Documents, maps and bound newspaper volumes are scattered across the desk as you walk into the Goulburn and District Historical Society's temporary premises.
Conveniently located next door to their Sloane Street permanent home, Saint Clair Villa, volunteers are busily researching, answering enquiries and exchanging friendly banter.
Bound copies of newspapers including The Goulburn Post and its predecessor, The Goulburn Evening Post, provide rich material. The masthead will mark its 150th anniversary with a special souvenir edition on October 28.
"They're definitely a valuable resource, probably the most valuable. They tell a history of the town," committee member Garry White explains.
His wife Robyne has spent years scouring those titles and The Goulburn Herald, which started in 1848. She has assiduously compiled indexes of births, deaths, marriages, obituaries, public events, hotel openings and much more from 1848 to the 1950s. The indexes are available there and at Goulburn Library.
"I started in the 1980s because we (the Historical Society) kept fielding requests about people who had died. I thought 'blow this, we need an index," Mrs White said.
"I just love it - reading back in time, the early descriptions of Goulburn including the emus and birds, the wonderful steams we had during early settlement, who was bitten by a snake and even the scandals. It's fantastic reading."
House auctions carried detailed descriptions of the property and contents and named the owner. They provided valuable insight into the era's social strata, including the affluent on Goulburn's 'Church Hill' and 'West End,' around Bradley and Hurst Streets.
Wool sales were also reported in great detail.
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Aside from bound volumes of The Goulburn Post and Evening Post from 1961 to 1990, the Society also stores local newspaper titles on microfilm. There's much more too, including architect EC Manfred's plans and early town maps.
The Society will shift to a refurbished archives at the rear of Saint Clair once conservation work on that building has been completed.
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