Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Cahill Autograph Albums


We are having a delightful time at Stratford, working our way through the autograph albums belonging to Ruby and Amy Cahill from Dargo. These sisters, born in 1890 and 1895 respectively, collected autographs, sayings and small artworks from their friends from 1910 until about the start of World War I. Many of these friends were from Stratford.

Cahill Album1

Collecting autographs was a popular pastime, and people struggled to perform their best penmanship, as well as having something meaningful to write. Some were more profound than others.


The autograph books were with a collection of photographs (167 of them), which came from their brother Ernie Cahill, in a suitcase many years ago. Although many are unidentified, it is going to be interesting to work through to locate the photographs that we think are there, of Ruby and Amy. Ruby did not marry, and was postmistress at Dargo for many years. Amy we have yet to chase up.

Then, there is all the fun of identifying the contributors. Would anyone like to claim this one?


J.Watters contributed a number of very competent drawings to both albums.


Blogger Lenore said...

Now, I love autograph books, and I reckon and autograph book index would be perfectly wonderful. One in the Essendon collection belonged to a woman of some musical talent, and it was so interesting to identify her group of friends, many of them also musical, linking up with other people we had researched. Great fun.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Lenore said...

On a personal note, my mother-in-law died some years ago and no-one had thought to ask her where she went to school when her family lived in Sydney.

She kept an autograph album in the years that I presume she was at school, in the late 20s, early 30s, and it has been a hope of mine, not supported by any response, that I would be able to track down one of the girlfriends (or their families more probably) who would know where they went to school. Buckley's hope up to now, but I haven't given up.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Now, funny that you should say that about an index ....

Step one is to accurately describe each in the catalogue, which means when a surname is checked, up comes that there is an entry in that book.

Step two is that we are scanning them, and think we will give them "air time" on our plasma screen - reading them is addictive.

Step three is to print from the scans, and make "virtual books' that people can read. I think each virtual book will have to have its own index at the back. We make a lot of books like this by laminating and binding the copies with two small split rings.

We are going to have a lot of fun with these, especially as we have a small photo album from the same period from one of the "girls" who appears with a lot of her family members in both books.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Lenore said...

You've obviously thought more about it than me - sounds like a good project. The only thing I would do differently is photograph the pages rather than scan them. They are generally put together with fine and ancient thread and I worry about them falling to pieces.

10:26 AM  

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