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CUA streetscapes

In the 1970s, concerned by the destruction of Victoria’s building heritage, a group called the Committee for Urban Action (CUA) photographed an extraordinary number of streetscapes in inner-city Melbourne and regional towns. The huge collection of more than 2000 reels of 35mm film – over 70,000 photographs in all – was donated to the Library by Barbara Nevin on behalf of the CUA in 1977.

A vast Google-style photographic survey, the CUA streetscapes capture inner-city and regional architecture in the late 20th century. The details in these images offer a rich record of urban life and form the basis of the heritage overlays still used in town planning today.

Our 2014 Annual Appeal raised funds to make this amazing legacy accessible to an even wider audience of students, artists and historians. The pilot project has seen the digitisation of 3000 images from the collection, focusing on streetscapes from inner-city Fitzroy and the regional town of Castlemaine.

'the details in these images offer a rich record of urban life'