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The GLAMorous field of History

During the months of lockdown last year, the Archives team worked to develop online access to the many treasures of the Wesley archive collection for the whole community to enjoy.

The transition to online began in 2015 with the digitising of the Chronicle and Lion magazines. But it was the lockdowns of the past two years that really emphasised the need for a more prominent online presence of Wesley’s collections in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) space. We needed a system to deal with the range of historical, text-based, art and photographic materials located physically and electronically all over the College and to facilitate storytelling and highlight areas of interest.

There is a popular assumption that Archives only deals with ‘old things and old ways’, but it is becoming highly technical and creative, using increasingly sophisticated digital media to display and store vast amounts of material.

To support our work, we have moved to a new online platform, Recollect, for storing, displaying, researching and telling Wesley’s great stories. Recollect started in New Zealand and is now the archival platform for a number of universities, libraries and local councils, including the State Library of South Australia, the University of Newcastle NSW and City of Sydney Museum. Wesley College is the first school in Australia to use this platform.

With the volume and variety of information available and new contributions being received all the time, it really is a work-in-progress and an area ideally suited for those studying Information Technology or Visual Communications to think about as a career.

To access Wesley’s new archival database visit https://wesleycollege.recollect.net.au/ or use the QR code provided below. It really is a GLAMorous industry!

QR Code

Margot Vaughan Curator of Collections

Explore the collection

The Wesley Archives and Art Collections website contains information on Art, Images, Military Service, People, Objects and Publications. Here’s a brief overview of what you can find:


The Wesley College Art Collection comprises timeless pieces donated and acquired in support of artistic appreciation and education.

Collections include Alec Cato, Lindsay Family and Theodore Penleigh Boyd (as part of the Alec Cato collection), Indigenous Art, Modern Art, Norma Bull Collection and Student Acquisitive Art Prize winners.

Gum Trees, created with water-colour by Harold Brocklebank-Herbert in 1939.

The Indigenous Art Collection has recently been on show and a virtual tour has been created by Carlos Ramirez-Polanco and John Sheehan from the Glen Waverley Art Department, together with Bart Rutherford. It can be viewed here: https://wesleycollege.recollect.net.au/nodes/view/1162

Anyone interested in Wesley College’s Indigenous Art Collection is warmly invited to join us for a viewing and introduction to selected works at Sofi’s Lounge, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne on Thursday 22 September to mark NAIDOC Week. Full details can be found here: Public Exhibition of Wesley's Indigenous Art

Indigenous art_latest


A collection of photos and moving images across the history of Wesley College from Cricket, Football, Gellie Collection, Gymnastics and Rowing.


Adamson Hall, with WWI gun (1920s)


This significant collection comprises information about people, publications and objects honouring Old Collegians and their service during wartime.

Information for this section has been largely contributed by Philip Powell (OW1973), former Vice President of Council and author of Come on Lads: Old Wesley Collegians and the Gallipoli Campaign, which provides a short history of the over 200 OWs who served in the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign.

Soon to be uploaded is the nationally significant Balfour Papers. These are duplicate copies of documents relating to WWI as recorded by John Balfour (OW1907) and donated to the College by his grandson, Colin French. The originals are held at the Australian War Memorial.

Come on lads


Here you will find stories and information about the individuals who have contributed to Wesley: Principals, Teachers and Sporting greats. We receive many requests from family historians and welcome the opportunity to add to our database. Contact us if you have something to share.

LA Adamson

L.A Adamson Headmaster, 1902-1932

JA Prout

J. A. Prout standing beside the scoreboard highlighting his world record score of 459 (March 1909)


This is where you will find information about many varied, personally donated objects and materials from Wesley College like the collection of Medals awarded to William Organ Willis (OW1893) and this Lion cap badge from 1947.

The bust of a bearded Othello by Italian sculptor Pietro Calvi, created in marble and bronze circa 1877, now stands in Cato Hall at the St Kilda Road campus. But it originally belonged to L.A. Adamson and was left to the College after his death in 1932.

Lion badge

Lion cap badge (1947)


Here you will find historical copies of Chronicle (started in 1877), Gift books (started in 1949), Lion magazine (started in 1962) and Silver and Green (started in 1931), which became Coolaroo in 1972 until its last edition in 1988 and Wesley Song books.


Wesley College Chronicle 001

Do you have something to contribute?

We often receive requests from family historians and welcome the opportunity to add information about past students, families and events to our database. If you have information that you would like to share or something of historical significance that you would like to donate to the Wesley community, please contact archives@wesleycollege.edu.au

>> Visit Wesley archives to find more
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