Lost & Found: Australia's Hidden Treasures (Alice Ford, 2012) is a set of ten 5–6 minute stories behind hidden treasures in the New South Wales State Library.
The ten items or objects, in the order they are presented, are:
- Tasman map (1647)
- Letters between Sir Alfred Douglas and his lover (1900s)
- Australia's earliest photograph (1845)
- Italia Libera organisation (1940s) files
- Mary Bryant's tea leaves (1791)
- A message from Ross and Keith Smith in a bottle
- Rimini antiphonal (choral manuscript) (fourteenth century)
- A lock of Mary Shelley's hair (1851)
- Indigenous language lists (1880s–1890s)
- Macquarie collector's chest (early 1800s)
Cartoonist Warren Brown presents the story of each object in a humorous and engaging way.
What do these have to do with teaching Australian history? Each is an object that can be 'interrogated'. While some of the objects and their stories are connected to peripheral aspects of Australian history, they can open up ways of stimulating students' interest in exploring curriculum-related areas. They are 'teasers', and the analysis of – and stories behind – these objects can lead students into an engaged inquiry. This skill of analysing objects, including museum objects, is itself a skill that is mandated by the Australian Curriculum for History.
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