Photos document city’s historic life

September 4, 2021 BY

Old world: The former Red Shop Tea Room on Sturt Street features in the Max Harris Collection. Photo: SUPPLIED

AS the home of the Max Harris Collection, the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute is encouraging more residents and businesses to engage with the photographs in their care.

The BMI’s Sam McColl said the Collection of thousands of historical images, dates to the early-settlement period of Ballarat, until modern times.

“The collection was purchased by David and Jenny Haymes and donated to the BMI for us to look after as caretakers. It was previously owned by Max Harris,” he said.

“We have photos of Sturt Street before there were many buildings, early airplanes, to old Begonia Festivals. It’s a very valuable collection and something we want more people to know about.”

Prints, DVDs and postcards are available at the BMI’s online store, and soon there will also be a range of 90-by-60-centimetre jigsaws, which could be then framed and hung.

The BMI is currently working to market the collection to local enterprises, who could present a photograph, or a few, on their premises.

“They might like to put a large print on their wall to showcase the building they work in or lease,” Mr McColl said.

“At the moment, we’re identifying local businesses that might take value in some of these photos.

“Photos of our collection can be seen on the wall at Bakery Hill McDonalds, at IGA Pleasant Park, and there is now a massive colour print of the old Bridge Street service station on the wall of the Indian Motorcycle shop on Main Road.”

Visit to purchase items from the Max Harris Collection, or to discover more information.

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