Welcome and Ela. The Virtual Coquun - Hunter River Project is a collaborative endeavour begun in December 2000 which aims to create a digital repository of early accounts and descriptions of the Hunter Region.
Dr Glenn Albrecht has prepared an excellent paper entitled "Rediscovering the Coquun: Towards an Environmental History of the Hunter River" where he attempts, through a series of historical accounts, to provide a view of how things have changed with the River over time, and calls for continuing ecological restoration work and the establishment of a native sense of place by restoring the Aboriginal place names with their English equivalents.
The Special Collections Team in the Auchmuty Library contains a fantastic collection of historical research material relating to Newcastle and the Hunter Region. There are a number of important early accounts from individuals who travelled through the region and wrote descriptions of what they saw. Unfortunately, not many people in the wider community know about them.
In recent times, the book Novocastrian Tales (Newcastle: Elephant Press, 1997) edited by Mr Paul Walsh, brought together a large number of stories relating to the history of Newcastle. This project will expand on that work.
Our dream is to one day create an interactive virtual Coquun-Hunter River as an educational tool that we can sail up at different time periods (e.g. Aboriginal dreaming, 1797, 1800, 1810, 1830, 1860, 1900, 1950, 2000 etc.) and where we can access digitised historical materials such as scanned accounts from books, diaries, oral history transcriptions, paintings, photographs etc, that have been incorporated into various points along the journey.
If you see this as an interesting idea, why not contact us with any suggestions and comments. If you wish to sponsor the digitisation of a particular sourcework, then view our benefactors page for more information on how you can assist us in our endeavours.
Gionni di Gravio
Special Collections Unit