Living, working and playing at Mt Stromlo

Mt Stromlo Observatory is known for its outstanding research into astronomy and astrophysics, including the work of Nobel Prize winner and current ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt. Less well known is that Mt Stromlo has a history that predates the establishment of the national capital in Canberra.

Today Mt Stromlo is just a short drive from the main ANU campus in the heart of Canberra but for many years it was an isolated settlement far from amenities. This led workers, and sometimes their families, to form their own close community not just for work but for social support.

The purpose of this exhibition is to use some of the wonderful images the ANU Archives holds depicting living, working and playing at Mt Stromlo to show aspects of the Observatory's development from its earliest days until the opening of Siding Springs in the 1960s. Many of the building featured, including some of the telescopes, were wiped out in the devastating 2003 bushfire.