The Photographs

The Holtermann Collection of Photographs is a unique cultural and social archive of world significance housed in the State Library of NSW. It comprises some 3,500 glass plate negatives of varying sizes depicting life in Australia’s cities, towns and villages during the second half of the nineteenth century. Of particular importance are the many photographs which detail life on the goldfields during the 1860’s and 70’s and the newfound wealth this brought to the burgeoning colony. Primarily the work of Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Bayliss, much of the credit also goes to Bernhard Holtermann whose later patronage and association with the two photographers kept the collection intact and ensured its preservation for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.