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Madeleine Say on the photographic collection

For pictures collection manager Madeleine Say, it’s a privilege to work with the Library's extensive photographic archives.

'Photography and Victoria are approximately the same age, so most of our history is covered in photographs'

– Madeleine Say

Madeleine shares some of her favourite images of early Melbourne and family portraits, from daguerreotypes in fragile cases to hand-painted frames in elaborate Victorian photograph albums.

She explains that photography and Melbourne are almost the same age, and that most of our city’s history has been captured on film. From images of solemn family groups waiting patiently for the camera’s exposure to librarians posing in formal dress, these images and more have been digitised by the Library and can be viewed online.