Author: Public Record Office Victoria

This month marks the 114th anniversary of the commencement of the Victorian Gold Jubilee Exhibition, held at Bendigo from 13 November 1901 to 14 May 1902.

Here, Dr. Michele Matthews from the Bendigo Regional Archives shares the story of the two volumes created to record the details of this exhibition, available to order and view at the Bendigo Regional Archives Centre:

The volume of greater interest has the sub-heading “Entries” on its front leather cover. The hundreds of exhibits displayed in the exhibition were itemised in detail.

The name and address of each exhibitor, a description of each exhibit, its value in pound and which display court it was allocated to are all listed. The courts were numbered from one, or had titles like “Machinery”, “Agricultural”, “Naval & Military Court” and “Art”.

The female visitors to the Exhibition were able to view exhibits deemed suitable for the fairer sex and located within their own “Women’s Court”. There were exhibits such as “Parasols & Umbrellas”, cotton and haberdashery from Manchester and Staffordshire, “Corsets & Embroideries” from Paris.

The most valuable exhibits were mining machinery such as Taylor Horsfield’s £850 “Air Compressor & Rock Borer”. “Bohemian Glassware” brought down from Sydney was valued at £600.

The profits from this Exhibition were used to fund the sculpture known as the Gold Monument, which still gazes along Pall Mall (from the McCrae Street end). The Exhibition’s Cash Book shows payments, which totalled £1160, were made to then up and coming sculptor C.D.Richardson. Recently a City of Greater Bendigo staff member used both these volumes to write a detailed report about this monument, for Heritage Victoria.

VA 2389, Victorian Gold Jubilee Exhibition-Bendigo Cash Book, 1 vol.
VA 2389, Victorian Gold Jubilee Exhibition-Bendigo Cash Book, 1 vol.

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