Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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403748
  • Title
    Ward family collection
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 6927
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    1831 - 1983
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    403748
  • Physical Description
    30 boxes and 3 outsize items - 5.43 Meters
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (typescript)
    Textual Records - (typescript, photocopy)
    Textual Records - (typescript, carbon)
    Textual Records - (typescript, processed)
    Clippings
    Textual Records - (printed)
    Photographs
    Drawings
    Moving Images - motion pictures
    Paintings
  • ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

    American-born Hugh J. Ward (1871-1941) was a comic actor at the time he toured Australia in 1899, accompanied by his wife, the soprano Mary Grace Miller. He retired from the stage in 1911 and took up a position behind the scenes as Managing Director of J. C. Williamson Ltd. The Wards were enthusiastic fund-raisers for a number of charity and patriotic causes. During his theatrical career Hugh J. Ward had acquired a collection of playscripts formerly belonging to his colleague, Frank Hawthorne, and the papers of scenic artist and theatre manager, W. J. Wilson.

    Melbourne (Mel) Ward (1903-1966), naturalist, was the younger son of Hugh J. and Mary Grace Ward. Educated in Sydney and in New York, he left school for a stint on the stage where he shone at acrobatic dancing and in pantomime roles. His expertise in marine biology, a hobby from his youth, and natural history was honed over a number of field and research trips to the Great Barrier Reef, Northern Australia and New Guinea, the Pacific and the United States. He was appointed an Honorary Zoologist of the Australian Museum in Sydney in 1929, and made a Life Member of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales in 1947.

    Mel Ward was an avid collector of Australiana and anthropological material from the Pacific. A Blue Mountains identity, Mel brought his passions and knowledge to the public through his Gallery of Natural History and Native Art at Medlow Bath, which ran from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, and its branch the Pyala Museum at Echo Point, Katoomba. He married Halley Kate Foster in 1931.
  • Scope and Content
    I. Papers, 1831-1983, including those of Hugh J. Ward, Mary Grace Ward and Melbourne (Mel) Ward
    II. Pictorial material, ca. 1884-1967, including family albums & photographs; portraits (chiefly of entertainers); a selection of photographs belonging to Mel Ward; portrait of the late Melbourne Ward
  • System of arrangement
    This collection comprises 12 record series. You may navigate to a more detailed description of each series from this collection record.
  • Source
    Presented by Kerry Cramp and the Australian Museum in 1987-1989, 1999-2000 Pic.Acc.6864 and Pic.Acc.6974 combined
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
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