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Page Not Found Free Exhibition

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page not found exhibition
Photo courtesy of City of Melbourne

Managed by the City of Melbourne, the City Gallery serves as a window into the city's life both past and present. Specialist curators often work with artists and filmmakers to present intriguing views of life in Melbourne. Through quarterly exhibitions, residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of artworks and artifacts from the City of Melbourne's Art and Heritage Collection. Best of all, the exhibitions are FREE to everyone.

The stories of Melbourne's taxis as told by the 'Hello Yellow' exhibition makes way for the history of residents hidden in voluminous directories with over 3,000 pages.

Many readers may not be aware of the Sands & McDougall Victorian Directory. Before the age of the internet with access to information at a click of a button, this enormous book contained the names of Melburnian householders, trades and streets.

Staff photograph of owner and staff member standing outside J Kelly Saddler and Harness Maker
Staff photograph of owner and staff member standing outside J Kelly Saddler and Harness Maker (1860s to 1870s) / Photo courtesy of Museum Victoria


This huge annually published directory, some 13 centimetres thick and weighing a few kilograms, recorded such information diligently from 1857 to 1974. Each edition was compiled by walkers combing the suburbs and knocking on doors to obtain the relevant information. It served as the most reliable source of local information about people and places. Today, the Sands & McDougall Victorian Directory is a treasury for historians and genealogists, allowing them to find out who was who, who did what and who lived where. It is a catalogue of the history of the city and its people.

oslo davis page not found exhibition melbourne
Photo courtesy of City of Melbourne


Through the exhibition entitled 'Page Not Found', curated by arts journalist Andrew Stephens and featuring illustrations by Oslo Davis, you explore the stories of Melbourne's past and the changes to the city over 150 years. A near-complete set of the directories will be on display and you will have the rare opportunity to appreciate the immense beauty of these enormous books and flip through copies.

The City Galley with its familiar 2 large windows is located on the ground floor of Town Hall. It is easily accessible from Swanston Street and offers FREE entry to everyone. So make a date with the 'Page Not Found' exhibition this August to November and take a step back in time to a very different Melbourne.
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Why? The City Gallery offers a free exhibition into Melbourne's past
When: Monday: 10am to 2pm, Tuesday to Friday: 11am to 6pm, Saturday: 10am to 4pm , Closed Sunday and public holidays
Phone: 03 9658 9658
Where: City Gallery, Ground floor, Melbourne Town Hall
Cost: Free
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