Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra
The Mildenhall collection consists of over 7000 fascinating archival photographs of early Canberra, captured by William James Mildenhall in the 1920’s and 1930’s. While the collection has previously been available online in a basic form, the images could only be accessed one-by-one and the interface didn’t encourage exploration. Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra is a collaborative effort between the National Archives of Australia and the Museum of Democracy at the Old Parliament House which aims to bring the collection to life for a new generation of users.
We’ve constructed a set of interactions to allow people to engage with and expand upon the collection: our aim is to not only construct a system for showcasing some amazing photographic material, but to create a public forum where the community collaboratively contributes to a significant historical resource.
Contributions to Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra can come in many forms: amendments to metadata, geolocating the photographs and tagging as well as general dialogue in and around the context of the photographs. We’re all excited to see how the resource will evolve over time.
For me the coolest aspect of the project is the rephotography and I’m really interested to see how adventurous people will get in recapturing Mildenhall’s compositions – particularly some of the more interesting ones. You can even upload rephotographs through our mobile-optimised version of the site while out in the field.
This was a very satisfying project to work on first up here at Icelab and gave me a new appreciation for the history of our capital. For instance, did you know that Canberra once had prohibition? Anyhow, if you liked this piece or any other in our portfolio and you want the same level of quality for your next project then please don’t hesitate to [make contact]/contact).