Views and Scenes


'The Three Sisters Katoomba Mrs Vivian, Muriel Vivian and Rosamund', Katoomba NSW 1898. Photographer: E.B. Docker. HP82.7.46

The taking of landscape views and local scenes, as well as any newsworthy events, was a favourite subject for late 19th century photographers. As travel became easier with the expansion of railways and leisure time increased, the publishing of views in newspapers, railway guides and tourist literature brought the country to the city. The new postcard trade in the early 20th century saw the widespread dissemination of these images.

The HPC holds many photographs of views and scenes, mainly of Sydney and NSW, but also other areas of Australia and the Pacific, located across the collections. Popular formats of stereographs and postcards are well represented.

The following list details significant collections by skilled amateur photographers who made large collections of landscape views. See also the work of the commercial photographers, who made views for sale.

Robert Hunt Collection

1855-1892; Over 400 items; Views of and around Sydney, also of family and friends; HP81.106; HP83.53; HP89.19; HP89.30

E.B. Docker Collection

1890-1914; 54 stereographs; Views around Sydney, mainly of the Blue Mountains; HP82.7

Cecil Harnett Collection

1910s-30s; Over 2000 items; Views of Sydney, particularly the northern beaches, and NSW, family and holidays; HP85.9; HP89.4

The View trade – Tourist Literature

As tourism grew, and travel by rail and road became easier, many photographers had their view photographs published in tourist literature – booklets, brochures and guides, and postcards. Representative examples are held in the HPC collections. Examples are the booklets published on Sydney and the Blue Mountains area by H.H. Phillips, or a rare European publication for travellers, 'Waterloo Views and text’ published in 1873 by the Belgian Royal Society of Photographs.