports about the Australian Museum site  Plan of Hyde Park Allotments  House of Lords Sessional Papers (Google Books) Google

28 Casey & Lowe Pty Ltd 2004, Sydney CityGrid Project: Non-Indigenous Archaeological Assessment for PlanCom Consulting Pty Ltd on behalf of Energy Australia, p. 35, viewed 26 October 2011,. East/Sydney- CityGridproject/~/media/Files/Network/Network%20Projects/Sydney%20CBD/SCGvol2AppE.ashx Footnote: 23.Wendy Thorp. Heritage Assessment, Phillip and Cook Parks, Sydney. March 1997. p.13.

29 Newspapers




33 Maps, Plans & Aerial Views

34 Esquisse de la Ville de Sydney, 1823 Source: Louis de Freycinet, Voyage Autour du Monde … Atlas Historique par Mrs. Js. Argo, A. Pellion & Ca., Paris, 1825, pl. 94. Caroline Simpson Collection, Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.

35 Detail: Jardin Potagér de la Caserne des Convicts

36 Plan of the Town and Suburbs of Sydney, 1822 Source: Mitchell Library M1 811.17/1822/1

37 Detail: Garden attached to Convict Barracks

38 Survey of Wooloomooloo and the Convict Garden, 1830 Butler, 1831, SG Map S.696, State Records of New South Wales. Reduced plan of SG Map S.696, 1830.

39 Detail Showing Gardener’s Lodge

40 Six Lite maps:



43 Pictorial Evidence

44 Frederick Garling, View of Sydney from Woolloomooloo, Looking West, 1839 Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales.

45 Robert Russell, Sydney from Wooloomooloo, c1837 National Library of Australia.

46 Painting Details

47 An Unexpected Surprise! Source: T.H. Braim, A History of New South Wales: From its Settlement to the Close of the Year 1844, London: R. Bentley, 1846, frontispiece, Vol. 2.

48 Similar Examples?

49 An Important Discovery

50 Photograph c1880, Australian Museum Archives Australian Museum Archives AMS512/5.

51 Detail of Gardener’s Lodge

52 How was the Building Used? In the 1840s the octagon was inhabited by a Constable Brown and his wife. The Browns’ idyllic view down a grassy slope towards Woolloomooloo Bay was obliterated by the construction of the Australian Museum in 1846, and the couple was evicted by the Museum trustees in 1850. The octagon was used by the museum as taxidermist’s workshop until 1865 when it was converted into a kitchen and wash house. Sources: Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1845, p.3. Various correspondence, Australian Museum Archives.

53 Research Question: What was the building in the garden like? –What was its architectural form? It was single storey, octagonal in shape with a central chimney. –What materials was it made from? Brick and stucco with a shingle roof. –How was it used? Police constable’s house; taxidermist’s workshop. –When was it demolished? Between c1880 and 1885.

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