Perth Observatory treasures to be put on show

Heritage items collected by the Perth Observatory over the past 120 years will be put on display after the organisation received a Lotterywest grant for the project.

Founded in 1896, the observatory has a rich collection of instruments and documents, including 100-year-old telescopes, meteorological instruments, clocks and chronometers, architectural drawings, glass photographic plates and working papers.

The grant will allow for the development of an interpretation plan and allow for heritage and design consultants to be appointed.

Perth Observatory media and marketing co-ordinator Matthew Woods said the grant would also allow the observatory to improve its collection and better arrange its items.

“It’s 120 years this year, so we’ve got a whole heap of things that haven’t been properly numbered,” Mr Woods said.

“Some of the items have needed to be refurbished and there’s other bits which have been laying around in the basement which are finally getting to see the light of day.

“The University of Maryland brought the first digital camera used in WA to be attached to one of our telescopes. We made one from the same design and that was the first WA digital camera ever used, so that was in the basement and we managed to pull it out and it’s now on display.”


120-year-old Astrographic Telescope PHOTO: Matthew Woods