This weekend is not only the Federal Election but also the beginning of NSW History Week, 2013 Picture This.  Unlike the election, in History Week the choices are real, the content is authentic and the historians involved are fully costed.

Now in its 16th year, History Week is one of the largest, most diverse and successful History Events in Australia.

The link to the full program is here, but a few highlights of the week ahead are worth talking about.

Dulcie Deamer dressed for the 1924 Artist Ball
Dulcie Deamer dressed for the 1924 Artist Ball

The big show kicks off Saturday night with the Artist Ball, a full blown party night based on the wild and wildly successful artist balls that were a feature of Sydney’s bohemian lifestyle  from the 1920s until the 1970s.  Based on the 1933 Ball, the event is being held on Level 7 of David Jones Market Street Store.  DJ’s On Seven is itself a magnificent space that was traditional used for balls, exhibitions and events and is now reopened.  Ongoing for the week On Seven is the recreated Yellow House gallery, again themed around the (in)famous artist gallery in Kings Cross.  The History Council of NSW is proud to present five Australian artists’ works (for sale) based on historic muses from Sydney’s artistic past.

At Mitchell Library on Tuesday and Wednesday a two day symposium presented by Macquarie University and the History Council of NSW examines history and the media.  Historians, journos, radio and TV producers, writers and presenters get together to look at media and history.  A series of workshops over the two days goes further to help with practical skills and techniques for those in or hoping to get in to the industry.  The symposium includes the Annual History Lecture, this year presented by award winning journalist Chris Masters.  Masters will present his lecture titled The Battlelines of News and History, reflecting on journalists role and their influence on history, particularly in the world of military and political history.

Across the water at the Australian National Maritime Museum on Wednesday 11 September a symposium exploring the use of digital platforms are being used in our major cultural institutions to showcase their collections.  Speakers include Dr Lisa Murray City Historian and Chair of the Dictionary of Sydney Project.

There is plenty happening, for example on Saturday 14th you could go and see the upper gallery’s of Sydney Town Hall and their rarely seen portrait collection; all week the Hurstville Museum and gallery has a free photographic exhibition of local faces and people; on Tuesday Marrickville Library has Graham Shirley from the National Film and Sound Archive talking about the NFSA and Commonwealth’s first long term cinematographer; on Sunday 15th, Stanton Library at North Sydney is taking a walking tour (amongst other things) around the suburb including the site of Bernard Holtermann’s house;  on Monday night at the Grasshopper Bar in Temperance Lane in the city, four historians tackle the old adage that a Picture tells a Thousand Words-but can it be done in ten minutes?

There are events all over Sydney (and across NSW).

It is the premier history event in NSW (not to mention the NSW Premiers History Awards on Thursday night).

Come along.  We’ll see you there.