Photographs, Justice & Police Museum Collection

The Justice & Police Museum Collection includes a rich repository of photographs relating to policing, social history, events and activities.

Access to the museum’s photographic collection is regularly requested by people from all over NSW, ranging from family historians to heritage architects. It documents important and lesser-known people, places and occasions from the 1860s until today. Currently, the bulk of the collection can only be viewed at the museum by appointment or through low-resolution collection database images.

This project aims to digitise a curated selection of the photographic prints and NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive negatives to provide people with online access to images reflecting the stories of their families, communities and regions. Digitising the images will help to preserve the original material by reducing handling and will capture images from unstable cellulous acetate negatives before they disappear forever.

The digitisation will allow curators to create exhibitions and publications in new formats for broader audiences to access. For example, an online story exploring the history of the goldmining town Kiandra in the Snowy Mountains, which not only claims to be the birthplace of skiing in Australia but also has links to the Kelly gang through Ned Kelly’s brother Jim. The 2020 bushfires all but destroyed the historic police station and courthouse, but its story remains part of the museum’s photographic collection, ripe for sharing online.

Original glass plate negatives from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive arranged on a lightbox.

2023 Annual Appeal: Preserving our Past

Funds raised will assist us to continue our work to digitise the significant collections in our care.