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Caught on film: The story of Melbourne’s original visual archive

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Author(s): Benjamin Thomas

Journal: EMAJ : Electronic Melbourne Art Journal
ISSN 1835-6656

Issue: 3;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Art History | Collections History

ABSTRACT
The University of Melbourne’s Fine Arts slide library, now held within the collections of the Elisabeth Murdoch Library, is the earliest and one of the most significant collections of its kind in Australia. It owes its founding to the introduction of the discipline of art history at a tertiary level at the University in 1947 through the newly created Department of Fine Arts. So central was it to the teaching of art history that the inaugural Herald Chair of Fine Arts, Professor Joseph Burke, had already begun to assemble the library prior to leaving England. It is a unique collection, one that has been at the very core of art historical teaching and research in Melbourne for more than half a century, and it and its history are thus of major significance in the history of art education in Melbourne. This article presents the history of the establishment of the collection.

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