British photographic history

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National Archives: Australasia through a lens

Launched in time for Australia Day today (26 January), one can now view images of Australian towns, buildings, landmarks and people dating back as far as the mid 19th century. The National Archives has released online thousands of early photographs and drawings of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and other Pacific Islands.

Archives show many of them were displayed at an 1873 international exposition in London, causing somewhat of a sensation among those with little understanding of life on the other side of the world. But then they were stored away. Staff at the National Archives UK spent the past 18 months digitising and cataloguing them to "show Australians their past".

The site can be found here, and Flickr here. G'day mate!

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