Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
This image is part of the Colonial Office photographic collection held at The National Archives UK.
The Royal Society’s museum was established in 1846, by the Royal Society of Tasmania, the oldest Royal Society outside England. However, in truth, the Museum was founded much earlier, possibly as early as 1828, when collections of various kinds of animal and plant life had been started, catalogued and preserved. Initially housed in the Customs Building, which later became Parliament House, Hobart, the museum then moved to Harrington St in 1852, where it paid £60 a year in rent for a hall there.
In 1861 funding was acquired from the state government to construct a museum and the Royal Society hosted an architectural contest. Henry Hunter won and was awarded the contract to design a permanent building for the museum. Henry Young, Governor of Tasmania, laid the cornerstone in that year. The Museum was completed by 1862 and a celebratory art exhibition was hosted by Morton Allport, Henry Hunter and Captain F. E. Chesney. The art exhibition’s objective was to raise money for internal fittings of the building, as the money allocated by the state had only covered the construction of the building.
Showing the Royal Society’s Museum (now known as the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery). Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Original photo was taken ca. 1868.
From the collection of: