Memory House goes State-wide

In 2014 our Memory House exhibition celebrated  the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and textures of Western Australia.

To encourage representation of the entire state, we invited selected regional public libraries to host a Memory House letterbox giving their communities an opportunity to share memories of their area on postcards.

The Libraries set up displays around the letterboxes and held events to facilitate memory sharing and discussion. Libraries decorated their letterboxes in a style that reflected their region.

Broome Library gets into the Memory House spirit, 2014. Photo credit: Broome Library

Broome Library gets into the Memory House spirit with their display, 2014. Photo: Broome Library

There were some outstanding responses from the regions. We thank the following participating libraries and community members for their contributions: South Hedland, Exmouth, Narrogin, Merredin, Broome, Karratha, Dampier, Wickham, Roebourne, Geraldton, Laverton, Toodyay, Busselton and Albany.

View the full collection of letterboxes and postcards at the State Library on the 1 June for WA Day. Here are some of our regional highlights:

Pearl Ashwin (Baumgarten) attended a seniors morning tea at South Hedland Library as part of Memory House. There she was delighted to find an image of herself as a young nurse. Pearl’s photo was featured on a postcard promoting Storylines, an online archive relating to Aboriginal history in Western Australia.

Pearl Ashwin with  photograph, South Hedland Library 2014. Photo credit: South Hedland Library

Pearl Ashwin with photograph, South Hedland Library 2014. Photo credit: South Hedland Library

Pearl Ashwin was one of the first Aboriginal women in Meekatharra to become a registered nurse. In the postcard she is pictured working at Meekatharra hospital. South Hedland Library staff were able to capture this photo of Pearl with her postcard.

Toodyay Library hosted ‘Internment to Enlightenment’, a historical walk and guest speaker presentation by Beth Frayne from the Toodyay Historical Society. The talk began at the Old Gaol Museum and ended at the Toodyay Library, where participants shared Toodyay memories. Among postcard contributions were unique Toodyay smells including, “Coal being shovelled into the boiler of the Toodyay steam train” and sounds such as “Kookaburra’s laughing” and “Bees humming in a jacaranda tree”.

Part

Toodyay Library ‘Internment to Enlightenment’ 2014. Photo credit: Toodyay Library

Merredin’s Local Fine Art Society produced this beautifully painted letter box displaying the vivid colours of the wheatbelt region.

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Narrogin Library hosted an exhibition, ‘seniors through the eyes of youth’ at  Narrogin ARtSpace.  Seniors were paired with young people, and they were encouraged to share their stories. The activity culminated with a photographic exhibition during Seniors Week.

The Memory House regional engagement project was made possible through the generous support of the State Library of Western Australia Foundation and Lotterywest.

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