Donated Photographic Collection

What is it?

This consists of photos which have been donated to our collection. They must be related to the Cowra area, or people of Cowra, and must be identifiable.

A search of Cowra Family History Group's database can be made and copies of images ordered by either:

(a) calling personally to the family history library during opening hours; or

(b) making an appointment to inspect the collection out of opening hours

(c) All Donated photos can be checked in this index (PDF file, 1.9MB).

Further details available by emailing [email protected] or writing to the Cowra Family History Group Inc.

Download this order form by right-clicking and selecting "save link as" or "save target as", depending on your browser.

Cost is $10 for the first photo, $5 for each additional photo ordered at the same time, and $3 postage (inc. in first photo price). Photos are supplied on CD only, so you can choose the size and method of printing for yourself. If you choose to pay by Paypal, you still need to send an order form to [email protected], including details of which photos you want to order.

First photograph:

Additional photograph(s) [please click once for each additional photo required]:


History of Pardey Collection No. 2

From the 1880s the Pardey Photographic Studio retained most of the negatives of photographs taken in their Cowra studio.
During his association with the business, George Pardey had maintained a register of the negatives. They were identified by number, date, and either the person who had ordered the photographs or to whom they were sent.

The records consisted of a series of hard covered books, laboriously handwritten in pen and ink. (The biro pen was not available at that time). The registers in themselves are of historic value.

At some point a (large) number of negatives were discarded on the local tip. Fortunately George realised the historic value of the negatives and instead attempted to save the remaining negatives for future generations.

When George Pardey eventually sold the business to Don Collins of Fletcher's Fotographics the negative collection was included in the sale.

During the mid 1990s those negatives were made available to Cowra Family History Group to develop. With the aid of a three-year grant some 27,000 images were developed, mostly covering the period 1940 to 1971.

As they were developed, all photographs were identified back to the registers, an enormous undertaking by group members. Members then methodically endeavoured to identify subjects. Although very time-consuming, this task was possibly not as difficult as one would believe - one of the advantages of members and photograph subjects living their lives at the same time in the same small country town!

The group has now placed all photographs into archival sleeves for optimum preservation. This has been made possible by a generous grant from the Royal Australian Historical Society and a donation from the Cowra RSL Sub-branch.

Members also made a number of handwritten copies of the registers. For some time this was the only index by which a search of the collection could be made. However, a searchable database is currently being modified to assist researchers to locate items of interest. This index is now available here.

CFHG Members rehousing and cataloguing Pardey photographs

Why a Pardey Collection No 1 and No 2?

George Pardey presented a series of negatives to Cowra Shire Council in perpetuity for the people of Cowra. They consist mainly of streetscapes and reflect Cowra and its peoples in the mid 1900s. Many of these images are displayed throughout Cowra identifying places and buildings of historic interest. Many businesses also have copies in foyers and offices and waiting rooms for the enjoyment of the public.

When Cowra Family History Group commenced developing negatives some confusion existed as to which organization (Council or the Group) held which photographs.

Subsequently the collection presented to Cowra Shire Council became Pardey Photographic Collection No 1 and the images developed by Cowra Family History Group became Pardey Collection No 2.

Donated Photograph Collection

As residents of Cowra gradually realise the historic value of their individual family photographs, many from previous generations, the question arises as to the best way to preserve them for posterity. Cowra Family History Group is gradually acquiring small collections that will one day grow into a wonderful record of families from this region. When properly archived these images will also become available for the enjoyment and information of future generations.Although in its fledgling stage, enquiries of these small collections may be made by email or by writing to Cowra Family History Group Inc.

Likewise, email or write to the group if you have photographs you would like to be included in this new collection. As well as originals, we are happy to accept good copies, either printed or in digital form.