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Wunderlich Industries, 'Realising your Dream of Home'

The Wunderlich company was founded in Australia by the three Wunderlich brothers in the late 1880s. The company manufactured and supplied materials for the building and construction industry, including pressed metal, roofing tiles, terra cotta, fibre cement sheeting and aluminium framing.

Wunderlich Ltd’s long history supplying the building industry in Australia reflects numerous changes and trends in construction methods and architectural styles and these can be seen in the catalogues and promotional materials produced by the company. These catalogues provide an excellent record of twentieth century architecture in Australia and Deakin University Library has many examples of these in the Special Collection which support the research and study of academics and students in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Construction.

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Science in the field: the notebooks of Edmund Gill

Edmund Gill (1908-1986) was a palaeontologist and geomorphologist who, throughout his working life, recorded his fieldwork in some sixty notebooks.  Deakin University Library houses Edmund Gill's manuscript collection which includes seventeen notebooks relating primarily to his fieldwork and findings in Western Victoria.  The remainder of the notebooks and other items are part of the collection of the State Library of Victoria.

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Invasion! the literature of anxiety

The title of the book, The Anglo-Russian war of 1900: invasion of Victoria: capture of Melbourne, is immediately intriguing. Had the Russians ever actually invaded Australia via Port Phillip Bay in Victoria and seized control of Melbourne? Had these events of 1900 actually been considered or even planned?

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A plant for every purpose, a champion for every plant

Nindethana Nursery was established by George William Francis Althofer (1903-1993) at his home in the Burrill Valley, Dripstone New South Wales, in 1932. Nindethana means ‘ours’ referring to the origins of the Australian native plants the nursery cultivated. The name was chosen to ‘reign amongst’1 the neighbouring townships of Burrendong, Wuuluman, and Morungulan.  Althofer was a botanist, nurseryman, author, poet, and champion for the preservation of Australian flora.

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The purveyors of floral sensations

In 1850 Law, Somner & Co who were purveyors of seed for flowers, vegetables, and pasture, were the first seed traders to establish themselves in Melbourne. Their customers were domestic gardeners and farmers from Australia and beyond. Like many of their peers that followed, Law Somner & Co produced annual seed catalogues, and driven by ever growing demand, printed literature incorporating gardening advice. They were vigorous participants in shows and exhibits around Australia and New Zealand, winning numerous prizes along the way. Law, Somner & Co supported industry participation and innovation. They provided free seed to any pasture plots connected with the Young Victorian Farmers Association, on request, and in return enjoyed annual prizes being awarded in their name, donating seeds and plants as prizes for each district of Victoria.1

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'Varied and curious': the algae specimens of William Harvey

William Henry Harvey (1811-1866) was a botanist and phycologist who undertook an extended collecting trip around the world from 1853 to 1856.  As a result of this journey, he produced landmark publications on phycology, and produced a limited number of sets of algae specimens.  Deakin University Library is the proud owner of one of these rare specimen sets - Algae from Ceylon, Friendly Islands and Australia : collected during the years 1852, '53, '54 and '55Harvey's world trip was a monumental expedition for the time; his travels and the knowledge he gained collecting and observing in the field were to contribute significantly to his reputation as a taxonomist and systematic botanist of some note.

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Town Planning Exhibition.jpg

The birth of town planning in Australia

This rare collection of papers provides a snapshot in time illustrating the slow and steady progress of a new scientific discipline becoming an accepted and practiced profession in a young country.  Although well established as a discipline in other parts of the world, Town Planning was accepted as a serious issue in Australia only in the early 1900s.



The science of housekeeping

Throughout the nineteenth century, all things scientific gained support. By the twentieth century, an emphasis on logic, order and efficiency began to permeate many areas of life, including the domestic sphere. Aveling and Damousi explain that [d]uring the 1920s, educated Australians tried to be modern, efficient, rational people. Factories were run by experts in scientific management, and experts in domestic science tried to do the same for homes (p.110).

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The soccer photography of Les Shorrock

Deakin University Library's Special Collection is fortunate to house a remarkable collection of Australian soccer photographs taken by Les Shorrock.

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Learning to read - a sample from the Australian Schools Textbook Collection

Learning to Read showcases a sampling of Deakin University's extensive range of digitised texts from the Australian Schools Textbook Collection.  Visit the entire range of digitised texts by browsing our Collections in Fusion, or to see the original items visit us at the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library.  Click on the links below to explore these fascinating books.

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