Two original plans for the Victoria Theatre Newcastle by architect James Henderson, and dating prior to 1888, have been located in a chance find amongst the papers of the Colonial Secretary, located at the State Records Authority New South Wales.
Jane Ison, a historical researcher into the Newcastle Industrical School for Girls at the James Fletcher Site, located the two original plans of the Victoria Theatre whilst conducting her own research combing the Colonial Secretary’s In Letters (CSIL) Index held by the Newcastle Family History Society.
The actual reference is SRNSW (Colonial Secretary In Letters) 88/9883 [1/2717]. The plans are attached to an 1888 letter that sheds no further light on their origins.
Victoria Theatre Newcastle NRS905 [1_2717] 88_9883
Plans Etc Showing Entrances To And Escapes From The Victoria Theatre Newcastle, James Henderson Architect NRS905 [1_2717] 88_9883
We sincerely thank Wendy Gallagher, A/Manager of Archives Control who kindly re-digitised the plans in higher resolution for us. They will no doubt be of use to the Revive the Vic campaign and their social media counterparts that are attempting to secure a better future for landmark historical building, recognised as the oldest existing theatre building in New South Wales.
Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist, Chair Hunter History Initiative/Coal River Working Party
4 December 2015