The Vic State Library is an amazing resource with a huge collection of digitised images. Whilst browsing their collection recently, I came across these delightful images of the Wardell Children who spent their childhood in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula during the early 1900’s. The images were a gift to the library by Ms. Jennifer Wardell in 2007.
They are unlike the stiff, studio portraits most common of this era. The photographer, Edward Stanfield Wardell was the father of these children. He captured his family playing, exploring and simply being children. These images not only record a likeness of the children, they tell a story about how they spent their days living in this ideal part of Australia.
The images may not be strictly posed, however it is obvious from many of the photographs in the collection that they were carefully curated. The limited resources available at the time to produce these types of images however are what fascinates me. Wardell was obviously a person of means. He served as Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint between 1904 and 1915. He was able to afford the camera and glass slides needed to create these beautiful images, a resource not available to most families of the time. He was also a great story teller. I am sure that many of us would wish for such a collection of images recording our family history.
Here are a small collection of the images I have restored, many of which did not require much work at all due to the amazing quality of the original glass slides. Do you have a favourite?
Browse the Victorian State Library digitised archives for these and other great images here.