Beef, dripping and housewives …

It was an odd entry.

The Red Cross Journal (Queensland division), published in December 1917, helpfully noted wartime shipments from Australia.

Amongst the items bound for London were: 18,000lbs of corned beef, 3,686lbs of dripping, 818 newspapers and 321 housewives. What the housewives were doing amongst the jelly crystals, bedsocks and carbolic soap the article did not reveal. But there they sat.

This intriguing journal also examined what it was like to be an invalid in a military hospital at Christmas, recorded local branch meetings and displayed advertisements for canned luncheon cheese and condensed milk that ‘engenders vitality’.

The journal is part of a collection of historical items taken to regional Queensland as part of State Library’s QANZAC 100: Memories for a new generation project.

Other items included military medals, an aviator’s certificate, photo albums packed full of black and white images of ships heading to war, diaries and other fragile documents.

Paper conservator, Gajendra Rawat was part of the small slq team who travelled to Maryborough and Logan. He advised the public on how to care for precious World War I memories.

Many of those who attended the ‘caring for First World War collection’ brought old and fragile items in elderly tins and dog-eared folders.

Gajendra said protecting historical items did not need to cost a fortune.

Protecting items in high quality plastic sleeves and storing them in appropriate cardboard boxes is often sufficient. Cataloguing and protecting items from insects was also important, he said.

Gajendra asked workshop participants to consider a ‘disaster plan’ for historical items.

State Library will continue to travel Queensland to help educate and build networks with historical societies and individuals with an interest in World War 1 and the state’s past.

State Library will continue to travel Queensland to help educate and build networks with historical societies and individuals with an interest in World War 1 and the state’s past.

Keep an eye on our website for more events in regional centres. http://qanzac100.slq.qld.gov.au/events/regional-events-for-the-community

Dianne McKean - QANZAC100 Team

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