Batchelder & Co. (active c.1856-95; Australian), & others
Fasti Victorienses: a collection of cabinet photographs of Victorian men of the ‘fifties and ‘sixties
72 albumen silver cartes-de-visite and 3 photographs, compiled by the Trustees of the Melbourne Public Library; album, 44 x 33.5 cm
Acquired c.1865
State Library of Victoria (PCLTAF 229 [H92…])

[reproduction: portrait of Sir Edward Macarthur, Victorian Administrator in 1856 (SLV H92.145)

This collection of photographs, assembled on the initiative of Redmond Barry, has been described drily by Christine Downer (2000) as “a record of the old boys’ network which had ruled Victoria since its separation from New South Wales in 1851.”

The title has its origin in the ancient Roman Fasti Annales (recording the names and achievements of Roman consuls and magistrates), pointing directly to the classicizing aspirations of Barry and his contemporaries.

This series was followed shortly afterwards by the more ambitious “Oval Portrait” series. A number of photographs used for both sets of portraits were taken by the successful Melbourne photographic firm of Batchelder & Co.


Not listed in the early NGV catalogues or acquisition records

The SLV catalogue notes that this series was transferred from the La Trobe stacks in 1986, and then via Manuscripts to the Library’s Picture Collection in 1992. Refer individual entries: e.g. for the photo reproduced above, see However, many of the photographs are not yet available online  

See Christine Downer, “One Country’s Proconsuls,” in Bonyhady & Sayers, Heads of the People (2000), p.63 (quoted), and 127 (n.3), noting the ancient Roman origin of the title; see also Downer in Galbally & others, First Collections (1992), esp.p.75

For the complicated history of Batchelder & Co, which also operated from 1858-62 as Batchelder & O’Neill, see Kerr Dictionary (1992), pp.50-51 (entry on Perez Batchelder, 1818-73, a US photographer who founded the firm in Melbourne in 1854); (accessed 15 Oct.2019), and various entries in the SLV catalogue