Buried treasures preserved

The LibraryMuseum team is beginning the mammoth task of assessing about 20,000 archaeological artefacts found below the old Telegraph Station and Town Hall (now the site of MAMA).

A window into Albury’s past was opened when thousands of ‘buried treasures’ were found beneath the site of what is now MAMA in Dean Street.

Excavations during the construction of MAMA in 2014 uncovered more than 20,000 artefacts and fragments from the site’s past when it housed Albury’s old telegraph station and town hall. The items included shoes, bottles, children’s toys, jewellery, clerical tools and shards of glass and other odds and ends.

Intriguingly, many of the items were found in a pit believed to have once been a well.

All of the artefacts were painstakingly collected and with the help of an archaeologist, these small pieces of Albury’s history will be collated and their historical values assessed to decide which should be kept and which can be discarded. A collection management plan with these recommendations will be considered by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage.

The main criteria will be to establish which of the artefacts are unique to Albury. Some of those will then be placed on display or stored at the LibraryMuseum, with an exhibition planned for mid 2018.

The assessment process will be completed by the end of September ensuring that almost-forgotten relics of bygone days will live on for future generations.