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Feature Expedition

Nicholson Museum Visitor Books

Field notesSydney University Museums

From its opening the University of Sydney's Museum of Antiquities, now called the Nicholson Museum, invited visitors to record their names and addresses in a visitor's book. Resting on a table at the entrance to the museum, the first three volumes were a register of all those entered the museum. The fourth and final volume, begun in 1966, is more akin to a visitor book for those who wanted to write a note or comment, rather than a record of their visit. 

Within these books are the names of academics and scholars who helped shape our knowledge of history, school children who grew up to be leading journalists, artists and politicians, the Sydney elite and local characters of colonial and early Federation history as well as the students and staff of the first 150 years of the University of Sydney.

Volume 1 has unfortunately not survived from history. Volume 2 is dated from 6 Nov 1869 to 28 Jul 1906, Volume 3 from 1 Aug 1906 to 26 Oct 1952 and Volume 4 from 1966 until 28 March 2001.

 In this expedition we are asking you to help transcribe the visitor book and help reveal the characters and stories of all those who have been inspired by and contributed to the rich social history of the Nicholson Museum.

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