The original owner of this very significant album was John Green the superintendent of Coranderrk. It was given to the Museum by his descendant. In an interview in 1968 with family members, A. West (Museum of Victoria) recorded that the captions were written by John Green. Originally it was thought that the album belonged to Charles Walters and that he had gifted it to John Green. However it is now unclear as to whether only the photographs were presented and it was actually John Green who compiled the album possibly some years later. He most definitely annotated the photographs with people's names some time later. The photographs were taken by Charles Walter between 1865-66. The compilation of the album years after the photos were taken could explain some of the discrepancies in dates. The other interesting aspect of the album that supports this premise of John Green either compiling the photos in the album or, at the very least, annotating them many years after their creation, is that the identifications are first written in pencil, sometimes crossed out and then rewritten in ink. It was almost as if Green was attempting to recall names. A number of the portraits, especially of elders such as Simon Wonga and William Barak have very elaborate handwritten identifications below their portraits.

The first page of the album features a photograph of Coranderrk with a handwritten title in black ink below the image, 'Coranderrk and my Aboriginal Friends' and to the bottom right of a page the attribution, 'Chl Walter, Photographer'. Charles Walter was commissioned by Redmond Barry to take photos of the Coranderrk residents for a display in the Intercolonial Exhibition of 1866 after Barry saw this photo depicting Coranderrk Aboriginal Station reproduced in the Illustrated Press [25th August 1865, p.9]. Opposite page 8 of the album there is a newspaper article, dated August 22, 1903, titled 'Death of King William Barak' with a photo of William Barak with his hat, walking stick and dog.

Physical Description

Hard bound 19th century album consisting of 24 sheets to which 108 albumen photographs are attached with an adhesive. First four pages include 5 larger format photographs depicting scenes at Coranderrk Aboriginal Station. The remaining 103 are oval shaped portrait photographs of Coranderrk residents. Original inscriptions are in ink with annotations and corrections in pencil.

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