Dead Central — a history
Thousands of people travel through Sydney’s Central Station every day, but how many know its hidden history? Join a specialist panel including Elise Edmonds, Catie Gilchrist, Peter Hobbins and Lisa Murray as they discuss the old Devonshire street cemetery, a place lost to living memory which continues to spark the imagination and fascination of 21st century Sydneysiders.
Elise Edmonds is a senior curator at the State Library of New South Wales. Some three years ago she found herself staring fixated in the Library’s stacks at a series of albums filled with photographs of the old Devonshire street cemetery. These albums, detailing the headstones and the extraordinary biographies of those buried there, were the beginnings of ‘Dead Central’. Elise will be speaking about how this exhibition was developed and some of the ideas behind Dead Central.
Peter Hobbins is Principal Historian at Artefact Heritage Services, who have systematically documented the excavations under Central Station as part of the Sydney Metro West project. Trained as a medical historian, Peter has extensively researched health and disease in Sydney’s history, including his award-winning book, Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past.
Dr Lisa Murray is a public historian and the author of Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide. She works as the City Historian at the City of Sydney Council and has been a visiting scholar at the State Library. Lisa is a current member of the National Trust (NSW)'s Cemeteries Conservation Committee. Her forthcoming book, to be published by the National Library of Australia, is a social history of Australian cemeteries.