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Photographs of suburbs of Melbourne

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3087B

Scope and Contents

An album containing forty-three mounted photographs, uncaptioned and measuring approximately 145 x 110 mm. This family album shows scenes mostly at unidentifiable locations in the Melbourne area.

A sizeable number of these photographs appear to have been taken in the Botanical Gardens, but this is the only location that can be identified with any certainty. The rest of the prints show small family groups in private houses or gardens without well-known landmarks visible. It is however an interesting record, emphasizing the growth that had then taken place south of the Yarra.

The dating of the album in uncertain, but a provisional date has been assigned for two reasons. Mrs Caroline L Montefiore, the original owner of the album, was the wife of Jacob Levi Montefiore (1819-1885), who returned from Australia to England in 1885. Assuming the album was not sent later, but was in Mrs Montefiore's possession, this would date the album to before 1885 - a date which the quality and subject matter of the photographs themselves seem to support. The second point lies in the photographs of the Observatory. 'The Australian Encyclopaedia' states that Grubb's four-foot Cassegrain reflector was installed in 1868. If this is the telescope photographed in Y3087B/39, and if the wooden building housing it is only temporary accommodation, rather than in its permanent location, this would seem to date the picture to around 1868 and the others in the album to within a few years of that date. There is mention of a carte-de-viste portrait of J L Montefiore within the RCS collections but unfortunately the classmark is unknown.


  • Creation: 1865 - 1885

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


43 item(s) (43 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

prints generally in fair condition

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented to the Royal Colonial Institute by the executors of the late Mrs Caroline L Montefiore in July 1901.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Australasia, fiche numbers 65-67.


This collection level description was entered by MJC and WS using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Date information

DateText: The dates are approximate..

Includes index.
2006-08-04 16:27:23+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom