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Trinity College Library Digital Collections

Irish harp Hynes graveThe launch of Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) library’s digital collections covering an extraordinary range of materials and information has been low key.

The collection includes many images, 31 maps from 1812 of the estates of Sir Nicholas Conway Colthrust in Cork and Kerry (with beautiful images), the 15th century Annals of Ulster, printed ephemera of the 1916 Rebellion, and the first World War. If you are looking for family history items the most useful items are the 18 manuscript volumes (covering 300 years) of Trinity’s admission and matriculation register 1607-1907. The term examination books for the latter part of the 18th century can also be viewed. These reveal that Senior Freshman Kenny was cautioned for his performance at Greek in the term ending 15 December 1750!

To access the Trinity College Library Collection visit

One of the speakers at the VAFHO State conference (first weekend in May in Ballarat, Victoria) is Dr Val Noone who recently wrote the widely acclaimed book Hidden Ireland in Victoria. He will speak about the Irish on the goldfields.

For more information about the conference visit


Australasia through a lens

Just in time for Australia Day: Australasia through a lens.
Amazing photos and drawings from Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, going back to the mid 19th century, which were locked away for more than 150 years in the London archives.

Many of the images were displayed at an 1873 exposition in London, which proved to be a well visited exposition as many came to see what life must have been like in the Colonies. Photos a of busy Collins Street, St Paul’s Cathedral, a quiet Bourke Street but also images of Ballarat.

Australasia through a lens:


The 8th Victorian State Family History Conference; “Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience” on the 4th & 5th of May, with a special dinner on Saturday night the 4th of May, which will be held in the historic Golden Point State School opened on the former Old Post Office Hill. Golden Point State School No. 1493 was completed in 1875 at a cost of £3,188. Under Headmaster Richard Kent it opened on 11 January 1875 with a total enrollment of 920 (465 boys and 455 girls).


During the 2 day Conference, well known speakers will share their knowledge about different aspects of the regions history.

Susan Fayad, Coordinator Heritage, City of Ballarat, has been instrumental in developing the Preserving Ballarat’s Heritage Strategy which has received awards from the Heritage Council of Victoria and Planning Institute of Australia (Victoria).

Greg Gerrand Project coordinator Heritage Collections, State Library of Victoria – Digitisation Projects on: SLV Digitisation of Family History Records.

Jenny Higgins Family History Reference Librarian at the National Library of Australia, will talk about the treasures from TROVE. Using TROVE for family history research.

Anne Beggs Sunter, a well known Ballarat historian, author & heritage activist. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Ballarat. She will discuss the Ballarat School of Mines & Industries (SMB): The First in Australia.

Meredith Blake, the Project Manager, Victorian Collections, Museums Australia (Vic Branch): researching Victorian collections.

Dr Fred Cahir Senior Lecturer at University of Ballarat, will discuss his book:
Black Gold: Aboriginals on the Gold Fields of Victoria, a part of the first history that documents the role of Aboriginal people on the Gold Fields of Victoria during 1850 to 1870. It details their extensive involvement as miners, police, traders, entertainers and activists.

History of the Goldfields, 4 & 5 May 2013 Conference “Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience” will be held in Ballarat



Conference Dinner & VAFHO Awards


Your special compere at the dinner: Nathaniel Buchanan.

He’s described as a researcher of the unknown, collecting the world’s most unusual stories. Not only is he a special compere, but also one of the speakers at the conference, presenting: “Insanity on the Goldfields: Ararat Mental Asylum”. Nathaniel Buchanan, historian, educator and Eerie Tours operator, is very much interested in prison and asylum histories. He has led groups of people through many places associated with supernatural occurrences: from concentration camps, underground catacombs, medieval villages, battlefields, and cemeteries to experimental prisons that had devastating effects on inmates.

Nathaniel’s passion for the unknown has drawn him to Ballarat, a place whose dark history has led many to regard it as Australia’s most haunted city …  Ballarat has also seen its share of misery during the Goldrush, the Eureka uprising and the many who lost their lives due to disease, or just foul play. With his company Eerie Tours, Nathaniel takes people to some of the most forsaken places. With Nathaniel as your dinner host, it is sure to be an entertaining night.

Ballarat Ghost Tours

Bookings for the Conference Dinner:


M.A.D.E. Open House Day













M.A.D.E. Open House Day 20-1-2013

Australia’s newest museum opened it’s doors today to allow the public a look before the official opening in may this year. M.A.D.E. will be a digitally-immersive, state of the art museum with the evocative 158 year old Eureka Flag as it’s centerpiece. The museum, on the site of the Eureka Rebellion, will explore not only Eureka but the evolution and future of democracy.

More on Eureka, democracy and the Goldfields at the “Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience”:

Dr. Joseph Toscano; Eureka rebellion. What occurred on the 3rd of December 1854 andhow do we view the Eureka Rebellion?

Associate Professor David Goodman, compares the goldfields of Georgia (USA), New Zealand, California & Victoria.

Clare Gervasoni looks at the Multicultural aspect of the goldfields.

More information on the conference, speakers and topics:

(Photos of M.A.D.E. )




A 5.5 kilogram gold nugget worth $300,000 found near Ballarat, Australia, has made international headlines and had over 500,000 hits on the internet. Buried 60 centimeters underground, it was found by an amateur prospector, proving there is still gold in “them thar hills”! Ballarat’s Mining Exchange Gold Shop owner Cordell Kent is looking for a buyer of the nugget on behalf of the prospector.


The Conference: Under the Southern Cross – A Goldfields Experience in May, is the place for information about families on the early Victorian goldfields, trades and other hidden aspects of life on the goldfields!


Ned Kelly


Ned Kelly.jpg

Ned Kelly was farewelled by his relatives on Friday the 18th of January, with a requiem mass, more than 130 years after his execution. He was hanged in 1880 after a shootout with police in Glenrowan. His last wish was to be buried in consecrated ground.

The 8th Victorian State Family History Conference; “Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience”, will also highlight the Kelly Family.

Noelene Allen will talk about her first book: “The Trials, Tragedies & Triumphs: Kelly Women”. She was the Coordinator of the Beechworth Historic & Cultural Precinct until her retirement in 2009, conducting tours focusing on Ellen Kelly and the    women of the Kelly family.

Leigh Olver, is a proven descendant of Ellen Kelly, Ned Kelly’s mother. His session topic:  Discovering Ned Kelly: Using DNA to trace an ancestor resulting in family reconnections.

The 2 day Victorian State Family History Conference; “Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience”, on the 4th & 5th of May, has many well known speakers who will share their knowledge about the “hidden” aspects of the regions history. The conference sessions will include: Discovering Ned Kelly via DNA, TROVE & Victorian Collections, Ellen Kelly – a woman of spirit, Irish & Cornish on the Goldfields, Victorian Inquest Records, Unrest on the Goldfields – Eureka & Mining Licenses, Multicultural families, Hidden histories – Insane Asylums, Wild Victorian women and more.



The Goldrush in Australia started in 1851, with gold found near Bathurst, NSW. Less than a year later gold was found in Ballarat and Bendigo, Victoria.

According to Ballarat’s Mining Exchange Gold Shop owner Cordell Kent, there are still many people flocking to the Gold Fields in Victoria. Recently a prospector found more gold in Ballarat, in an old riverbed inside a hunk of quartz, possibly weighing 177 ounces, at today’s Australian prices, it’s estimated value is nearly $285,000. According to Cordell Kent: “The gold rush is still on”. A Youtube clip of the latest gold find in Ballarat, courtesy of Cordell KentOwner – Gold Dealer, The Mining Exchange Gold Shop:

What are some of the differences between finding gold then and now? How did they live during the Goldrush?

The upcoming 2013 VAFHO Conference,  on the 4th & 5th of May, is not to be missed for those interested in Goldfields history, heritage and culture. Unlock the secrets of the past, are just a sample of the topics offered over 5 keynotes and 24 presentations over 8 sessions: