Maitland Libraries Oral History project 2023
In 2023, Maitland Library was the recipient of a grant through the Oral History NSW, contributing to the undertaking of an oral history project with a local focus. This project has produced four powerful interviews with local Maitland residents, exploring personal stories, community experiences and family histories of flooding and life on the Hunter River.
History Week 2023 at Maitland Library
History Week 2023 | Voices from the Past
Who are they and what is their story? As part of this year's History Week, Maitland Library presents a unique collection of mid to late 19th-century carte-de-visite photographs that will inspire a reimagining of the unknown histories of the mysterious sitters and the photographers behind the cameras.
Beyond the Floods
Long before the European settlement of Maitland, this region and the Hunter River (Coquun) has experienced the regular occurrence of flooding.
The region's history of flooding has significantly shaped the nature and physical environment of the city, as reflected in this selection of items from Maitland Library’s Community Heritage Collection.
Much of this display relates to Maitland’s largest flood on record which occurred in 1955. Many of these items serve as significant documentation of the city at key points in its history, from a variety of perspectives, in reaction to continual flooding events.
These responses and calls for action in the aftermath of the 1955 event can be seen in the New Maitland City Plan[The Northumberland County Council] (LIB2022.001) poster and the push to re-site the city.
The gathering of the Maitland community in recovery efforts is evidenced in media reports from the time and its celebration of the region’s regeneration is seen in festivities such as the Carnival of Colour and Trade Fair Souvenir Programme (LIB2022.002).
History week 2022 at Maitland Library
Curating Maitland’s 19th Century Past
Through curating and sharing collection items, Maitland Libraries get hands on with history to enrich the way our audiences understand and commemorate Maitland’s 19th century heritage.
This exhibition presents a range of items connected to our city’s first century of European settlement. They include several early colonial items, which relate to the ways Maitland’s territories, natural resources, and people, were viewed, named, treated, and governed. Other artefacts are presented to explore notions of progress and civility, which inspired various later 19th century Maitland organisations.
Archibald Prize stories in the MRAG Collection
In 2021, the famous Archibald Prize celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Since the first competition in 1921 more than 1500 artists and 6000 portraits have been exhibited in this prestigious portrait prize exhibition. The Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection has many artworks by artists who have won the Archibald Prize, have had their portraits selected as finalists in the prize and have themselves been the subject of finalist portraits created by fellow artists. This Highlights selection of artworks tells some of the Archibald stories and connections within the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection.
The 2021 Archibald Prize exhibition was on display at Maitland Regional Art Gallery from 22 January - 6 March 2022.
Hello Again - it's nice to see your face: Portraits from the MRAG Collection.
On display at MRAG from 15 August 2020 – 14 February 2021, this exhibition reunited many characters from the gallery collection with audiences as the region emerged from a three month lockdown in 2020. This exhibition was a finalist in the 2021 Museums and Galleries NSW Imagine Awards.
Les Darcy is Maitland’s most famous sporting hero. Born near Maitland in 1895, by 1915, aged nineteen, his name, boxing prowess and wide smile were recognised around the world. This is a selection of items from the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection relating to Les Darcy's story.