An extraordinary and haunting series of 80
portraits of World War One soldiers from NSW, selected from the State Library’s
photographic collection, will go on show in a free display at the Harry Bailey
Memorial Library from December 7.
of War: The Crown Studios Project is a travelling display of photographs
from 1918 of soldiers from across NSW who were invited to have their portraits
taken in Sydney by the leading photographic studio of the time, Crown Street
Studios, before embarking overseas.
Crown Studios’ proprietor Mark Blow created
a collection of over 1,600 portraits. Unfortunately, the project was never
completed. A fire at the Studio in December 1918 hindered the collection
process and, while copies of the portraits were protected in a fireproof safe,
the Studio did not re-open again until 1 July 1919. The remaining collection
was subsequently donated to the Mitchell Library, now part of the State
State Library Exhibition curator Louise Tegart
said: “The information on the back of each print is just as moving as the
portraits themselves with personal details handwritten, including whether
soldiers made it home or not.”
The State Library has released a collection
of the portraits on Flickr Commons – New South Wales Servicemen Portraits
1918-1919 – located here.
OFFER FOR COFFS HARBOUR RESIDENTS
any Coffs Harbour residents discover a family member on the State Library’s New
South Wales Servicemen Portraits Flickr set, the State Library will provide a
digital file of the portrait free of charge. To secure a digital print simply
email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details and a link to the
The exhibition can be seen at the Harry
Bailey Memorial Library on the corner of Coff and Duke Street from December
7-17 during normal opening hours.