Recently digitised photographic gems from the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society’s image collections


Join us at the Hannan's Club

Thuesday 17th May 2018

5.30pm to 7.30pm



Since 1946 the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society (EGHS) has been dedicated to the collection and preservation of Goldfields history. Throughout this time there have been many acquisitions, none more meaningful to our community than the various photographic collections which hold our City’s memories.

In 2017 the EGHS embarked on a digitisation project of their substantial negative collection, which was made possible with assistance from the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. With over 60,000 images in care, which comprise of negatives, albums, slides and photographs, it was crucial to start work on the most critical collections, namely the Dwyer McKay and Williams Collection. 

All three photographers were well known in their era’s and contributed significantly to creating the vision of Goldfields life. Pioneering JJ Dwyer is by far the most iconic of all photographers over the history of the Goldfields. His images are etched onto delicate glass plates and portray a wealthy and bustling early days of our Goldfields town. As technology progressed in those early days for photographers, more efficient methods and materials were introduced making photography more accessible to the masses. By the 1920’s cellulose negatives coated in nitrate solutions were the preferred negative of choice for being light in weight and easily processed.

Little was known of how these negatives would age, and as the decades passed by, it was soon to be discovered that they were a ticking time bomb. As we make progress on preserving these delicate and volatile memories of our past join us as we reveal the hidden treasures recently uncovered of our Goldfields history.

Cover Photo Credit: EGHS, MG-613-Cooks-Orchestra-GN8-001-W 
Mr Cook’s Orchestra performed at many private and public functions, including fundraising events for the Red Cross during World War One, in Kalgoorlie and Boulder from approximately 1914 to 1921. A particularly popular event seemed to be “Euchre Party and Dance” – if you didn’t want to dance you could always play cards!


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