The following are a selection of projects that have been undertaken by members of the ACPH:
- Hot Metal: Material Culture & Tangible Labour
- Private Lives, Public History
- Sydney’s Italian fruit shops: The Original Greengrocer
- Places of the Heart: Post 1960 Memorials in Australia
- History at the Crossroads: Australians and the Past
- Oral History and Public Memory
- People and their Pasts: Public History Today
- ShoroC Oral History Project
- Cracking Awaba: Stories of Mosman and Northern Beaches Communities During the Depression
- Sustaining a Nation: Celebrating 100 Years of Agriculture in Australia
- Raising a Nation: A History of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture
- From Dawn To Dusk: Sydney's Italian Fruitshops
- Sutherland Shire: A History
- Times of Hope: A History of the Australian Heritage Commission
- Sydney Takes Shape: A History in Maps
Hot Metal: Material Culture & Tangible Labour
Jesse Adams Stein
PhD Candidate at DAB 2011-2014
The world of work is tightly entwined with the world of things. Hot Metal (Manchester University Press, 2016) illuminates connections between design, material culture and labour between the 1960s and the 1980s, when the traditional crafts of hot-metal typesetting and letterpress were finally made obsolete with the introduction of computerised technologies.
This multidisciplinary history provides an evocative rendering of design culture by exploring an intriguing case: the doggedly traditional NSW Government Printing Office, Sydney. It explores the struggles experienced by printers as they engaged in technological retraining, shortly before facing factory closure. Topics explored include spatial memory within oral history, gender-labour tensions, the rise of neoliberalism and the secret making of objects 'on the side'.
The book emerged from a PhD project at UTS’ Faculty of DAB, entitled Precarious Printers: Labour, Technology & Material Culture at the NSW Government Printing Office 1959-1989 (2014).
Private Lives, Public History
Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008-2015
The past is consumed on a grand scale: popularised by television programs, enjoyed by reading groups, walking groups, historical societies and heritage tours, and supported by unprecedented digital access to archival records. Yet our history has also become the subject of heated political debate.
In Private Lives, Public History, historian Anna Clark explores how our personal pasts intersect with broader historical questions. Drawing on interviews with 100 Australians from five communities around the country, she uncovers how we think about the past in the context of our local and intimate stories, and the role that history plays in our lives.
Sydney’s Italian fruit shops: The Original Greengrocer
The prominent place of Italian fruit shops, along with their impact on the city's food culture formed the basis of this project, which was conducted by the APCH with the Italian cultural organisation CoAsTi. Grants from the Heritage Branch of the NSW Department of Planning and the Australian Technology Network of Universities resulted in volunteers being trained to undertake some of the 42 oral histories recorded.
Materials such as weighing scales and a seventy-year-old fruit barrow were located and more than 200 photographs dating from 1909 were digitised — all of which formed part of the exhibition at Sydney’s Customs House.
Places of the Heart: Post 1960 Memorials in Australia
Paula Hamilton and Paul Ashton with Kate Waters and Rose Searby
This project has been funded by the Australian Research Council.
It investigates the proliferation of non-war memorials in Australia within the framework of an emerging culture of commemoration from the mid twentieth century. It explores important shifts in the purpose of memorials and their role and meaning in Australian society, particularly the move towards a more democratic and personal expression of mourning in public arenas.
The project assesses the cultural significance of particular sites through a nationally devised schema which takes account of their place in the landscape, their form and materiality and will contribute to contemporary heritage conservation research, policy and practice.
A special issue on memorials and memorialisation can be viewed on the Public History Review site.
A database including over 370 memorials is publicly available. Visit the Memorials Database http://www.acph.nicheit.com.au.
History at the Crossroads: Australians and the Past
Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton
This book was published by Halstead Press in 2010.
It looks at the ways in which people interact with memory and the past in their everyday lives. It compares the institutionalised formal historical knowledge available in schools and museums with the more popular, less formal engagement with the past on a personal or group level.
It draws on the results of a national survey undertaken at UTS which asked respondents a series of questions about the histories they value and trust, as well as what kind of past mattered to them.
The survey revealed a wealth of material about Australian historical sensibilities that will contribute to the ongoing debates about nation and the responsibilities of citizenship.
Oral History and Public Memory
Edited by Paula Hamilton and Linda Shopes
Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2008.
Oral History and Public Memories is the first book to explore the relationship between the well-established practice of oral history and the burgeoning field of memory studies.
In the past, oral historians have generally privileged the individual narrator, frequently fetishising the interview process without fully understanding that interviews are only one form of memory-making.
Historians engaged in memory studies, on the other hand, have asked broader questions — about the social and cultural processes at work in remembrance, for example.
What distinguishes these essays from much work in oral history is their focus not on the experiences of individual narrators, but on the broader cultural meanings of oral history narratives. What distinguishes them from other work in memory studies is their grounding in real events.
Taken together, these contributions explain the processes by which oral histories move beyond interviews with individual people to become articulated memories shared by others.
People and their Pasts: Public History Today
Edited by Paul Ashton and Hilda Kean
Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009.
This international collection draws together museum professionals, family and local historians, re-enactors, archivists and a range of public history contributors to discuss and explore particular forms of public history.
Here, people’s experience and understanding of their personal, national and local pasts are central to the creation of different histories. Different understandings of the past are interrogated, analysed — and valued. Everyday experience alongside the moments of larger narratives are juxtaposed and subjected to scrutiny.
For some scholars, public history is simply the presentation of history by professional historians to ‘the public’, but in this original collection people are seen as active agents in the development of innovative and dynamic ways of understanding the past and creating histories for the present and future.
ShoroC Oral History Project
Paula Hamilton, Roslyn Burge and Paul Ashton
This project was done in collaboration with the Northern Beaches municipalities of Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah with a grant from the Libraries Association of Australia.
It involved interviewing 72 local people who lived in the general area during the 1930s. This project provided the basis for the project ‘Cracking Awaba’.
Cracking Awaba: Stories of Mosman and Northern Beaches Communities During the Depression
This project was the second phase of the ShoroC Oral History Project. It culminated in a book which was launched in September 2005.
Sustaining a Nation: Celebrating 100 Years of Agriculture in Australia
Jennifer Cornwall, Gordon Collie and Paul Ashton
Focus Publishing, Sydney, 2000.
This book is an evocative journey through 100 years of agriculture in Australia.
It celebrates the country’s agricultural heritage and the commitment, dedication and resilience of those who work the land, and the practices and policies that sustained a nation, and the coming technology.
Raising a Nation: A History of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture
Patricia Hale with Paul Ashton
Forestry and Fisheries, The Department, Canberra, 2002.
This book charts the development of agriculture in the context of changes and developments in Australian trade as a whole.
Changes in economic policy, trade agreements, land settlement policy and technological advances affected agricultural industries and the Government’s capacity to develop its role.
Although the Federal Parliamentary Debates in June 1901 record the intention to establish a Federal Department of Agriculture, the first Department with responsibility for agriculture was not formed until 1925. Dr Ashton and Hale’s book explains why.
From Dawn To Dusk: Sydney’s Italian Fruitshops
Paula Hamilton, Paul Ashton, Jennifer Cornwall, et al.
This project was conducted in partnership with the Italian Association of Cooperation, CoAsIt. Small grants were obtained from the Australian Technology Universities Network and the NSW Heritage Office.
Over 200 historical images have were collected along with 40 oral history interviews.
A number of articles have been published on the project.
Sutherland Shire: A History
Paul Ashton, Jennifer Cornwall and Annette Salt
University of NSW Press, 2006.
Sutherland Shire today is a complex and varied collection of communities. The variety of settlements and settlers, the continued presence of the traditional custodians of the land and the increasing presence of people from different ethnic communities has challenged the perceived monocultural Eurocentrism of the population and created a mosaic of people.
This cultural and environmental history of Australia’s second-largest municipality was published to mark the centenary of local government in the area.
Times of Hope: A History of the Australian Heritage Commission
Jennifer Cornwall and Paul Ashton
This project, which was commissioned and written but not published, traces the history of the Australian Heritage Commission (AHC). It provides a partial history of the environmental movement in Australia in the last third of the twentieth century.
An account of the AHC’s history was published as: Paul Ashton and Jennifer Cornwall, ‘Corralling Conflict: The Politics of Australian Federal Heritage Legislation Since the 1970s’, Public History Review, vol 13, 2006, pp.53–65.
Sydney Takes Shape: A History in Maps
Paul Ashton and Duncan Waterson
Hema Maps, Brisbane, 2000.
This collection of maps of Sydney show how it developed from 1788 to the Olympic City of 2000.
It outlines the physical expansion of the city and its suburbs using maps and plans and showing how and where the city spread so rapidly in its first two centuries.