So, how do you tell the story of Liverpool in just 60 items? Well, no one said it'd be easy!
Inspired by the British Museum's The History of the World in 100 Objects and motivated by the fact that the Liverpool Historical Society is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, it's a challenge I set myself. And curating it has been a fascinating journey of discovery.
One of the major challenges was space. The society doesn't have its own museum to display its collection of some 10,000 objects.
Most of the objects therefore had to fit into one large display cabinet recently bought thanks to a Liverpool Council grant and located in our work/archive room in the car park under Liverpool library.
Another challenge is the strength of our collection. How do you narrow down 10,000 items to just 60?
The objects selected had to best reflect the social development of Liverpool across its long timeline.
From an Aboriginal grinding stone to a convict-made brick which was recovered from the 1830s' Sophienburg estate.
There's an entry token to the Liverpool Memorial Olympic Pool and a very personal object -- Merv Pickering's Liverpool Bowling Club hat.
They each tell their own story of Liverpool's local government and our educational, business, sport, religious and social institutions.
A few of the most significant objects on display are large items, too large in fact for the display case.
There's the display board of Liverpool RSL's original executive dating back to 1929 and a photo collage of Liverpool's aldermen and senior staff from 1936.
There are uniforms of Liverpool Girl Guides, the Bulls Rugby team and the Brass Band that adorn our new mannequins, also bought with a Liverpool Council grant.
Perhaps the jewel in the crown is a wonderful oil painting of MarySadleir, the daughter of Liverpool's first mayor, RichardSadleir, dating back to 1854.
The History of Liverpool in 60 Objects opens this Saturday afternoon, noon to 4pm, in the society's work/archival room, Eber's Bunker, in the lower car park under Liverpool library. Then open every Monday from 10am to 1pm or by appointment.
Liverpool Historical Society has researched, explored and cared for Liverpool's history since 1959. Donations of items welcome. Meets with speaker on the second Saturday every month, February to November, Crossroads Hotel's function centre, 1.30pm. Tours of historic places around Liverpool.
- Details: facebook.com/LiverpoolNSWhistory.
- Glen op den Brouw is the president of the Liverpool Historical Society, 0403 107 496.