Discovering Mildenhall's Canberra: Photographs from the birth of our capital

More than 7,000 photographs of Canberra in its early years form the basis of an online project to celebrate the city’s upcoming centenary. Captured on glass plate negatives, the images were taken by government photographer William James Mildenhall between 1921 and 1935. They provide an intimate view of how the city developed using draft horses and manpower, as well as aspects of its domestic and community life.

The project, Discovering Mildenhall's Canberra: Photographs from the birth of our capital has been created jointly by the National Archives of Australia and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. As well as offering a glimpse into the city's past, it also enables viewers to engage with Canberra's heritage – by adding stories or rephotographing the sites as they are today and uploading them. The website is part of both organisations' programs to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra in 2013.

Viewers can explore the Mildenhall collection and add their thoughts and photos at http://mildenhall.moadoph.gov.au/

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    Kingsford Smith in flying helmet with crowd, 15 June 1928
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    Parliament House rear stairway under construction, 1926
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    School children and school bus, 1926
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    Parliament House landscape development with horse teams, 1926
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    Roadworks in progress with manual labour, 1929
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    Swimmers at Manuka Swimming Pool, Manuka Circle, Kingston, 1932
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    Capitol Theatre and Manuka shops from Manuka Oval, 1934
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    Roy Rowe with wife and son at home in Eastlake (Kingston) 1927
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    Arrival of National Library books at Parliament House by truck – people pictured include Harold L White and K Binns, December 1926
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    William James Mildenhall with his Armstrong Siddeley motor car, registration number 27, during the Royal Visit in May 1927
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    Policeman at East Block (now the National Archives of Australia) wearing a helmet, October 1927
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017