Blue leather album containing 49 photographs taken by Charles Nettleton in the 1890s. The album is labeled 'Melbourne Photographs'.

A set of 42 photographs of Melbourne taken in the late nineteenth century by the commercial photographic studio of Nettleton and Arnest. The collection features significant Melbourne buildings and streets including Parliament House, the Treasury Buildings, St Patrick's Cathedral, the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne University Colleges. Few people feature in the photographs, which are predominantly focused upon architecture. The collection is significant as it provides a visual record of Melbourne's early development, and also reveals the work of an important local photography studio.

Charles Nettleton was a prolific outdoor photographer who worked over a period of forty years in Australia, after moving to Melbourne from the United Kingdom in 1854. In 1867, he was appointed official Royal photographer in Australia and he also worked as the official police photographer for over 25 years in the 1860s - 1880s. His photographs were exhibited at international exhibitions in Dublin in 1865, Paris in 1867 and Sydney in 1879. Nettleton retired in 1890, as new dry plate photographic technology made the wet place process he employed redundant. His photographs are held by major institutions around Australia.

John Mond Arnest's history and association with the firm of Nettleton and Arnest is more obscure. Arnest emigrated from America to Melbourne in the 1880's and was employed by the large photographic firm of William Nutting Tuttle and Co in Elizabeth Street. He operated a photographic studio in Hamilton, before settling in Colac where he lived and worked as a photographer until his death in 1920.

Physical Description

Blue leather album.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Nettleton & Arnest Photographic Studio Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Images & Image Making

  • Acquisition Information


  • Photographer

    Charles Nettleton, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1880

  • Inscriptions

    Title on front cover: Melbourne Photographs

  • Classification

    Photography, Image making

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    280 mm (Length), 210 mm (Width), 20 mm (Height)

  • Exhibition Collection Management

    15 mm (Length), 280 mm (Width), 210 mm (Height)

  • Dimensions

    27.5 cm (Width), 21 cm (Height)
    Measurement From Conservation.

  • References

    C. Nettleton, Melbourne illustrated by photographs. First series . Melbourne : C. Nettleton, 1868 C. Nettleton, Nettleton's photo-views of Melbourne & suburbs [picture], c. 1890 Jack Cato, (1955), The story of the camera in Australia' (Melbourne: Institute of Australian Photographers). 1975 Allan Sierp, Colonial Life in Victoria: Fifty Years of Photography 1855-1905, (Melbourne, Rigby Ltm), 1972 Alan Davies & Peter Stanbury, The Mechanical Eye in Australia: Photography 1841-1900, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press) 1985 Leigh Hammerton as photographed by J.M. Arnest Colac and district, 1896-1920. Maiden Gully [Vic.]: Crown Castleton, 1990. Picture Australia

  • Keywords

    Albums, Rural Landscapes