Thursday November 15, 2012

Meet our Digital Archive

Subdivision plans, council minutes plus annual reports from the Mosman baseball club. These are just a few of the rarely seen and valuable resources available in the recently launched Local Studies Digital Archive.

Providing 24/7 access, the library is not only unlocking cabinets and display cases, but the stories housed within them. Curious to find out what happened at a council meeting in October 1922….and it’s 3.00am. No problems, jump onto your PC, navigate to the Local Studies Digital Archive, and download the minutes in seconds.

As we are frequently adding resources, be it images, video, documents, mp3s, etc. the archive will remain fresh and dynamic. Let it open up a bit of Mosman’s past for you.

— Posted by Ken Donnellan in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Wednesday December 7, 2011

Taking photos into the fourth dimension

Photo by @jonvoss

Photo by @jonvoss

‘A time machine in your pocket’ is how Historypin founder Nick Stanhope describes his app.

Speaking at the Powerhouse Museum last night, he showcased an exciting and ambitious project that will help individuals and institutions map photographs in time and space.

What sets Historypin apart is its simple interface to a powerful tool set. At Martin Place and on Macquarie Street, I used the Historypin app to view photos from the 1900s overlaid on the camera view of my phone. A slider varies the opacity between ‘then’ and ‘now’ bringing the old photo to life through the lens of the present. Previously you would have needed a graphics program and some time and expertise to achieve this effect. Now it is simple and instantaneous.

The app also encourages you to take a contemporary photo of the view, enriching both the Historypin collection’s scope and the photo’s metadata.

If you’re not in situ the website allows you to overlay photos onto Google Street View. On the feature list is the ability to match historic videos to paths, not just points, and to – get this – look inside buildings.

Nick called his presentation ‘fourth-dimensional mapping’ and he showed how each point on earth has a ‘column’ of history. With ‘then and now’ comparisons we can look through time.

Historypin also encourages a curatorial approach to sharing images. Photos can be grouped as collections (themes or topics) and tours (photos as narrative).

The tech behind the project is impressive but its primary aim, says Nick, is to connect communities, generations and cultures. Photos have that magic that can spark conversations. Sharing stories with his grandmother over family photos was, he said, the catalyst for Historypin.

Run by a non-profit foundation (We Are What We Do) with a community and cultural mandate, and partnered with Google and authoritative institutions like the Powerhouse and U.S. National Archives, Historypin is a new form of museum and library. With ambition. Historypin has already engaged a whole town. In 2013, their Australian Memory Project aims to engage a nation.

Ahead of that, have a play with Historypin. At Mosman Library, we’ll be experimenting with some images in the very near future.

Historypin in 90 seconds

— Posted by Bernard D, Internet Coordinator in  |  Permalink  |  Comment [1]

Tuesday August 3, 2010

The eyes of the world

Last week Morgan Williams, Head of Applications at Yahoo!7, spoke at the Library about Flickr, its features and how it can be used to crowdsource and curate local and family history. About 30 people came along and enjoyed not only the talk, but also the Flickr swag and Morgan’s engaging Welsh accent.

If you couldn’t make it (or want to refer back to them), here are his slides:


— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink  |  Comment [1]

Thursday March 25, 2010

Now where did you get that information?

Mosman: Bradley's Head: sign in the park near the stone column from the old Sydney GPO

Librarians are not just adept at Boolean, database and catalogue searches. Yesterday a phone enquiry came in from a gentleman who wanted to know what was the column in the water at Bradley’s Head. It proved the usefulness of Google for answering local studies enquiries. After a quick verbal clue from the Local Studies Librarian, I searched Google under “GPO column Bradley’s Head” and up popped joolmp’s photostream on Flickr with a close-up photo of the sign that tells the history of the column. I zoomed in so I could read the sign, called the gentleman and gave him the information he was after all in less than 5 minutes.

— Posted by Jane B in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Thursday December 18, 2008

Tin town, Middle Harbour

Tin Town, Middle Harbour

Tin Town, Middle Harbour, postcard.

This unique postcard depicting a camp made out of kerosene tins is postmarked Mosman 1908. It is thought to be located in Mosman overlooking Quakers Hat Bay, near Cremorne and opposite Folly Point. Adding to the charm of this post card is the inclusion of a man, no doubt a resident, wearing a hat.

Mosman boasted many camps including artists’ camps, weekend camps for fishing and sailing and those appearing during The Depression of the 1930s.

Mosman Library would like to hear from anyone who may know of this camp and its exact location.

— Posted by Mosman Library in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Wednesday November 19, 2008

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Wide range of facial expressions on children at puppet show – The moment the dragon is slain, Guignol puppet show, Parc de Montsouris, Paris, 1963. Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time.

Google says only about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, they’ll be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.

Go to

— Posted by Mosman Library in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Wednesday October 1, 2008

Firsts on Flickr from the State Library of NSW

Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the first cars at the toll bar

Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the first cars at the toll bar.

The State Library of NSW joined the The Commons on Flickr on Monday.

The Commons on Flickr was launched early this year with the aim of increasing access to publicly-held photography collections and providing a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge – then watch what happens when they do!

The State Library has an impressive collection to share.

The State Library is home to one of Australia’s most significant historical and heritage collections. As well as nearly 11 kilometres of manuscripts – from nine 1788 First Fleet journals through to the archives of contemporary organisations and writers – the Library holds more than one million photographs. From the earliest surviving photograph taken in Australia – in January 1845 – through to digital photographs taken last month, the Library’s unrivalled photographic collections document with powerful clarity the way Australians have lived their lives over two centuries.

Some of these photographs can now be seen on Flickr, with the first sets appropriately themed ‘Australian firsts…’

Explore the State Library’s photostream. And look for the link to see the photo located on a map!

— Posted by Mosman Library in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Friday September 12, 2008

Images of Mosman from the State Records archive

Tram to Balmoral

First tram in operation to Balmoral. 29 May 1922.

The State Records Authority of NSW has some great photos of Mosman on Flickr, the worldwide photo community website. Have a look at their photostream.

By uploading some of these images to Flickr we aim to highlight our photographic collection and hope that you might be able to join us in identifying unknown scenes, people and places by tagging and commenting on our photostream.

It’s an impressive collection!

We hold tens of thousands of archival photos from the late 19th Century to the present, capturing life in New South Wales in much of its richness and diversity. The original formats of these images vary widely, from glass plates and lantern slides to 35mm negatives, colour transparencies and prints.

Our digitisation program aims to bring many of these ‘hidden’ images to light.

Here are some other Mosman photos in their Flickr photostream:

Their own online collection of more than 5,500 images can be accessed using the Photo Investigator service.

— Posted by Mosman Library in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment [2]

Friday September 21, 2007

Picture Australia's new look and feel

Picture Australia is a service of the National Library of Australia that allows you to search great cultural institutions for Australian images, see pictures of Australia’s past and present (including photographs, objects, and works of art), and request print quality copies.

Picture Australia is a pioneer when it comes to engaging with online social networks. Its collection has been enriched by more than 20,000 contemporary images submitted through its Flickr groups Ourtown and People, Places and Events. And there are many benefits for the individual contributor as well.

From the Picture Australia team, here’s a more detailed update on the improvements to the site…


— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink  |  Comment [40]

Tuesday August 22, 2006

Mosman Library gets Flickr

Mosman Library has a Flickr account. It’s a space where we can share photos of events at the Library and in Mosman.

How do people see Mosman? If you look at our ‘favorites’ you can see photos of Mosman from other Flickr members. Together they paint an interesting picture of the local area. We’ll keep adding to that.

For the 2006 Mosman Festival, we’ve set up a Flickr photo group. You’re invited to join this photo group to share your photos of the Festival.

Go to

And what is Flickr? It’s the most widely used online photo management and sharing application and it’s free to join. You can find out more at

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