Notes from The Archivist | Accidental History

notes from the archivist blogs

One of the really interesting aspects of viewing old slides and photographs is seeing what is in the background, behind the central subject matter that was being photographed. If you take the above image which is ‘Agent Orange’ looking towards Parliament House in 1980 you can see that it is immediately contextualised in a time and place.

All you see is the old Parliament House and a hill in its natural state behind the building, which is where the new Parliament House was built.

The same goes with the ‘No-One Goes to MacDonald’s’ image below. The uniform that the staff member is wearing, the menu signage, the cash registers, the newspaper and the interior design are all definitely from the 1970s. The picture is also an historical reference of the first McDonalds retail outlet in Sydney (and possibly Australia).

Whilst this was not the intention of the photograph, all of these images have accidental and significant moments of history.