Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Liverpool library preserves local history

More than 200 hours of detailed, local historical interviews will be preserved by Liverpool City Library, after it was awarded a Community Heritage Grant from the National Library of Australia.

The library was one of 52 community organisations to receive a share of the Community Heritage Grants which committed more than $389,000 to support community-led and volunteer-run organisations to care for their local history, stimulating local tourism and community wellbeing.

The Grant will facilitate the digitisation of local oral history recorded on analogue material from the 1980s to 2000s. The significant recordings detail fascinating aspects of Liverpool’s past dating back to the early 20th Century and include First Nations and migrant stories.

Currently held on 130 magnetic cassette tapes, the recordings will be digitised into high quality preservation files to protect them from the deterioration of old analogue formats, safeguarding important facets of Liverpool’s heritage.

Mayor of Liverpool, Ned Mannoun said the interviews have immense local as well as national significance, given Liverpool’s history as Australia’s fourth oldest township behind Sydney, Parramatta and Hobart.

“We are delighted to be a recipient of this important grant which will ensure that our long and proud history lives on for generations to come,” Mayor Mannoun said.

“Our City has rapidly transformed from a semirural community into a thriving multicultural hub in South West Sydney over the last four decades.”

“We are proud owners of these unique family histories and voices, providing researchers and members of the community with invaluable insights into the cultural impact of the changes that have occurred in Liverpool.”

The tapes hold interviews from the following five projects:

  1. Farewell to Badgery’s Creek, A Little Bit Country, 1992: Residents recall life in an idyllic rural community ahead of the impending construction of the Western Sydney International Airport and the impact of this change on the community.
  2. The Heart of a Place, 1992: Compiled by the Moorebank Womens’ Writing Group, residents from Moorebank, Chipping Norton, Hammondville and Holsworthy record unique family histories across several decades. The recordings include descriptions of the impact of military settlements, social housing schemes and a simpler suburban life which echoes lifestyles across other Australian suburbs.
  3. Looking Back on Liverpool, 1985-6: Recollections of life from everyday Australians, migrants and First Nations people in Liverpool from 1900 to 1960. Several themes are explored over these years including why migrants chose to settle in Liverpool, the Great War, school days, work and entertainment.
  4. Edmondson Park South, 2012: Documenting the history of the former Ingleburn Army Defence Site, this recording includes interviews with former soldiers against the backdrop of Liverpool rapidly becoming a new residential and business centre.
  5. On the Frontier, 1994 and Hargrave Park, Never Heard of It, 2007: Contains interviews with significant historians and community figures on Liverpool’s past and present.

Researchers and the broader community will have an opportunity to access the recordings through the Library’s online heritage collection from June this year.

“Our Libraries and the Liverpool Regional Museum are absolutely committed to preserving and promoting Liverpool’s cultural heritage, history and stories and this is another way we are doing this,” Mayor Mannoun said.

Members of Liverpool City Library have access to local and family history research services at Liverpool’s six branch libraries and specialised research services at the Liverpool Regional Museum and Family History Centre.

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