Nov 27, 2015

Early Libraries in Essendon and Flemington

Essendon Town Hall with Lending Library inside.
Sam Merrifield Local History Collection
Local Historian Lenore Frost has been busy over the past few months researching the history of libraries in Moonee Valley. Looking at the libraries of Essendon and Flemington, Lenore tells the story of how libraries begun in our area and how they grew out of a public desire for books.

If you're looking to learn about how the libraries of Moonee Valley begun, Lenore's work is a great resource.

You can find the link to her time travellers website below:

Nov 26, 2015

Victoria and the Great War: The La Trobe Journal

The Community Heritage Collection has just purchased the September volume of the State Library of Victoria's La Trobe Journal. This volume focuses on Victoria in the First World War and what life was like back home during this time.
La Trobe Journal no. 96
State Library of Victoria (

This is a must read for those who are interested in learning about how Melbourne was divided around some of the big issues of the war, like conscription, women's rights and Australia's involvement in the war. With topics being writing by some leading academics this book is a must read for any local history buff.

We have a copy in the library available for load, however if you are unable to make it into your local Moonee Valley Library branch you can download chapters of the journal online through the State Library's website.

La Trobe Journal at Moonee Valley Libraries

State Library downloadable chapters

Nov 16, 2015

Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages index search update

Did you know you can now search the Victorian Government's Births, Deaths and Marriages index for free online?

Until now searching this index came at a cost to people who wanted to do family research, but not anymore.

Start searching Victoria's:
Birth records from 1836 - 1914
Marriage records from 1836 - 1942
Death records from 1836 - 1988

The index for these records is free, however if you're after a digital or physical copy of any record you will have to pay. Rates are $24 AUD for a digital copy and $31 AUD for a posted physical copy.

Index of Birth record from BDM search
To start your search visit the Births, Deaths and Marriages website today.

Time Travellers in Essendon, Flemington and the Keilor Plains blog

If you haven't seen it recently, the Moonee Valley Libraries Facebook page has been posting every Friday an image from Moonee Valley's past. #Flashback Friday as it's known has provided us with some great images.

It was great to see a post by Lenore Frost on Friday about the recent photo of the Burke and Wills Tree in Moonee Ponds. After see the image of the tree Lenore had gone and done some research and created a timeline of the tree on her website.

To see the timeline and other research post from the Moonee Valley and Keilor areas take a look at Lenore's blog and website.

Time Travellers blog

Time Travellers website

Nov 11, 2015

Remembrance Day Memories - Robert

Soldiers resting in Trench, 1915
Sourced: Australian War Memorial (
I had two grandfathers who served on the Western Front. To try and picture what they experienced, I imagine some trenches where they lived on and off for weeks, months and years. They are surrounded by rats, lice, rotting corpses and partly covered sewage. They and the people around them may not have bathed for weeks. They have poor shelter and endure freezing winters and summers filled with carrion flies. They have seen their friends die. Several times an hour a shell containing high explosive, shrapnel or sometimes poison gas, which could kill or maim them or gradually send them mad, is fired randomly in their general direction. Sometimes they have to kill other people. Then one day in 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, it all stopped and they could go home. Partly because of what they did, I have never had to experience such things. That is one of the reasons why I remember them.