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Tasmania - Archival Collection

Records of the Industrial School for Girls - Hobart (1862 - 1945)


The Records of the Industrial School for Girls - Hobart, held by the University of Tasmania Special & Rare Collections, date from 1862 to 1945. The records include minutes, admission registers, a list of the girls, accounts, annual reports, miscellaneous papers, and 2 photographs of the School. They are a rich source of information about the circumstances and experiences of individual girls, life at the school, and decisions made by the Committee.


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  • Minutes of the Management Committee (June 1862-February 1945) - The committee met monthly to deal with all aspects of the School's life. Their minutes contain information about the staff, meals, bedding, the girls' clothing, their activities (mostly needlework, laundry, and schooling), the circumstances of their parents, reasons for committal, behaviour, and illnesses or deaths, as well as destinations and progress after leaving the home. They name a number of girls. They also include the handover of the School to the Salvation Army in 1945. There are some newspaper clippings, mostly concerning Annual General Meetings.
  • Minutes of the Governors and Trustees (July-November 1882) - concern plans, estimates, and tenders for repairs to the roof of Kensington House, Davey Street.
  • Admission Registers (1864-1895 and 1869-1888) - contains names with the ages and dates of admission, under whose authority a girl was admitted, for instance, a Justice of the Peace, and the length of time she spent in the School. The Registers sometimes include the date of discharge, where the girl went to work, and the names of the parents. There are two overlapping volumes, possibly kept by two people. After 1880, the entries seem to be irregular.
  • List of Girls (1902-1945) - this list is alphabetical. It contains basic information about the names, ages, dates of admission, and dates and places of service for most of the girls. In some instances, the entries are fuller, including the religions of girls, their condition on arrival, who they married, and their behaviour.
  • Treasurer's Expenditure Accounts (1882-1930 and 1930-1934) - contains information about spending on wages, food, clothing, fuel and light, printing, furniture, repairs, and soap.
  • Girls' Pocket Money (25 October-December 1913) - a little notebook recording small amounts of money belonging to the girls and held by the School. The Matron gave money to the girls for pocket money or expenses.
  • Miscellaneous Committee Papers (c1910-1945) containing a draft of amended rules and a proposal for teaching cookery; a letter of resignation from Assistant Matron Spotswood in 1910 because 'I do not feel equal to the duties'; a letter to the Matron from Ada Hume about the health of a girl employed by her; an offer of damaged goods from an ironmonger; letters about the estate of Miss CA Fry (1921 and 1946): a list of girls in 1941; a notice of the meeting to confirm the transfer of the School to the Salvation Army in February 1944; inventories (1939 and 1945); and a newspaper cutting about the transfer of the School (1 February 1945).
  • Annual Reports and Regulations (1867, 1879-1944, 1867-8, 1879, 1882, 1886, 1888-90, 1944) They concern milestones of the School, its financial situation, staffing, donations, and outings or treats. Children who die are usually named.
  • Constitution (1925)
  • Photograph of the Industrial School at Barrack Square (1883) - the photograph shows part of the building and a group of girls and staff.
  • Photograph by Albert Sargeant of Maylands, designed by Henry Hunter and originally owned by John Pearce. The Industrial School for Girls took it over in July 1924.

Prepared by: Caroline Evans