Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What was happening in Ballarat once all the fuss of Eureka had died down?

This had to be the first of many questions I had to ask myself as I embarked on the novel writing part of my PhD. But where to find the answers. Fortunately for me Ballarat has wonderful resources. There are several collections of memorabilia which can be accessed.

The Australiana Room of the Central Highlands Regional Library has books, newspapers and pamphlets pertaining to the history of the district and beyond from teh beginning of European settlement. it also has maps, directories, records of property ownership and the like, and all the local newspapers are on microfilm. 

The Gold Museum houses the Ballarat Historical Society collection and has a wonderful photographic collection. The genealogists have more records and the Sovereign Hill Museum Association is a font of knowledge about what Ballarat was like in the first decade of gold. On top of that there is more information to  be had from the historical societies in some of the little hamlets around Ballarat such as Buninyong and Woady Yallock.

Then there is the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute. There it is possible to read every newspaper ever printed in Ballarat in hard copy in the beautifully restored library and reading room. The Institute also boasts an extraordinary collection of books, newspapers and journals sourced from around the world for its members. This fine collection, now beautifully housed in the Old Mining Exchange contains many rare and hard to find volumes and is well worth seeing. There are tours of the Institute every Thursday and the building will be open all over Heritage Weekend, Saturday, May 7 and Sunday , May 8.
Ballarat Heritage Weekend


  1. PhD?!?!
    Whoa. Good for you. Takes writing & research to a whole new level.

  2. Sometimes I think the research is the best part of writing. I love the chase. It's like solving a mystery. You delve here and there for more information and one thing leads to another so your story takes on turns you never imagined possible before you started.