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The Queen's Album

The Queen’s Album explores the unique story of an album of photographs gifted to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882 on behalf of the people of NSW. In 2018, this photograph album was identified as the original prototype of an album presented to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882. On Friday 17 December 1880, the Sydney Morning Herald announced that a large album of photographs had been produced by the Government of NSW to be presented to Her Majesty the Queen on behalf of the people of the colony. Described as a ‘marvel of sumptuous binding’ in purple velvet, the cover was decorated with the royal monogram in richly chased silver, and its corners were protected by elaborate silver scroll work. Containing 56 ‘unusually large’ photographs depicting the choicest scenes of ‘city, harbour, mountain, river, and spreading plain’, it was created to give Her Majesty ‘a favourable idea of one of the greatest of her Colonial dependencies’. Despite the hype and excitement surrounding its production, the Queen’s Album would not leave the colony for at least another year. In December 1881 the NSW Government Printer Thomas Richards finally received instructions to forward the album to the NSW Agent General Saul Samuel in London. The album – now with a ruby red velvet cover and eight additional photographs – was presented to Queen Victoria on 27 February 1882. The Queen recorded the event in her diary, noting that the album, ‘a present from the Colony, is very pretty’. Unfortunately, the current whereabouts of this album is unknown.

The Queen’s Album explores the unique story of an album of photographs gifted to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882 on behalf of the people of NSW.

In 2018, this photograph album was identified as the original prototype of an album presented to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882. On Friday 17 December 1880, the Sydney Morning Herald announced that a large album of photographs had been produced by the Government of NSW to be presented to Her Majesty the Queen on behalf of the people of the colony.

Described as a ‘marvel of sumptuous binding’ in purple velvet, the cover was decorated with the royal monogram in richly chased silver, and its corners were protected by elaborate silver scroll work. Containing 56 ‘unusually large’ photographs depicting the choicest scenes of ‘city, harbour, mountain, river, and spreading plain’, it was created to give Her Majesty ‘a favourable idea of one of the greatest of her Colonial dependencies’.

Despite the hype and excitement surrounding its production, the Queen’s Album would not leave the colony for at least another year. In December 1881 the NSW Government Printer Thomas Richards finally received instructions to forward the album to the NSW Agent General Saul Samuel in London.

The album – now with a ruby red velvet cover and eight additional photographs – was presented to Queen Victoria on 27 February 1882. The Queen recorded the event in her diary, noting that the album, ‘a present from the Colony, is very pretty’.

Unfortunately, the current whereabouts of this album is unknown.

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The Queen’s Album explores the unique story of an album of

photographs gifted to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882 on

behalf of the people of NSW.

In 2018, this photograph album was identified as the original prototype of an album presented

to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882. On Friday 17 December 1880, the Sydney

Morning Herald announced that a large album of photographs had been produced by the

Government of NSW to be presented to Her Majesty the Queen on behalf of the people of the

colony.

Described as a ‘marvel of sumptuous binding’ in purple velvet, the cover was decorated with

the royal monogram in richly chased silver, and its corners were protected by elaborate silver

scroll work. Containing 56 ‘unusually large’ photographs depicting the choicest scenes of

‘city, harbour, mountain, river, and spreading plain’, it was created to give Her Majesty ‘a

favourable idea of one of the greatest of her Colonial dependencies’.

Despite the hype and excitement surrounding its production, the Queen’s Album would not

leave the colony for at least another year. In December 1881 the NSW Government Printer

Thomas Richards finally received instructions to forward the album to the NSW Agent

General Saul Samuel in London.

The album – now with a ruby red velvet cover and eight additional photographs – was

presented to Queen Victoria on 27 February 1882. The Queen recorded the event in her diary,

noting that the album, ‘a present from the Colony, is very pretty’.

Unfortunately, the current whereabouts of this album is unknown.

Website • Facebook • VISITOR eMag


Curated by Penny Stannard and Bonnie Wildie


The Queen’s Album

Exhibition dates

24 May to 16 June 2019

Government House, Sydney

Exhibition catalogue

Published by NSW State Archives

PO Box 516, Kingswood NSW 2747, Australia

records.nsw.gov.au

info@records.nsw.gov.au

© NSW State Archives, 2019

A catalogue record for this

book is available from the

National Library of Australia

Creator: Stannard, Penny, author.

Title: The Queen’s Album / Penny Stannard (curator/ author);

Bonnie Wildie (assistant curator/author).

ISBN 978-0-6481110-4-7

(ebook)

Other Creators/Contributors:

Mosquera, Maria, book designer.

NSW State Archives. issuing body.

This publication is copyright in all countries subscribing to the Berne Convention.

Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism

or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced

by any persons without written permission from NSW State Archives.


Contents

FOREWORD 5

THE QUEEN’S ALBUM: 6

A 19 TH CENTURY PICTORIAL EXPRESSION

OF OPTIMISM, POSSIBILITY AND IDENTITY

WILD AND MAJESTIC LANDSCAPES 21

PASTORAL VISTAS 25

CIVILISING NATURE 28

PRIVATE WORLDS 33

EXOTIC LANDSCAPES 36

3

INSTITUTIONS OF STATE 40

INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH 46

MIGHTY EMPIRE 50

LIST OF WORKS 55

FURTHER READING 57

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 60


4

Alexander Bassano

Queen Victoria

1882

Glass plate negative

© National Portrait Gallery, London

x95818


foreword

The Queen’s Album is a unique exhibition project that has been curated and produced

by New South Wales State Archives. It explores an event from 1882, nearly 140 years ago:

a special gift from the people of the Colony of New South Wales (NSW) to Queen Victoria.

This was a large and beautifully crafted album featuring photographic images of NSW.

The photographs depicted advancements made by the Colony in architecture, engineering,

science, industry and the arts. Much more than documentary accounts of the Colony’s

progress, the album’s photographs were – as the Queen herself noted – works of art.

Given that the album was produced by the NSW Government Printing Office, there is

a range of relevant and compelling original material concerning its creation in the

State Archives Collection, which is one of Australia’s most significant cultural holdings.

In researching and developing the exhibition, our staff made a number of exciting

discoveries, which are detailed in this e-publication. It also led to the question of the

whereabouts of the album today. This ‘history mystery’ has grown to become an additional

storyline within the project and one that we are hoping to solve with help from the public.

The Queen’s Album has provided an opportunity for the NSW State Archives to contribute

to the events and discussions taking place to mark 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.

Born on 24 May 1819, Victoria ruled over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for

63 years. Her reign, which commenced in 1837 and ended at her death in 1901 – the same year

as the Federation of Australia – encompassed a period of profound change and growth in NSW.

5

The Queen’s Album also places NSW State Archives as a participant in the resurgence of

international interest in royalty from the past and present.

The Queen’s Album exhibition will premiere at Government House in May/June 2019,

during the hugely popular Vivid Sydney and then tour throughout regional NSW.

This e-publication supports the exhibition and is available through a range of NSW

State Archives’ online platforms.

Thank you to the dedicated, expert staff at NSW State Archives, to our supportive Board and

to the Hon Don Harwin MLC, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and

Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, and Vice-President of the Executive

Council, who, both individually and through the government, provides tremendous support

to our institution.

Whether you attend the exhibition in person, or engage with it online, we trust that you will

enjoy The Queen’s Album.

Dr Brian Lindsay

Chair, NSW State Archives Board

Adam Lindsay

Executive Director, NSW State Archives


the queen’s album:

A 19 th Century pictorial expression of optimism,

possibility and identity

6

At Windsor Castle on 27 February 1882 Queen

Victoria received a special gift from the people

of New South Wales (NSW). Encased in an ornate

wooden box was a large book clad in purple velvet

embellished with elaborate silver mountings.

As she opened the cover and turned the pages of

the heavy tome, Victoria would have seen a faraway

place: a land where ancient landscapes, sites of

‘civilisation’ and symbols of Empire coalesced

under a sharp light and clear bright sky. This, no

ordinary armchair selection of late-19 th Century

photographs was the ‘Queen’s album’, gifted to

her as an expression of the spirit of optimism

and possibility that defined the Colony of NSW.

At the time, the album was gifted as a tribute

of loyalty to the 63 year old monarch. Today, its

whereabouts are unknown.

This is the story of the Queen’s album: its

creation nearly 140 years ago and its reimagining

through a NSW State Archives exhibition project,

The Queen’s Album.


Statue of Prince Albert

1871

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH209

(left)

Government House

c. 1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH291

7

AN ALBUM,

AN ANNIVERSARY

It was while developing another exhibition,

Windows into Wartime, in 2016 that we first

came across newspaper reports from the early

1880s detailing how an album of photographs had

been gifted to Queen Victoria on behalf of the people

of NSW. The album and its photographs—like those

featured in Windows into Wartime—had been

produced by the NSW Government Printing Office

(GPO). Its photographic department had developed

a vast and impressive body of work featuring people,

places and events in NSW over 120 years from its

establishment in the 1860s until its closure in 1988.

Given that the GPO had been a NSW Government

agency, its records are held in the State Archives

Collection.

Knowing that the 200 th anniversary of the birth of

Queen Victoria would be marked on 24 May 2019,

and that there has been a renewed interest in

the story of this monarch—most notably through

the hit television drama series, Victoria, which

premiered in 2016, and the feature film Victoria

and Abdul (2017)—there was an opportunity for

NSW State Archives to contribute to the creation

of contemporary ‘Victoria’ culture. A curated

exhibition project would provide the perfect

platform through which to do this.

The more and more we read contemporary

accounts of the creation and gifting of the album to

Queen Victoria, the more our curiosity was sparked.

Whose idea was it? What were its instigators

hoping to achieve? Which images were selected for

inclusion? Why these and not others? Who crafted

the album and what was special about its design?


HER MAJESTY’S GIFT:

A GRACEFUL TRIBUTE

OF LOYALTY

The idea of presenting an album to Queen Victoria

originated with Sir Henry Parkes, Premier and

Colonial Secretary of NSW, in late-1880. For Parkes,

the album would represent a ‘graceful tribute

of loyalty’ and ‘a pictorial representation of the

characteristic features of one of the greatest of

[Her Majesty’s] Colonial possessions’. He charged

Thomas Richards, the Government Printer of the

Colony, with responsibility for the album’s design

and fabrication.

8

Specimen of printing types in use at the

Government Printing Office, Sydney

1882

Volume

NSW State Archives

NRS 4440/2/2

How was it presented to the Queen? Did she

like it? And lastly, where is the album today?

These questions triggered a fully-fledged research

project to see what we could find in the State

Archives Collection that shed light on the origins

of the album and its journey to Queen Victoria

at Windsor Castle.

Precursory research into the Collection revealed

an 1882 GPO ‘specimen book’. A style guide of

typographies, fonts and designs, the book also

contained a detailed description of the Queen’s

album including a full list of 64 images, design

features and even a retelling of its presentation to

the monarch. This discovery was a breakthrough

and it set us well on the way to unlocking the story.

By 1880 the GPO photographic department had

amassed a collection of some 800 ‘views’ of NSW.

It was decided that a selection of these, including

the ‘best photographic productions’ recently

displayed at the International Exhibition held at

Sydney’s Garden Palace in 1879/80, would feature

in the album. The selection would contain ‘views of

the metropolis and harbour of Port Jackson [and]

include some of the loveliest prospects obtainable

from the Sydney Domain and Botanic Gardens’.

There would be ‘glimpses and views of the Garden

Palace and of Government House’. Public buildings

‘both metropolitan and provincial’ would be

included as well as ‘views of private edifices ... a few

rural views, and a number of pictures of the wild

and majestic landscapes and waterfalls that border

the Southern and Western lines of railway on the

Blue Mountains and elsewhere’. Photographs of

‘great public works’ that speak ‘eloquently of the

resources of the Colony and of the enterprise of its

inhabitants’, would also be included. Views would be

remarkable for their artistic excellence and printed

in large scale at 2’6” x 2’. 1

Richards tasked his most ‘talented’ staff with

the design and fabrication of the album and its

holding case. Once completed, the GPO proudly

reflected upon the album’s ‘exquisite’ form, ‘elegant’

binding and ‘handsome’ title page. The description

went further:

1

Two feet, six inches x two feet or 762mm x 610mm.


The edges of the album are gilt; the covers

are heavy and bevelled. The treatment of

the binding is chaste in the extreme, the

linings being of white watered satin and the

coverings of ruby velvet. The mountings are

of silver, in bold relief, wrought in repoussé

and finished in bright, dead, and chased work;

the ornamentation consisting of interlaced

foliated corner-pieces of elaborate design—

the polished edges of which embrace and

strengthen the cover—and of a large and

graceful centre-piece, representing the Royal

monogram, designed to harmonize with

the rest of the silver work.

Picton Viaduct over Stonequarry Creek

1870

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1117

The album is deposited in a case made of

Colonial woods, which is in itself a gem of art.

The lid has a plate-glass panel, and the sides

9


consist of panels and rich marginal borders,

the fillets, mouldings, and panels being all

of different kinds of fancy woods of a yellow

and brownish hue, the principal mouldings

set cross-grained, and the colours beautifully

contrasted … The front and lid of the case are

made to lift together; the album rests on a

sliding shelf which can be manipulated with

ease; the inside of the case is padded and lined

with puce satin; and the case is provided with

a handsome silver key. The general effect is

strikingly rich—everything about the case

and its contents being perfectly artistic

and harmonious.

In mid-December 1880, newspapers began

reporting that the NSW Government was planning

to send a ‘beautiful album … in an equally beautiful

case’ to Queen Victoria. Rumours were that the

album would be displayed at the Melbourne

International Exhibition in 1880/81 prior to its

departure overseas. Some Sydney Morning Herald

letter writers suggested that as the album was

to be gifted on behalf of the people of NSW, it

should be available for that state’s constituents

to view first before Melbournians.

Although the album was ready to be dispatched

in February 1881, it did not leave Australia’s shores

until December. The delay was caused by the

decision to add eight new photographs. These

depicted the Royal Navy’s sham fight held near

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair on 12 April 1881 and the

arrival of its Detached Squadron on 6 July 1881

with Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince George

and Prince Albert, on board. The initial album of

56 photographs was discarded and a new album

of 64 photographs—incorporating the naval activity

scenes—duly fabricated. It was this second, larger

album that was shipped out to Britain on the Cuzco.

On 27 February 1882 the Agent General of NSW,

Saul Samuel, presented the album to Queen Victoria.

10


11

Copy of the Choragic Monument

of Lysicrates (Sir James Martin’s

residence, Potts Point)

c. 1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1539

(left)

Naval Sham Fight under Commodore

Wilson, 12 th April, 1881

1881

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1455

Her Majesty, in reply, graciously informed

Mr. Samuel that she was very pleased to accept

such a beautiful specimen of the workmanship

of the Colony, to which she felt greatly obliged

for its handsome gift. She desired Mr. Samuel

to convey her thanks to the Government of

the Colony for their consideration, and to add

that she held in high appreciation their loyalty

and affection for her person. She was pleased

to examine the album with Mr. Samuel, and

expressed her admiration of the photographs,

both as representations of beautiful scenery

and as works of art. Mr. Samuel afterwards

lunched in the castle, as is the custom with

all Her Majesty's guests at Windsor.


12

SCENES TO IDENTIFY,

PHOTOGRAPHS TO

SOURCE

As mentioned, the 1882 GPO specimen book

contained a list of the 64 photographs featured

in the Queen’s album. It listed these primarily

by location, and in some cases, by date. We

cross-referenced this list against entries in

GPO photographic registers from the same period,

which are held in the State Archives Collection.

The registers often list several shots of a particular

scene, so we needed to be sure which of these

was the actual photograph featured in the album.

It was also important to find out whether there

were other albums made by the GPO at the time

containing similar photographs. We may even

happen upon the album itself tucked away in an

archive or library! As we searched the catalogues

of collections in Australia and elsewhere, we

found an album at the State Library of NSW:

Collection of photographs presented for

the acceptance of Her Most Gracious Majesty

Queen Victoria by the Government on behalf

of the people of New South Wales

1880

Volume - title page

State Library of NSW

X981/3


Public offices

c. 1880

Collodion negative

NSW State Archives

A4078/A4053

(left)

Collection of photographs presented

for the acceptance of Her Most

Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria

by the Government on behalf of

the people of New South Wales

1880

Volume - cover

State Library of NSW

X981/3

a large tome measuring approximately 1’7” x 2’

x 4”, weighing 3 st. 2 It contained 56 photographs,

all with the same titles, dates and scenes listed as

being in the Queen’s album – excepting the eight

naval scenes from 1881. This album’s design and

embellishments matched those detailed in the GPO

specimen book. So, too, did its title page. It even had

the purple velvet cover – albeit faded and worn thin.

And the once-glistening silver work that centred on

the ‘VR’ monogram was still evident despite severe

tarnishing. We concluded that this was likely to be

the first album created for Queen Victoria in 1880.

With the State Library of NSW discovery, we

now knew the majority of the scenes featured

in the Queen’s album. The next step was to find

out whether there were any surviving glass

plate negatives among the 14 million items in the

State Archives Collection. Guided by the GPO

photographic registers and armed with copies of

prints from the State Library of NSW’s album, we

were able to match positive with negative. To our

delight, we found 48 original glass plate negatives

in the Collection dating from the 1870s to 1881.

PLATES OF GLASS:

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC

NEGATIVES

As our conservators retrieved the 10” x 12” 3 glass

plate photographic negatives from their protective

crates and carefully laid them on light boxes,

moments from 140 years ago suddenly appeared.

We could look into the sweeping land and streetscapes

and make out time-telling details: a horse

and buggy, a clutter of masts and sails, corseted

parasol-carrying women. Interrupting the scenes

were tell-tale signs of age, wear and tear. As

collodion wet plates, the negatives have all suffered

damage. One has become detached from the glass

plate. Reactions to humidity and moisture have

resulted in planar distortion and cracking. All are

scratched with small losses and some have silver

mirroring. A few have significant breaks, including

the loss of the glass substrate.

13

2

One foot, seven inches x two feet x four inches, weighing

three stone, or 480mm x 600mm x 100mm, weighing 20kg.

3

Ten inches x twelve inches or 254mm x 305mm.


14


15

Katoomba – The Sisters

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1684


16

The negatives also showed the various techniques

used by photographers to perfect the image for

print. In some cases the non-emulsion side is

masked with paper adhered or taped in place,

and painted masking. In others, pencil has been

used on the emulsion side to provide definition

around particular parts of the image. Such editing

techniques were employed to make skies appear

clearer, waterfalls more glistening and shapes

sharper. These, it would seem, were not simply

documentary photographs. They were carefully

constructed images designed to portray NSW

as a desirable place – an ideal. The cloudless,

sun-drenched skies and ‘pure’ natural resources

seen in the photographs would have provided

stark contrast to the hazed and polluted

atmosphere of industrial Britain.

The Garden Palace

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH331


At the time of their creation, the negatives were

developed in a dark room environment. Today, this

is done using digital technologies. Techniques that

were once used to manipulate the image now affect

a different outcome. For example, masking fluid

painted on negatives to heighten black and white

tonal qualities appear as a red, rust colour on the

digitised image. These insights into the glass plate

negative as a working tool came as a surprise to us,

and we made a conscious decision to work with the

images uncorrected.

Having discovered 48 glass plate negatives in

the State Archives Collection that were an exact

match with images in the Queen’s album (plus

an additional three that were near-matches), we

looked elsewhere to find the remaining negatives.

Unsuccessful, we secured digital copies of the prints

contained in the State Library of NSW’s 1880

album. With all but one of the images digitised,

we could begin reimagining the Queen’s album

through the exhibition project. But we were still

left with the question of the whereabouts of

the 1882 Queen’s album.

A HISTORY MYSTERY:

WHERE IS THE

QUEEN’S ALBUM?

Our search for the 1882 Queen’s album has spanned

cultural collections in Australia and overseas.

Curators, archivists and librarians from the Royal

Collection Trust—custodian of the Royal Collection,

which incorporates the private archives of the

British Royal Family—British Library, Bodleian

Library, National Archives (UK), State Library of

NSW and National Library of Australia have assisted

us, but our search has not yet yielded a result.

We have decided to turn to the public, and to the

platform of social media to help us solve this ‘history

mystery’. Our access to newspaper reports from

the early-1880s detailing the creation and gifting

of the Queen’s album was made possible through

the National Library of Australia’s online database,

Trove. This platform enables users to curate lists

of their findings and share this with the public –

17

Image samples from The Queen's

Album social media campaign, 2019,

from Collection of photographs

presented for the acceptance of

Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen

Victoria by the Government on behalf

of the people of New South Wales

1880

Volume - text detail, coloured

State Library of NSW

X981/3

(left, above)

Botanic Gardens

1879

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH436


18

a kind of ‘open scholarship’. Through this process,

we established The Queen’s Album Trove list,

which collated a selection of the articles that had

assisted us in our research (see https://trove.nla.

gov.au/list?id=125289). As we reappraised articles,

one from the Evening News on 19 April 1882 stood

out. It noted that when the Agent General, Saul

Samuel, presented the album to Queen Victoria

on 27 February, it was accompanied by ‘a watercolour

drawing of the town and harbour of Sydney,

which her Majesty was graciously pleased to accept’.

A recent search of the Royal Collection Trust

catalogue for watercolours from the period

revealed Sydney: the town and harbour, 1879,

by Edward Baker Boulton. This, it would seem,

was the ‘drawing’ presented to Victoria with the

album. The whereabouts of the album, however,

at this point, remains unknown.

Post-colonialism has ushered in a rethinking

of the role and authority of State-run cultural

institutions, particularly in relation to how

collections have been developed and interpreted

through practices and frameworks that have their

roots in a 19 th Century world view. In this context,

publics are passive recipients to be imparted with

an institution’s knowledge, expertise and power:

to be ‘educated’ and ‘civilised’. Contemporary

approaches, however, see the public and audiences

as partners; co-contributors to research,

interpretation and knowledge-making. Social

media and other interactive online spaces provide

a vehicle for institutions to open up a dialogue with

the public, with the aim of enhancing and sharing

the knowledge and understanding that they have of

their collections. This is the approach that we have

adopted here. A social media campaign has been

put into place inviting the public to help us solve

the mystery of the Queen’s album. A series of posts

that link to The Queen’s Album Trove list compel

our ‘sleuths’ to read, transcribe, share and tag

reports and accounts of the album. It is anticipated

that word of our quest will spread, fuelled by the

interest in the 200 th anniversary of the birth of

Queen Victoria and the renewed popularity that her

descendants—the current British Royal Family—are

now enjoying. We hope that someone, somewhere,

will know where the album is. Then, we can reunite

it with the people of NSW.

A REIMAGINING:

THE QUEEN’S ALBUM

Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great

Britain and Ireland, ruled from 20 June 1837

to 22 January 1901. In NSW, her 63 year reign

overarched and shaped fundamental social,

political, cultural and economic developments.

The Colony, which had been established to exile

and punish Britain’s felons, transformed itself

from a penal experiment to a free and enterprising

society during Victoria’s rule. It built its success

on the land’s natural resources—while dispossessing

Indigenous people of their lands and culture—and

the adoption of technological advancements made

possible by the Industrial Revolution. In NSW

and other ‘colonial possessions’, progress was

to be celebrated and expressed through symbols

of civilisation: edifices constructed to promote

knowledge, engineering feats, scientific inquiry,

the cultivation of nature and displays of Imperial

power and benevolence.

Victoria never visited NSW or Australia, instead

relying on reports from her envoys and extended

family members who did. She understood the

Colony through the lens of others. Sir Henry Parkes

sought to advance the narrative of progress to

the Queen, and in doing so, receive Her Majesty’s

affirmation that NSW was an exemplar of Empire

and loyalty to the Crown.

Photography, which was fast-evolving in its

technology and popularity in the late-19 th

Century, offered not only the means to faithfully

represent a subject, but one which could be

shaped towards an aesthetic or agenda.

As we interpret the photographs in the Queen’s


album, we can see how these dual elements work

hand-in-hand.

The Queen’s Album reimagines the album which

was gifted to Queen Victoria on behalf of the

people of NSW in 1882. It presents a selection of

photographs from the 64 scenes featured in the

album accompanied by brief interpretive overviews.

Today, we can only guess at how Victoria imagined

NSW through these photographs. As we see what

she saw, we can imagine our place 140 years ago.

And as we understand our past, we can dream

of our future.

Fern Trees, Mount Wilson

c. 1880

Black and white photograph

State Library of NSW

X981/3

19


20


Falling water, sheer cliffs, impenetrable

bush and secret gorges.

21

Katoomba – Falls

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1682


22

The Blue Mountains offered ‘a serious kind of

beauty’ to define the essential features of the

Australian landscape. Katoomba Falls, the Grose

Valley, Mount Victoria, Govetts Leap and Mount

Wilson—all Blue Mountains sites—featured in the

original Queen’s album. These wild and sublime

landscapes were popular in the late-19 th Century

viewer market as people sought a sense of relief

from their increasingly urban lives. As train travel

allowed people to visit such destinations, relief

became reality.

Mount Victoria

c. 1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH404

(right)

Valley of the Grose

1875

Black and white photograph

State Library of NSW

X981/3


23


24


A more lovely sight

could not be desired.

25

Emu Plains, showing Nepean River

1880

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1678


‘A grand panorama soon spreads out before us as

we ascend the giddy height, and look down on the

Valley of the Nepean.’ This was the view described

by tourists travelling by train from Sydney to the

Blue Mountains looking out over Penrith and

Emu Plains. As the Nepean River, the orchards it

nourished and the smattering of homesteads that

skirted out from ‘quaint old’ Penrith town melded,

tourists were reassured that the Colony’s land could

not only be cultivated for food, but also for pleasure.

26


27

Emu Plains, showing Nepean River

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1679

(left)

View in Penrith

c. 1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH415


28

Conquering nature enabled

the Crown to further assert

its territorial claim.

Saddle Cutting, near Bargo Lagoons

c. 1880

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH932


29


30


Knapsack Gully Viaduct

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1685

31

(left)

Old Bridge, Lapstone Hill

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1688

Buoyed by advancements in technology, NSW

embarked on a ‘spirited’ program of public

works in the second half of the 19 th Century.

Engineers cut and tunnelled ranges, and bridged

valleys to access and link once-impassable lands

in the Colony’s north, west and south. Driven by

railway construction, this complex and largescale

endeavour has been described as the

‘new imperialism’.


32


Well-positioned properties were

built to house and host the powerful.

33

Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains

(Sir Henry Parkes)

c. 1880

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1696


34

Public leaders replicated in NSW the tradition

of the English country estate. Sir Henry Parkes

and Sir James Martin built impressive houses set

high in the Blue Mountains framed by landscaped

gardens. These properties provided a haven from

city life and a place to host dignitaries. Elsewhere,

sprawling, well-positioned residences overlooked

Sydney Harbour. Large private estates were a

luxury of the elite and symbolised the power and

status they held within the Colony and the Empire.

Numantia, Blue Mountains

(Sir James Martin)

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1699


35

Glanworth, Darling Point

(The Honorable James Watson)

1880

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1709


36

Come see the wilderness garden made!

Botanic Gardens

1879

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH444


37


38

Cultivating the ‘exotic’ was a powerful symbol of

19 th Century colonial advancement. The Botanic

Gardens represented an expression of this agenda

writ large, more so when it became the site of the

1879 Sydney International Exhibition building,

the Garden Palace. As the grand, bold structures

of Victorian-era Sydney juxtaposed the Garden’s

curated wilderness, ordinary people and even

the Queen herself, could take reassurance that

the path of progress was well on its way in NSW.

Botanic Gardens

1879

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH443


39

Botanic Gardens

1879

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH439


40

Reflecting and harnessing the optimism

and growth of the Colony.

Free Public Library

1877

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH470


41


42

Museum

1870

Glass plate negative

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH564


43


44


School of Arts, Bathurst

c. 1880

Black and white photograph

State Library of NSW

X981/3

45

The Victorian faith in knowledge as the key to

progress and prosperity took form in the Free

Public Library and new Australian Museum College

Street wing designed by Colonial Architect James

Barnet in the 1860s. These and other institutions of

State including the Colonial Secretary’s Building—

also designed by Barnet—were part of an ambitious

public works program that reflected and harnessed

the optimism and growth of the Colony. In building

places of learning and discovery—from schools

of arts to major cultural institutions—the State

could ensure that its population was civilised,

sophisticated and able to proudly claim its place

in the British Empire.


46


47

A powerhouse to grow

the Colony’s wealth.

Newcastle showing railway lines

c. 1880

Black and white photograph [detail]

State Library of NSW

X981/3


48


49

Newcastle Custom House

c. 1880

Black and white photograph

State Library of NSW

X981/3

(left)

Newcastle

c. 1880

Black and white photograph [detail]

State Library of NSW

X981/3

Newcastle, where the Hunter River meets the

Pacific Ocean, became an industrial powerhouse

during Queen Victoria’s reign. Natural resources

aplenty, the city’s economy was founded on

coal. Maritime ports and the completion of the

Great Northern Railway in the 1860s expanded

Newcastle’s export markets and grew the local

population. Banking houses, public buildings and

places of business—including the James Barnet

designed Italianate Renaissance Revival style

Custom House completed in 1877—expressed

the city’s economic and civic progress.


50

A welcome of true and unchangeable

loyalty to the Crown.


51

Naval Sham Fight under

Commodore Wilson, 12 th April, 1881

1881

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH1455

Concerned with potential aggressors, particularly

after the Anglo-Russian crisis of 1877/78, Imperial

Britain flexed its might in Sydney on two occasions

in 1881. On 12 April the Royal Navy—responsible

for the defence of NSW—held a sham fight near

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Granted a public holiday,

thousands attended the spectacle. Later, on 6 July,

the Navy’s Detached Squadron anchored in Sydney

Harbour with Queen Victoria’s grandsons George

and Albert on board. The welcome extended to the

young princes—who laid a foundation stone for a

statue of Victoria—was seen as an example of ‘true’

and ‘unchangeable’ loyalty to the Crown.


52


53

Detached Squadron under command

of the Earl of Clanwilliam

1881

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH449


54


LIST OF WORKS

The Queen’s album, 1882

Works are reproduced from the NSW State Archives

Collection, NRS 4481 Glass negatives, Government

Printing Office unless otherwise indicated.

1. Statue of Prince Albert, 1871, SH209~

21. Detached Squadron under command

of the Earl of Clanwilliam, 1881, SH449

22. View of Darling Harbour from North Shore,

c. 1881˘

2. Government House, c. 1880, SH291

3. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH443

4. Botanic Gardens, 1879*

5. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH444

6. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH445

7. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH436

8. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH441

9. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH439

10. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH434

11. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH438

12. The Garden Palace, 1880, SH331~

13. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH437

14. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH440

15. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH435

16. Botanic Gardens, 1879, SH442

17. Lady Macquarie's Chair,

from Government House, 1879, SH428

18. Public offices, c. 1880*

19. Free Public Library, 1877, SH470

20. Detached Squadron under command

of the Earl of Clanwilliam, 1881, SH448

23. Naval Sham Fight under Commodore Wilson,

12 th April, 1881, SH1453

24. Naval Sham Fight under Commodore Wilson,

12 th April, 1881, SH1454

25. Naval Sham Fight under Commodore Wilson,

12 th April, 1881, SH1455

26. Naval Sham Fight under Commodore Wilson,

12 th April, 1881, SH1456

27. View from the Garden Palace, looking towards

the Heads, 1880, SH332

28. School of Arts, Bathurst, c. 1880^

29. Picton Viaduct over Stonequarry Creek,

1870, SH1117~

30. Mount Victoria, c. 1880, SH404

31. Mount Victoria Kunimbla Pass, c. 1880^

32. Mount Victoria Pass, c. 1880^

33. View in Penrith, c. 1880, SH415

34. Govett’s Leap, Blue Mountains, c. 1880, SH403

35. Valley of the Grose, 1875^

36. Valley of the Grose, 1875^

37. Fern Trees, Mount Wilson, c. 1880^

38. Saddle Cutting, near Bargo Lagoons,

c. 1880, SH932

55


39. Saddle Cutting, near Bargo Lagoons, c. 1880^

60. Katoomba – The Sisters, 1880, SH1684

40. Newcastle, c. 1880^

61. Double Bay, c. 1880, SH1540

41. Newcastle showing Railway lines, c. 1880^

62. Museum, 1870, SH564

42. Newcastle Custom House, c. 1880^

43. Knapsack Gully Viaduct, 1880, SH1685

44. Old Bridge, Lapstone Hill, 1880, SH1689

45. Old Bridge, Lapstone Hill, 1880, SH1687

63. Glanworth, Darling Point (The Honorable

James Watson), 1880, SH1709

64. Copy of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates

(Sir James Martin's residence, Potts Point),

c. 1880, SH1539

56

46. Old Bridge, Lapstone Hill, 1880, SH1688

47. Lapstone Hill Pass, 1880, SH1686

48. Emu Plains, showing Nepean River,

1880, SH1679

49. Emu Plains, showing Nepean River,

1880, SH1680

50. Emu Plains, showing Nepean River,

1880, SH1678

51. Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains

(Sir Henry Parkes), 1880, SH1694

52. Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains

(Sir Henry Parkes), 1880, SH1696

53. Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains

(Sir Henry Parkes), 1880, SH1695

54. Numantia, Blue Mountains

(Sir James Martin), 1880, SH1697

55. Numantia, Blue Mountains

(Sir James Martin), 1880, SH1698

ADDITIONAL WORKS

The Queen’s Album, 2019

Alexander Bassano

Queen Victoria

1882

Glass plate negative

© National Portrait Gallery, London

x95818

Key

~ Original GPO negative has not survived;

a comparable image from the collection

has been used

* Collodion negative, NSW State Archives Collection,

A4078/A4053

˘ This image has not been identified

^ Black and white photograph,

State Library of NSW, X981/3

56. Numantia, Blue Mountains

(Sir James Martin), 1880, SH1699

57. Katoomba – Chain of Waterfalls, 1880, SH1681

58. Katoomba – Falls, 1880, SH1682

59. Katoomba – The Orphan, 1880, SH1683


FURTHER READING

NSW State Archives Collection

Colonial Secretary

Colonial Secretary, indexes and register

of letters received

NRS 922

Government Printing Office

Copies of letters sent

NRS 4409

Government Printing Office

Register and index of memoranda received

NRS 4416

Government Printing Office

Specimen of printing types in use at the

Government Printing Office, Sydney, 1882

NRS 4440

Davies, A., Stanbury, P., and Tanre, C., The

mechanical eye in Australia: Photography

1841-1900, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1985

Ennis, Helen, A modern vision: Charles Bayliss,

photographer, 1850-1897, National Library of

Australia, Canberra, 2008

Gibbs, Shallard and Co., Illustrated guide

to Sydney and its suburbs, and to favourite

places of resort, Rev. ed., Facsimile ed., Angus

and Robertson, Sydney, 1882

Grainger, E., Martin of Martin Place: A biography

of Sir James Martin (1820-1886), Alpha Books,

Sydney, 1970

Irish, P., Hidden in plain view: The Aboriginal

people of coastal Sydney, NewSouth Publishing,

Sydney, 2017

Books

Aitken, R., Gardenesque: A celebration of

Australian gardening, The Miegunyah Press,

Carlton, 2004

Baird, J., Victoria the Queen: An intimate

biography of the woman who changed the

world, Harper Collins, New York, 2016

Bennett, J.M., Sir James Martin: Premier and

Chief Justice of New South Wales, Federation

Press, Leichardt, 2005

Bridges, P. and McDonald, D., James Barnet:

Colonial Architect, Hale and Iremonger,

Sydney, 1988

Connors, J., Royal visits to Australia,

National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2015

Dando-Collins, S., Sir Henry Parkes:

The Australian colossus, Vintage Books,

North Sydney, 2013

Jones, J., Jonathan Jones: barrangal dyara (skin

and bones), Thames and Hudson, Lilyfield, 2016

Lee, R., The greatest public work: The New South

Wales railways, 1848 to 1889, Hale and Iremonger,

Sydney, 1988

Lee, R., Colonial engineer: John Whitton 1819-1898

and the building of Australia’s railways, Australian

Railway Historical Society, Redfern, 2000

McKillop, R. and Sheedy, D., Our region, our

railway: The Hunter and the Great Northern

Railway, Australian Railway Historical Society,

Redfern, 2008

Millar, D., The Victorian watercolours and

drawings in the collection of Her Majesty the

Queen, Vol. 1, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 1995

NSW Government Printing Office, The railway

guide of New South Wales, Thomas Richards,

Government Printer, Sydney, 1881. Accessed 2 May

2019. Available online

57


58

NSW Government Printing Office and Raymond,

L., Priceless pictures from the remarkable NSW

Government Printing Office collection, 1870-1950,

NSW Government Printing Office, Ultimo, 1988

Nicholls, B., The colonial volunteers: The defence

forces of the Australian Colonies 1836-1901, Allen

and Unwin, Sydney, 1988

Richards, T., New South Wales in 1881, Thomas

Richards, Government Printer, Sydney, 1881

Russell, J.E.M., The pictorial guide to the Blue

Mountains of New South Wales, and to the

districts between Parramatta and Lithgow.

Facsimile ed., Gibb, Shallard and Co., Sydney, 1882

Stacker, L., Penrith: The makings of a city, Halsted,

Ultimo, 2014

State Library of NSW, Imagine a city: 200 years of

public architecture in NSW, State Library of NSW,

Sydney, 2016

Suters Architects, prepared on behalf of Newcastle

City Council, Newcastle city wide heritage

study: Thematic history, Suters Architects,

Newcastle, 1997

Thomas, M., The artificial horizon: Imagining

the Blue Mountains, Melbourne University Press,

Carlton, 2003

Toy, A. and Griffin, R., Government House Sydney,

Historic Houses Trust, Sydney, 2011

Wilson, E., The wishing tree: A guide to memorial

trees, statues, fountains, etc. in the Royal Botanic

Gardens, Domain, and Centennial Park, Sydney,

Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1992

Allen, L. J., ‘Technical education’, in Greaves, B.

(Ed.), The story of Bathurst, 3 rd ed., Angus and

Robertson, Sydney, 1976, pp. 193-201

Fitzgerald, S., ‘The Garden Palace and Sydney’s

International Exhibition, 1879’, in Coltheart, L.

(Ed.), Significant sites: History and public works

in New South Wales, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney,

1989, pp. 67-96

Havard, W. L., ‘Mitchell’s Pass, near Emu Plains’,

Royal Australian Historical Society Journal

and Proceedings, Vol. 19, Part 6, 1933, pp. 352-63

Hoskins, I., ‘“The core of the city”: Public parks,

respectability and civic regulation in Sydney’,

National Identities, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2003, pp. 7-24

Irish, P. and Ingrey, M., ‘Marking their footsteps:

Aboriginal people and places in nineteenth-century

Sydney’, in Exploring Urban Identities and

Histories, AIATSIS Research Publications, 2013,

pp. 75-90. Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Jones, D.J., ‘Public library development in New

South Wales’, The Australian Library Journal,

Vol. 54, No. 2, May 2005, pp. 130-7. Accessed 2 May

2019. Available online

MacLeod Morgan, H.A., ‘Eccleston Frederic

Du Faur: A lover of nature and of art’, Royal

Australian Historical Society Journal and

Proceedings, Vol. 42, Part. 1, 1956, pp. 16-23

Massov, A., ‘War scare and growing Russophobia in

Australia, 1853-1903’, in Massov, A., McNair, J., and

Poole, T. (Eds.), Encounters under the Southern

Cross : Two centuries of Russian-Australian

relations 1807-2007, Crawford House Publishing

Australia, Belair, 2007, pp. 49-75

Articles and chapters

Alfrey, Nicholas, ‘Romanticism gets real: British

landscape photography’, Tate Etc., No. 21, Spring

2011. Accessed 6 May 2019. Available online

Mootz, D., ‘The Lysicrates monument’, Teaching

History, Vol. 50, No. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 26-7. Accessed

2 May 2019. Available online

Orr, K., ‘Designing Sydney, 1879-1891: Visions

of an Antipodean South Kensington’, Journal

of Australian Colonial History, Vol. 11, 2009,

pp. 147-66. Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online


Proudfoot, H., ‘Sydney changes scale: The impact of

James Barnet’s Australian Museum building on the

town of Sydney,’ in Coltheart, L. (Ed.), Significant

sites: History and public works in New South

Wales, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1989, pp. 52-66

Rowland, E.C., ‘The story of the New South Wales

railways’, Royal Australian Historical Society

Journal and Proceedings, Vol. 15, Part 5, 1954,

pp. 245-86

Selkirk, H., ‘David Lennox, the bridge builder, and

his work’, Royal Australian Historical Society

Journal and Proceedings, Vol. 6, Part 5, 1920,

pp. 200-43

Smith, J., ‘New insights into Gundungurra place

naming’, in Koch, H. and Hercus, L. (Eds.),

Aboriginal placenames: Naming and re-naming

the Australian landscape, Australian National

University, Canberra, 2009, pp. 87-114

Stephen, A. E., ‘Numantia: A place of disillusioned

aspirations’, Royal Australian Historical Society

Journal and Proceedings, Vol. 31, Part 4, 1945,

pp. 249-276

Haken, J.K., ‘The New South Wales Naval Forces

1863-1902’, Naval Historical Review, reproduced

by Naval Historical Society of Australia, 2007.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Irish, P., ‘Mrs Macquarie’s Chair’, Barani: Sydney’s

Aboriginal History, n.d. Accessed 2 May 2019.

Available online

Lysicrates Foundation, ‘The Lysicrates story, from

ancient Athens to Sydney today’, History, 2019.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

McCarthy L. and Ashton P., (Eds.), ‘Sydney Open

Museum historical survey’, Sydney City Council,

1994. Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Merriman, J., ‘Eurama and Weemala at

Faulconbridge’, Blue Mountains Local Studies,

2009. Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

NSW State Archives, ‘Colonial Museum (1827-1834),

Australian Museum (1834- )’, n.d. Accessed 2 May

2019. Available online

NSW State Archives, ‘Garden Palace fire, 1882’, n.d.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

59

Online reference collections

Australian Dictionary of Biography. Accessed

2 May 2019. Available online

Dictionary of Sydney. Accessed 2 May 2019.

Available online

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Other

‘Alexander Brodie’, Design and Art Australia

Online, 2018. Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Finney, V., ‘A short history of the Australian

Museum’, Australian Museum, 2014. Accessed

2 May 2019. Available online

Penrith City Council, Treasures of Penrith’s

Past exhibition: Celebrating the bicentenary

of Penrith 1815-2015, 2015. Accessed 2 May 2019.

Available online

‘Project 32: Jonathan Jones – Project summary’,

Kaldor Public Art Projects, 2016. Accessed 2 May

2019. Available online

State Library of NSW, ‘History of the library’, n.d.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

State Library of NSW, ‘The Garden Palace’, n.d.

Accessed 2 May 2019. Available online

Newspapers

Curated Trove list


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

NSW State Archives

The Queen’s Album Project Team

Senior Curator: Dr Penny Stannard

Assistant Curator: Bonnie Wildie

Conservation: Elizabeth Hadlow

Exhibition Design: Maria Mosquera

Collection and Digitisation: Anna Gray,

Thomas von Schomburg, Norm Ricaud

Exhibition Support: Angus Hooke

Special thanks to

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley

AO QC, Governor of NSW

Dayn Cooper, Government House, Sydney

Maggie Patton, Margot Riley and Catherine

Thomson, State Library of NSW

Rhian Wong, Royal Collection Trust

John Merriman, Blue Mountains City Council

Gionni Di Gravio, University of Newcastle

Social Media: Anthea Brown

Exhibition Touring: Wendy Gallagher

Create NSW Media and Communications:

Kristoff Clarke, Ted Rose

Exhibition Fabrication: Definitive Group

Thanks to

State Library of NSW

National Library of Australia

Royal Collection Trust

60

Senior Executive Team

Executive Director: Adam Lindsay

Director, Collections, Access and Engagement:

Martyn Killion

Director, Commercial Operations: Ben Alexander

British Library

Bodleian Library

National Archives (UK)

National Portrait Gallery (UK)

NSW State Archives and

Records Authority Board

Chair: Dr Brian Lindsay

Lauren Eyles

Jeffrey Greenwood

The Hon. Justice Geoff Lindsay

The Hon. Shayne Mallard MLC

Alex O’Mara

Elizabeth Tydd

Rodney Wallis

David Walton

Mount Victoria

c. 1880

Glass plate negative [detail]

NSW State Archives

NRS 4481 SH404


61


62

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