Title: Coloured map of Mt Wilson, 1870-1934.
Creation date: October, 1934
Creators: Phyllis Mander-Jones, Public Library, New South Wales (NSW), staff member and her younger sister, Mildred Mander Jones.
Where it was created: New South Wales.
Materials: Sketchpad paper, 1 mm thick, 29 cm high. 3 cm wide, watercolour paints, red and black ink.
Collections: Phyllis Mander-Jones aggregated collection of records, 1920-1984.
Collection location: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
Availability: On-site, access is granted with an SLNSW Special Collections Library card.
Why it matters: In the scope of the project, ‘The Archive of the Archivist: Phyllis Mander-Jones and Australian-Pacific History, 1901-1957’, this is an outstanding example of Mander-Jones’ artistic ability, a colonial record of Mt Wilson and Phyllis’ relationship with her sister, ‘Midi’. in this archive collection. Maps, even semi-fantastical representations such as this, can be interrogated to reveal the social and cultural circumstances in which they were created. This map demonstrates Mander-Jones’ versatility as an author, with descriptive terms and poetry, and her work with various visual mediums. The grey-led sketch marks seen under the black ink and watercolour indicate this fantastical map was the result of careful planning by Phyllis and Midi. The women’s account of Mount Wilson carries with it trace evidence of local oral histories, as indicated by the question of whether a Bunyip exists in the local rainforest (see below image), the making of pottery at Stonelodge and the marking of the location where ‘Mr Mynne Divined Water’. This record also indicates colonial settlement trends of the period, with the building of orchards and new roads through the landscape. There are indications Mander-Jones’ had knowledge of cartographic trends, as indicated in the marking of mountains, various foliage and water courses on the local terrain. A worthy item for researchers to examine should they be concerned with Australian mythology, fantastical cartographic representations, cartography, poetry, Australian artists, flora and fauna, and the local history of NSW.
Complimentary collections: Blue Mountains Library: Mount Wilson collection, Mount Wilson Historical Society and Archive
[Located near the title banner]
Here Whipbirds and Thrushes sing.
Deep in the glen
A tinkling stream upon its basalt stones
And on its waterfalls accompanies them.
The magpies whistle on the windswept hill.
But here it is so still
The birds among the trees
Make more ado there than the idling breeze.
Ah happy valley!
I must say farewell
But in my memory shall
Renew thy spell.