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History Festival

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Presented by History SA, this event is all about South Australia's history! It is one of South Australia's largest community events and promotes the State's wonderful collections, places and stories.

The History Festival began in 2004 as SA History Week and has grown each year, becoming a month-long festival in 2011. Each May South Australians explore history through hundreds of events which range from talks to tours; walks to workshops; exhibitions to special events.

City of Adelaide has been one of the major sponsors/supporters of the History Festival since its inception and also provides free events for the public.

Discover the amazing range of City of Adelaide events by category as a part of the 2018 program below. 

Events of the week: 23 - 31 May 

Wednesday 23 May, 10:30am & 1pm Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the Streets of Adelaide (Talk/Presentation)

Friday 25 May Portraits and Panels of the Council Chamber (Tour)

Monday 28 May, 11:30am – 12:30pm Adelaide Town Hall Tour in Mandarin (Guided tour)

Monday 28 May, 10am – 11am Adelaide Town Hall Tour (Guided tour)

Thursday 31 May, 5pm – 8pm Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls Walking Tour Launch (Guided Tour)

Thursday 31 May, 10am – 12pm Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success Bus Tour (Guided Tour)

 

 

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More Information

For more information about the History Festival or to access the full list of events, please see History SA's South Australia's History Festival page.

Past events

2017

'Market Meander' Walking Tour Booklet

'20th Century Heritage' Bus Tour Booklet

 

2016

'Holy Sunday' Bicycle Tour Booklet

'Walk and Talk North Adelaide' Walking Tour Pamphlet

Adelaide: 100 Years Ago Archival Display

2015

'Hidden Gems' Laneway Bicycle Tour Booklet

Rundle Mall 'Above the Canopy' Walking Tour Booklet

The 'High Street': A Self-Guided Historical Walking Trail Digital Version (Tynte Street, North Adelaide)

2014

City of Great Buildings Walking and Cycling Tours Booklet

Black and White Adelaide Display

Heritage Incentives Scheme – 25 Years of Successful Funding Display

Treasures of the Torrens Popeye Tour Booklet

2013

Tales and Treasures of the Adelaide Park Lands Bus Tour Booklet

City of Great Buildings – People’s Choice Campaign

2012

Pubs in the City of Adelaide Bus Tour Booklet

2011

Pubs and Pews of North Adelaide Bus Tour Booklet

2010

Heritage Incentives Scheme – North Adelaide’s Success Stories Bus Tour Booklet

2009

Heritage Incentives Scheme – Heritage in 2009 Bus Tour Booklet

2008

Heritage Incentives Scheme – Restoring Heritage for Today’s Use Bus Tour Booklet

More Information

For more information about any of the events above, please contact Meagan Cox, Heritage (Promotions) Officer, on (08) 8203 7521 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For more information about the History Festival or to access the full list of events, please see History SA's South Australia's History Festival page.

Launch Events

Gallery of First Australians: Part One by National Museum of Australia

Wednesday 16 May, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

City Library, Level 3, Rundle Place, Adelaide

Event details

Join the National Museum of Australia for an interactive live video tour of the Museum’s largest exhibition. Explore the history of human occupation in Australia and the diversity of Indigenous responses to the continent’s many different environments with the help from a museum educator.

Adelaide Town Hall: Organ Recital

Wednesday 16 May, 1pm – 2pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Come and experience the Adelaide Town Hall Organ in full flight, when international concert organist Martin Setchell returns to Adelaide for this special event!

Open Door Program

Saturday 28 April, 11am – 1pm

North Adelaide Community Centre

The NACC is going to open its doors on the Saturday 28 April 11am-1pm as part of the Open Doors program. Graeme Lange is coordinating this via the NACC Advisory Committee and he will be putting together a program of speakers from Founders of the NACC as the NACC is celebrating 20 years this year.

Guided Tours

Adelaide Town Hall Tour

Monday 7, 14, 21 & 28 May, 10am – 11am

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers will guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history, its world famous organ and Colonel William Light.

Adelaide Town Hall Tour in Russian

Monday 7 May, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building in Russian. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history and its world famous organ.

Adelaide Town Hall Tour in German

Monday 21 May, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building in German. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history and its world famous organ.

Aboriginal Cultural and Political History in Adelaide

Friday 25 May, 10am – 12pm

Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga

Uncle Frank Wanganeen, Kaurna Elder, Mandy Paul, Director Migration Museum and Uncle Ivan Copley, a Peramangk and Kaurna Elder will share the Aboriginal Social and Political History that has occurred in the city squares. Tour starts: Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga, finishing in the Mankurri-api Kuu Room, Town Hall for morning tea.

Adelaide Town Hall Tour in Mandarin

Monday 28 May, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building in Mandarin. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history and its world famous organ.

Talks/Presentations

Colonel Light Tales

Thursday 3 & Tuesday 22 May, 10:15am, 12:15pm & 2:15pm

Adelaide Town Hall  

Event details

Hear an overview of William Light’s colourful life: from Penang, England, India, Spain and Italy to South Australia. The talk will be given by volunteer guide Glen Woodward in the Colonel Light Room. Listen to the history, then view the museum display.

Heritage Community Forum: Economic value of Heritage to our Cities

Thursday 3 May, 5pm (for a 5.15pm start) to 6.45pm

The Banqueting Room, Adelaide Town Hall, 128 King William Street

Event details

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor Martin Haese invites you to a heritage community forum featuring international expert Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics and Heritage Strategies International in Washington, DC.

Donovan Rypkema will present on the economic benefit of historic preservation, neighbourhood revitalisation and the reuse of heritage buildings.

Portraits and Panels of the Council Chamber

Friday 4, Tuesday 15 & Friday 25 May

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Wander among the portraits and panels in the ornate heritage room and gasp at the gossip of Adelaide’s notable men with guide Glen Woodward.

Song and Dance in the Archives

Friday 11 May, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

City Library

Event details

Watch the National Archives break into song with this talk exploring the performing arts. Our copyright collection includes gems such as musical scores for the 1885 Adelaide Arcade Grand Polka, an early 1942 song by Slim Dusty; and script and music from the 1956 play The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Immigration records reveal visits to Australia by the Ballets Russes in 1936, Fred Astaire in 1959 and the Beatles in 1964; other records to be discussed include nineteenth century patents for musical instruments, events in support of the WWII effort and submissions to the 1970s National Anthem competition.

Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success Bus Tour

Thursday 17 & 31 May, 10am – 12pm, Tuesday 8 & 22

Out the front of the City of Adelaide's Customer Centre

Event details

Sit back and relax as we take you on an exciting tour of some of the most successful, interesting and complex conservation projects funded during the 30 years of the City of Adelaide’s Heritage Incentives Scheme.

Women of Substance and the Paradise of Dissent Presented Dr Jeff Nicholas

Thursday 10 May, 10:30am & 1pm

 Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

Of the 58 people named in Adelaide’s streets and squares only two were women. They were Queen Victoria and Maria Hack (née Barton). However, there were at least six strong, powerful and influential women standing in support of their husbands, friends and relatives who were promoting the colonial experiment.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the Streets of Adelaide Presented by Dr Jeff Nicholas and Glen Woodward

Wednesday 23 May, 10:30am & 1pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

To celebrate the 181st birthday of the naming of Adelaide’s streets and squares, come and hear Dr Jeff Nicholas in conversation with guide Glen Woodward and Graham Rees; the great, great nephew of the infamous Newgate prisoner, Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

Exhibitions

Colonel William Light: The Light of the City

Thursday 26 April - Tuesday 3 July

History Hub, City Library, L3, Rundle Place

Event details

This exhibition celebrates the founder of Adelaide and the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, Colonel William Light, and features a selection of significant highlights from our City of Adelaide Civic Collection.

Bringing Adelaide’s History to Colour

Throughout May

Adelaide Central Markets

Event details

The City of Adelaide has partnered with Brazilian colourist Marina Amaral to bring Adelaide’s history to colour for this digital exhibition. A selection of black and white archival photographs representing various moments in our history are presented in colour along with their stories.

Our North Adelaide

Weekdays during May, 10am – 4pm 

North Adelaide Community Centre (enter via the Library doors)

Event details

See heritage in a new light. Students from North Adelaide Primary School, one of South Australia’s oldest primary schools, have been busily creating amazing artworks representing historic North Adelaide. Using watercolours, charcoal, lead pencil and ink, these masterpieces are not to be missed!

The Story of Muriel Matters

Weekdays throughout May, 9am - 5pm 

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details

A series of historic displays throughout the Town Hall showcase the archival and Civic Collection treasures that explore the history and people that have shaped our city. Located in the Southern Gallery is an exhibition on the Adelaide-born suffragette, Muriel Matters. Presented in partnership with Muriel Matters Society.

North Adelaide Community Centre

Throughout May

North Adelaide Community Centre

Display of archival photographs, early plans etc of the Community Centre coordinated by volunteer Graeme Lange

Self-Guided Tours

Choose your Adventure in North Adelaide

Weekdays throughout May, 10am – 4pm 

North Adelaide Community Centre

Event details

Call past the North Adelaide Community Centre and grab a copy of one of the City of Adelaide's three self-guided walking trails; 'The High Street', 'Folks on the Hill' and 'Marvellous Mansions, Cottages & Castles'. Can't decide...? Collect them all!

Choose your Adventure in the City of Adelaide

Throughout May: Weekdays, 9am – 5pm  | Weekends,10am – 4pm 

Adelaide Visitor Information Centre

Event details

Call past the Adelaide Visitor Information Centre and grab a copy of one of the City of Adelaide's two self-guided walking trails; 'Above the Canopy' and 'City of Great Buildings'. Can't decide...? Take them both!

Holy Sunday Self-Guided Bicycle Trail

Throughout May, 10am – 4pm 

Bicycle SA, 53 Carrington St, Adelaide

Event details

Head to BikeSA and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's 'Holy Sunday' self-guided bicycle trail. Discover the 'City of Churches' at your own pace and explore the history and architecture of our religious buildings. You can hire a bike and a helmet for free too.

Market Meander Self-Guided Walking Trail

Throughout May: Tuesday - Thursday,10:30am-2:30pm | Friday,10:30am - 8pm  | Saturday 9am-1pm 

Adelaide Central Market Information Booth

Event details

Head to the Central Market Information Booth and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's 'Market Meander' self-guided walking trail. Discover the precinct and gain an understanding of the architecture, the people and the stories. While in the area, why not stop for lunch?

Multicultural South West Self-Guided Walking Trail

Weekdays throughout May, 9:30am – 5pm 

Adelaide South West Community Centre

Event details

Head to the Adelaide South West Community Centre and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's 'Multicultural South West' self-guided walking trail. Discover the architecture, the people and the stories that make up this very unique corner of the city.

Self-Guided Tour: Heritage & Folklore

Throughout May

Adelaide Visitor Information Centre

*Heritage & Folklore* takes you on a self-guided journey through history. Having undergone multiple changes in the last decade, listen to and learn about the highlights of some of the beautiful heritage listed facades located above the shop fronts, signage and canopies in Australia’s first pedestrian mall.

Village in the City: Self-Guided Walking Trails

Weekdays, 10am – 5pm | Saturdays during May 10am - 2pm

Hutt Street Library

Event details

Head to the Hutt Street Library and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's 'Village in the City' self-guided walking trail. Discover the architecture, the people and the stories that make up the distinctive south east corner of the City.

Program Highlights

Celebrate 100 Years of Croquet in SA

Sunday 6 May, 10am - 4pm

 Hutt Road (corner Glen Osmond Road)

Event details

The South Australian Croquet Association is proudly celebrating its Centenary with free croquet all day. Learn how to play croquet and watch the exhibition game with Lord Mayor, Martin Haese, and Lady Mayoress, Genevieve Theseira-Haese. Prizes will be awarded for best period outfit! 

Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success Bus Tour

Tuesday 8 & 22, Thursday 17 & 31 May, 10am – 12pm

Out the front of the City of Adelaide's Customer Centre

Event details 

Sit back and relax as we take you on an exciting tour of some of the most successful, interesting and complex conservation projects funded during the 30 years of the City of Adelaide’s Heritage Incentives Scheme.

Women of Substance and the Paradise of Dissent

Thursday 10 May, 10:30am & 1pm

 Adelaide Town Hall

Event details 

Of the 58 people named in Adelaide’s streets and squares only two were women. They were Queen Victoria and Maria Hack (née Barton). However, there were at least six strong, powerful and influential women standing in support of their husbands, friends and relatives who were promoting the colonial experiment.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the Streets of Adelaide

Wednesday 23 May, 10:30am & 1pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Event details 

To celebrate the 181st birthday of the naming of Adelaide’s streets and squares, come and hear Dr Jeff Nicholas in conversation with guide Glen Woodward and Graham Rees; the great, great nephew of the infamous Newgate prisoner, Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

Bringing Adelaide’s History to Colour

Throughout May

Adelaide Central Markets

Event details 

The City of Adelaide has partnered with Brazilian colourist Marina Amaral to bring Adelaide’s history to colour for this digital exhibition. A selection of black and white archival photographs representing various moments in our history are presented in colour along with their stories.

Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls Walking Tour Launch

Thursday 31 May, 5pm – 8pm

City Library, Level 3, Rundle Place, Adelaide

Event details 

Adelaide City Libraries are excited to announce the launch of 'Adelaide Ghost and Ghouls Walking Tour'. Join us at the City Library for the official launch before embarking on the tour itself, presented by historian and paranormal researcher Allen Tiller.

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