Colonialism and its Aftermath

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Projects 2008

The Portable Convict Solitary Confinement Box/ Separating Myth From Fact

One of the items currently on display in the convict gallery at TMAG is a portable solitary confinement box. It is popularly assumed that this was employed as a dunking device on outward-bound convict vessels. The successful candidate will be required to place this object within a wider context by making a study of punishment practices on board convict transports. The candidate will also be expected to provide research for the cataloguing and future interpretation of the box.

Collecting Indigenous Artefacts In Tasmania

TMAG holds an extensive collection of Aboriginal artefacts and other associated materials. In both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many individuals and some families contributed to this collection. With the Tasmanian Aboriginal collection as the focal point, the purpose of the project is to provide an overview of the practice of collecting in Tasmania in either the nineteenth or twentieth century, including an exploration of the various motives behind the impetus to collect. In addition to an Honours thesis, it is hoped that this project might also reveal where some of the other Tasmanian collections have gone.

The Baily Diaries

The Baily diaries form part of a significant collection of material relating to Harry Baily a Gallipoli veteran who recorded his observations and experiences in a straightforward manner in his war diaries. These diaries follow his life from joining the forces as a stretcher bearer and training in Tasmania to travelling to Gallipoli. He was evacuated from Gallipoli and ended up working with the Engineers in England for the rest of the war, eventually returning to Tasmania with his new bride.

Magistrates' Bench Book

A collection of Magistrates Bench Books have recently been acquired by the Museum. They cover arrange of dates and locations. It is anticipated that the candidate will select one book and analyse the records and relate it to the events of the time and context in which it is written. The candidate will examine its significance and provide a strategy for the interpretation of the records as a whole.

Chinese Art In Tasmania

Recently a significant collection of Chinese pottery was donated to the Tasmanian Museum and Art gallery by the Wong family. It has augmented an existing collection of Chinese artwork in the Gallery, the nature and history of which has not yet been systematically recorded. The project would consist of documentation of the Chinese art works in the gallery and the history of their origin and donation, plus the mounting of a small exhibition of selected works, to illustrate this unique history.

TMAG Supervisor - Peter Hughes
UTas Supervisor, School of Asian Language & Studies - Kaz Ross

Mary Walsh Convict Letter

In 1843 James Walsh, an Irish farm labourer wrote a letter to his wife Mary who had been transported from Ireland to Van Diemen's Land the previous year. It is a letter that displays deep emotion from a husband left back in county Tipperary, responsible for their two sons, who laments the loss of his wife and pleads for some way to join her. 160 years on the letter has been acquired by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. It bears little of the creases one would think if it was clasped to the heart and read daily. Did Mary ever receive the letter? Did James ever see his wife again? Theories abound that Mary left Ireland to meet up and remarry. Apart from one small misdemeanour Mary's record is silent! Did the family left in Ireland survive the famine? What was the outcome?

TMAG Supervisor - Elspeth Wishart
UTas Supervisor, SEJEL - Danielle Wood