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Carriers’ Arms, south-west corner, King & Castlereagh Streets, 1864-1866 SPF...

Carriers’ Arms, south-west corner, King & Castlereagh Streets, 1864-1866 SPF / 179. Presented from the estate of C.H. Bertie in 1953.

Charles H. Bertie (1875-1952) – librarian and historian – collected a large number of pictures over his lifetime. These pictures – an encyclopaedic array of portraits, views of Sydney, photos of ships, and all manner of people and places - were presented to the Library by A.B. Bertie in 1953.

Since 1953 they were kept in the Small Pictures File in the Mitchell Library Reading Room – filed in alphabetical order by person, place or ship. The Charles H. Bertie pictorial collection has recently been the focus of a project to itemise and describe each item in the online catalogue – which means the collection is now fully searchable.

The span of the collection is broad - portrait subjects include the expected well known colonial figures such as Captain Arthur Philip, Rev. Samuel Marsden, Lachlan Macquarie and John Macarthur - but the collection also covers artists, journalists, politicians, musicians and writers – anyone of note!

The places file will take you from Mount Abrupt in Victoria to Zig Zag railway station in the Blue Mountains, NSW, via many detailed views of Sydney - with sub-sections for banks, barracks, breweries, bridges, cemeteries, churches, circular quay, defences, ferries, halls, harbour and islands, hotels, libraries, markets, monuments and statues, parks and gardens, public buildings, railways and tramways, residences, schools, shops and offices, social life, streets, suburbs, theatres, toll bays, water supply and sewerage and wharves.

The hard-copy pictorial collection provides a strong holding of historical use: pictures of places that are now substantially changed or demolished and people that may have fallen out of living memory.

The Charles H. Bertie pictorial collection can be searched here and the images can be viewed in the Library’s special collections area.