This site introduces a range of primary historical resources for undergraduate research in Australian History. Pathways to the Past is a virtual gateway to modules which will investigate concepts and methods of historical research across a range of sources such as images, objects, maps, places, and manuscripts.
These modules do not replace existing lectures and classes, but make possible structured individual instruction that parallels face-to-face teaching and enriches student skills and knowledge of the past.
This module requires the Flash player, audio capacity and a minimum monitor resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. Please allow approximately an hour to complete.
Headphones are recommended for use in a class room situation.
- Begin the module.
- Open the module at Image 1
Open the module at Image 2
Open the module at Image 3
- Download a print version of the narration (30kb pdf)
- Summary of key points
- Images are essential sources of evidence about the past, much underated by historians
- Images can reveal unique aspects of the past that texts cannot
- Images come in many forms including photographs, paintings, cartoons, sketches, posters, postcards, illuminated addresses and engravings
- Like any other evidence, historians can read images with a critical eye
- Paintings are unique texts which give the historian valuable information (about material culture, what people wore, technology, what cities looked like); but they might also distort social reality as much as reflect it
- The way artists distort reality is evidence of their personal identity, their ideologies and the mentalities and preoccupations of their age
- Image-makers have a tendency to idealise and satirise the world they depict
- Images can be more usefully and reliably read if they are part of a series or collection
- What is absent from an image can be as important as what is depicted
- Images can be read in multiple contexts:
- What was their function and how has this changed?
- What is the biography of an image over its lifetime?
- How has it performed as a rhetorical device? Was it created at the time, or after the events it depicts?
- What were the contemporary artistic conventions relating to particular subject matter?
- What were the interests of the patron or client?
- References and further reading
- Burke, Peter. Eyewitnessing: the uses of images as historical evidence. London: Reaktion Books, 2001
Module references and further reading
- McDonald, John. Federation: Australian art and society 1901-2001. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2001
- Bonyhady, Tim. The colonial earth. Carlton South, Vic.: The Miegunyah Press, 2000
- Davison, Graeme, '"A vote, a rifle and a farm": unnatural rights and invented histories,' in The use and abuse of Australian history. St Leonards NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2000, pp. 238-257
- Annear, Robyn. Nothing but gold: the diggers of 1852. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 1999
- Russell, Roslyn and Chubb, Philip. One destiny!: the federation story, how Australia became a nation. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin, 1998
- Twomey, Christina. "Without natural protectors: responses to wife desertion in gold-rush Victoria," in Australian Historical Studies, 28, 108 (April 1997): 22-46
- McQueen, Humphrey. Tom Roberts. Sydney: Pan Macmillan, 1996
- Goodman, David. Gold seeking; Victoria and California in the 1850s. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1994
- Maynard, Margaret. Fashioned from penury: dress as cultural practice in colonial Australia. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994
- Downer, Christine and Phipps, Jennifer. Victorian vision: 1834 onwards: images and records from the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1985
- Fletcher, Marion. Costume in Australia, 1788-1901. Melbourne; Oxford University Press, 1984
- Joel, Alexandra. Best dressed: 200 years of fashion in Australia. Sydney: Collins, 1984
- Smith, Bernard. European vision and the South Pacific, 1768-1850. London: Oxford University Press, 1969
- Thompson, Patricia (ed.,). A lady's visit to the gold diggings of Australia in 1852-3 written on the spot by Mrs Charles Clacy. Melbourne: Lansdowne Press, 1963, first published 1853.
Photography, postcards, visual culture, critiques of social documentary photography
- Lee, Anthony W. Picturing Chinatown: art and Orientalism in San Francisco. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001
- Manguel, Alberto. Reading pictures: a history of love and hate. Bloomsbury, 2000
- Sobieszek, Robert A. Ghost in the shell: photography and the human soul, 1850-2000: essays on camera portraiture. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, c. 1999
- Hirsch, Marianne. Family frames: photography, narrative, and postmemory. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, c. 1997
- Koop, Stuart (ed). A small history of photography. Fitzroy: Centre for Contemporary Photography, 1997
- Wells, Liz (ed.,). Photography: a critical introduction. London; New York: Routledge, 1997
- Elkins, James. The object stares back: on the nature of seeing. New York: Simon & Schuster, c. 1996
- Green-Lewis, Jennifer. Framing the Victorians: photography and the culture of realism. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1996
- Greenwald, Maurine. "Visualizing Pittsburgh in the 1900s: art and photography in the service of social reform," in Greenwald, aurine W. and Anderson, argo (eds.,). Pittsburgh surveyed: social science and social reform in the early twentieth century. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, c. 1996, pp. 125-152
- Petro, Patrice (ed.,). Fugitive images: from photography to video. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c. 1995
- Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales. Sydney vistas: panoramic views 1788-1995. Sydney: Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, 1995
- Bertram, Alexandra and Trumble, Angas. Edwardian Melbourne in picture postcards. Carlton South, Vic.; The Miegunyah Press, 1995
- Samuel, Raphael. Theatres of memory. London; New York: Verso, 1994
- Brilliant, Richard. Portraiture. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991
- Solomon-Godeau, Abigail. Photography at the dock: essays on photographic history, institutions, and practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c. 1991
- Spence, Jo and Holland, Patricia (eds.,). Family snaps: the meaning of domestic photography. London: Virago, 1991
- Sennett, Richard. The conscience of the eye: the design and social life of cities. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990
- Trachtenberg, Alan. Reading American photographs: images as history, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans. New York: Hill and Wang, 1989
- Stange, Maren. Symbols of ideal life: social documentary photography in America 1890-1950. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989
- Journal of Urban History 15, 3 (May 1989), issue devoted to Photography and Urban History
- Curtis, James. Mind's eye, mind's truth: FSA photography reconsidered. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, c. 1989
- Bolton, Richard (ed.,). The contest of meaning: critical histories of photography. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, c. 1989
- Tagg, John. The burden of representation: essays on photographies and histories. Basingstoke, [England]: Macmillan Education, 1988
- Bate, Weston, McGillivray, Euan and Nickson, Matthew. Private lives - public heritage: family snapshots as history. Hawthorn, Vic.: Hutchinson, 1986
- Davidson, James and Lytle, Mark. "The mirror with a memory," in Davidson, James West and Lytle, Mark Hamilton. After the fact: the art of historical detection. New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, c. 1986
- Morris, Bede. Images: illusion and reality. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science, 1986
- Sekula, Allan. "Reading an archive: photography between labour and capital," in Holland, Patricia; Spence, Jo and Watney Simon (eds.,). Photography/politics: two. London: Comedia Pub. Group; New York, U.S.A: Distributed in the U.S.A. by Boyars, 1986
- Davies, Alan and Stanbury, Peter. The mechanical eye in Australia: photography 1841-1900. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985
- Mattison, David. "In visioning the city: urban history techniques through historical photographs," in Urban History Review, XIII, 1, June 1984, pp. 43-52
- Hales, Peter B. Silver cities: the photography of American urbanization, 1839-1915. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984
- Stein, Sally. "Making connections with the camera: photography and social mobility in the career of Jacob Riis," in Afterimage, 10, 10, 1983
- Burgin, Victor (ed.,). Thinking photography. London: Macmillan, 1982
- Sontag, Susan. On photography. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c. 1977
- Martin, G. H. and Francis, David. "The camera's eye," in Dyos, H. J. and Wolff, Michael (eds.,). The Victorian city: images and realities. London, Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973
Cartoons, caricature, satire
- Kerr, David S. Caricature and French political culture, 1830-1848, Charles Philipon and the illustrated press. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000
- Atkinson, Diane. Funny girls: cartooning for equality. London: Penguin, 1997
- Clabburn, Anna. The relationship between caricature and concepts of Australian national identity, 1900 to the present. MA Thesis, University of Melbourne, Department of Fine Arts, 1997
- Donald, Diana. The age of caricature: satirical prints in the reign of George III. New Haven: Yale University Press, for Paul Mellon Centre, 1996
- Lindesay, Vane. Drawing from life: a history of the Australian Black and White Artists' Club. State Library of New South Wales Press, 1994
- Douglas, Roy. Great nations still enchanted: the cartoonists' vision of empire 1848-1914. London and New York: Routledge, 1993
- Christiansen, Peter Norman. Bohemian artists and the new woman: the representation of gender identity by Australian black and white artists during the period 1890-1908. MA Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1992
- Carretta, Vincent. George III and the satirists from Hogarth to Byron. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 1990
- Cowling, Mary. The artist as anthropologist: the representation of type and character in Victorian art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
- Fabian, Suzane (ed.,). Mr. Punch down under: a social history of the colony from 1856 to 1900 via cartoons and extracts from Melbourne Punch. Richmond, Vic.: Greenhouse Publications, 1982
- Wechsler, Judith. A human comedy, physiognomy and caricature in 19th century Paris. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982
- Lindesady, Vane. It's moments like these … cartoons behind a nation's catchcry. Melbourne: Sun Books, 1979
- Coleman, Peter and Tanner, Les. Cartoons of Australian history. West Melbourne: Nelson, 1978
- Mahood, Marguerite. The loaded line: Australian political caricature, 1788-1901. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1973
- Stone, Walter. 50 Years of the newspaper cartoon in Australia 1922-1973. The News in association with the Art Gallery of South Australian Adelaide, 1973
- Geipel, John. The cartoon: a short history of graphic comedy and satire. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1972
- Curtis, Lewis P. Jr. Apes and angels: the Irishman in Victorian caricature. Newton Abbott: David & Charles, 1971
- Lindesay, Vane. The inked-in image: a survey of Australian comic art. Melbourne: Heinemann, 1970
- Shikes, Ralph E. The indignant eye: the artist as social critic in prints and drawings from the fifteenth century to Picasso. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969
- Mahood, Marguerite. The Australian political cartoon in Victoria and New South Wales, 1855-1901. MA Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1965
- Getlein, Frank and Getlein, Dorothy. The bite of the print: satire and irony in woodcuts, engravings, etchings, lithographs and seriagraphs. London: H. Jenkins, 1964
- Arts Council of Great Britain. Cartoon and Caricature from Hogarth to Hoffnung. London, 1962
- Klingender, F.D. (ed.,). Hogarth and English caricature. London: Transatlantic Arts Ltd, 1946
- Low, David. British cartoonists: caricaturists and comic artists. London: William Collins, 1942.
- Associate Professor Andrew May (History, The University of Melbourne)
- Fay Anderson, Michael Piggott, Sue Fairbanks (University of Melbourne Archives)
- Tony Birch, Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Associate Professor Alan Mayne
- Jane Rhodes and the students of Resettling Australia 131-003 (2001)
- Associate Professor Andrew May (History, The University of Melbourne)
This production was made possible with a University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts IT & MM Project Grant 2000.