Inverell District Family History Group makes historic move to local library

Beryl Shepherd, Gloria Baldwin, Kathy McLeod, Judy Piscke, Steve Day and Muriel Resta busy packing up the huge collection.
Beryl Shepherd, Gloria Baldwin, Kathy McLeod, Judy Piscke, Steve Day and Muriel Resta busy packing up the huge collection.

Members of the Inverell District Family History Group are packing up the huge collection in preparation for their relocation to the Inverell Shire Public Library.

No longer will the group be hidden away down the end of Otho Street.

President Kathy McLeod said the relocation ensured longevity of the group, relieved financial pressure and allowed Inverell’s historical resources to be one spot.

“The library is a really good public space, giving us more visability in the local community. Hopefully we’ll be able to help more people, attract more members and promote interest in local history,” she said.

The library will temporarily close for renovations to extend the local history room, making way for the group’s collection.

“We have about 15-20 active members who all share an interest in history. We help people find out about their family history, we help businesses find out history about their buildings and do research.”

Apart from the packing keeping the group busy, members are also digitising over 20,000 images gifted to them from the Devine family.

“George Devine senior was a photographer who came to Inverell in the early 1900s. The Devine Photo Studio was here for the best part of the 20th century,” she said.

The negatives are mainly portraits dating back to the early 30s right through to the 70s of various weddings, kids, babies, debutantes and families.

The group have put a call out on their Facebook page to ask the community for assistance in trying to identify people in the negatives.

“A lot of the negatives only have a single name of someone on them, mainly who may have purchased the photos,” she said.

People wishing to view the collection, or find out more about the history group can pop down to the library from June 17 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Kathy said the group were excited about the move and were very appreciative of the council and library for their support.

“The great things is that aspects of our collection will be open to the public in the local history room, even if we aren’t there.”

Like ‘Inverell District Family History Group’ on Facebook to stay up to date and see photos from the Devine collection.