Digital Project Preserves Port Lincoln History

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Digitisation, preservation, Axel Stenross Maritime Museum


Photographs that have been stored in the Port Lincoln Library archives for many years have finally been able to see the light of day through SA175 History SA grant funding. These photographs include people, places and events of local significance that are now accessible to the community on the computer in the Dorothy Stagg local history room in the Port Lincoln Library. Some photographs belonging to the Pioneers and Descendants’ Club and the Port Lincoln Times have been included in the development of the database. In excess of 2,000 photographs have been digitised with many other collections remaining that could benefit from digital technology.



Sections of the historically relevant Eric O’Connor Collection have also been digitised.  This collection has recently been rehoused in the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum, where storage facilities are better able to maintain the collection’s integrity. Volunteers at the Museum have been digitising these photographs on council’s behalf. Council used the SA175 grant funds to pay for this service provided by the Museum.  The photographs are available for viewing at the Library as well as being on show at the Museum.

Discovering pictorial evidence of Port Lincoln’s history has been both exciting and interesting and will be of value now and provide reference for future generations.  Funding through the SA175 grant has provided the impetus and vehicle to allow an insight into Port Lincoln’s history. Additionally, the funding has also enabled increased sharing of historical knowledge between the library and community members, effectively enriching the database and opening conversations with individuals, groups and services across the community.


The project far exceeded expectations, with community interest running high! Library patrons continue to be held entranced by the digitised images scrolling on a slideshow. Various individuals, groups and agencies have made special visits to the Library to view the photographs including day care and school groups.  Copies of the disk have been made on request with a copy going to the Pioneer and Descendants’ Club.  The photos capture the spirit of the development of the city in the early days, local identities including council elected members and early residents.  Buildings of significance and many that no longer exist are recorded and brought back into view.  The project has enable photographs, which for many years were held in storage, to be readily accessed by all the community in an engaging and appealing way.  It has also ensured the preservation of these valuable images that record and mark the history and development of Port Lincoln. 

(contributed by City of Port Lincoln)


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looking for photos of port lincolns first school house

You can contact the Port Lincoln Library on (08) 8688 3622. With such a large photo collection they're likely to have what you're looking for.

Would like to know if there is any photos of Early Aboriginal people post and after settlement in your collection and the history of the Aboriginal people in Port Lincoln
History SA has a number of images of Aboriginal people, but we don't generally allow access as they haven't been cleared by community members. They are mostly copies of images that are available elsewhere - e.g.Elder expedition, and the ones that aren't reproduced elsewhere we don't generally know anything about. Copies of everything in the State Glass Negatives collection were given to the State Library of SA in about 1912, and we have very little, if any, images of Aboriginal people after then.

My mother trained as a nurse in Port Lincoln 1957, I have a couple of photos of aboriginal patients in the hospital would anyone be interested?

Hi Kathryn The families of the patients might be interested in these images. I would suggest contact the local history section of the Port Lincoln library for their advice

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