Celebrating Easter with our collections

Our collections hold a wealth of material, including some Easter-related content for you to enjoy.

Pedigrees, pups and prizes

Woman kneeling on grass with daschund on lead in front of her.
Dora Byrne (also Dora Walford) with her daschund at the Royal Easter Show. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

Do you enjoy the annual Sydney Royal Dog Show at the Royal Easter Show? Here is Dora Byrne, a well-known Sydney socialite, with her champion dachshund at the Sydney Royal Agricultural Show in 1956. Dora Byrne (also Dora Walford) kept dogs throughout her life – wire-haired fox terriers in the 1930s and miniature poodles and miniature long-haired dachshunds in the 1950s. Leslie Walford, Dora’s son and a respected interior designer, sometimes cautioned his mother that it was not chic to keep too many dogs!

This photograph forms part of the Dora Walford Archive in our very own Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection.

Selection of coloured ribbons with names of dogs and a picture of a dog.
Prize ribbons won by Dora's pedigree dogs at dog shows in Sydney, 1931-1933 Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

Bedecked with bonnets

Bonnet, 1885-95
Bonnet, 1885-95 The Hamilton Rouse Hill Trust Collection. Photograph (c) Alex Kershaw.

Are you planning to don or decorate a hat over Easter? Easter is a time of renewal. Traditionally, Christians purchased fashionable new attire, particularly new bonnets, around this time to mark the end of Lent. This stylish olive green velvet bonnet belonged to Bessie Rouse, the grand lady of Rouse Hill House & Farm. Trimmed with beads, ribbons and gold braid, Bessie wore her bonnet for the first time in April 1895 –  124 years ago! According to a recent article in Vogue UK, ‘hats are enjoying a resurgence as a new generation of wearers take up the habit’.

View more bonnets from our collection in Threads of Connection.

Colourful covers

  • The Home, April 1936.

    Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

  • The Home, April 1939.

    Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

  • The Home, April 1942.

    Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

These colourful Easter covers for the The Home magazine were designed by Douglas Annand, a popular and well-known Australian graphic designer. The Home began as a quarterly magazine in 1919 but by 1920 was printed monthly until 1942. Established by tastemaker and artist Sydney Ure Smith, it advocated good design in the home and garden.

You can view our complete archive of original The Home magazines and their colourful covers in the Caroline Simpson Library at The Mint on Macquarie Street.