Exhibition gives the community a snapshot of Cowra's history

Cowra Family History Group Vice-President Margaret Stent and President John Poole at the exhibition.
Cowra Family History Group Vice-President Margaret Stent and President John Poole at the exhibition.

The Cowra Family History Group is giving residents and visitors a chance to see a sample of their collection with a special exhibition hosted by the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.

The exhibition illustrates the wide variety of resources held by the group, covering many geographical areas of Australia not just Cowra.

Cowra Family History Group President, John Poole, said their collection was very highly regarded.

"We are open five and a half days a week staffed by volunteers and we get on average 2000 visitations a year and that doesn't include our electronic inquiries," he said.

"We're supposed to have the best collection west of the mountains, that's been authenticated.

"We're mostly interested in family history from Cowra and the surrounding districts. But we have things for people who don't have connections to Cowra.

"The exhibition shows that, we basically tried to do a cross section of the photos that we have available and the other services we do."

Vice President, Margaret Stent, said the exhibition showed the Family History Group was more then just births, deaths and marriages.

"Where as we try to put flesh on the bones and add what was happening in the town at the time," she said.

"We have over 30,000 photos in the Pardey Collection, redeveloped photos from 1941 to when George Pardey sold and the only way to access the photos is through us.

"So we've got a lot of stuff from the military training camp, deb balls, wedding and baby photos and business photos things like that," she said.

Mrs Stent said she hoped the exhibition would encourage the community to donate photos they weren't sure what to do with.

"The Pardey Collection by definition were all taken by Pardey but we also accept photographs from the public," she said.

"They may come in (with a photo) and say this is my grandfather would you like this copy or we found this (photo) in the attic with this name on the back and we don't want it.

"It's (the exhibition) a way of telling people that rather then destroying old photos if they don't want to keep them, we will document them put them in an archive and allow other people to get copies of them," she said.

The exhibition will run until Sunday, June 30. It has an index of the Pardey Collection for consultation and a list of books the group has published.