The Clare Regional History Group was formed in April 1984. It developed in response to a community-felt need for a Collection to house written and photographic materials relevant to Clare and the surrounding area. Since then, through fund-raising, book sales and a $12,000 Bicentennial Grant, equipment and software have been purchased to help ensure that written and pictorial history can be preserved and made readily accessible.
The Collection is housed upstairs in the Town Hall Building, Main Street Clare. The History Group is a fully incorporated, autonomous body which provides the skills, labour and some funding to develop the History Collection as an extension of the Council-owned Public Library facilities.
The Group has gathered an extensive range of material, covering the history of Clare and the surrounding villages, even out some distance to surrounding townships. By interacting with other history groups in places such as Burra and Blyth, it has been possible to establish not only a wonderful collection about the building of a town and its surroundings but also much about the people of various ethnic origins who came to live and contribute to the growth of a lively community spirit. The large range of material in the Collection covers such items of historical value as:
Development of the Group's own index of local material arranged by surname, subject and locality is in hand. The Collection includes an extensive library of books published about the area, as well as family and district histories.
History Group projects have included the reproduction of newspaper articles in a compact form. As an example, material extracted from The Northern Argus includes a series of 13 articles by John Joseph 'Boss' Simons, who had grown up in Clare and gone to Western Australia to a distinguished career. The History Group recognised the wonderful span of Clare's history which they contained, and these articles are now available in book form as The Clare I Remember - Reminiscences of Clare in the 1880s and 1890s.
We are happy to carry out research for people who cannot visit Clare. Over the years since the Group was established in 1984, we have answered hundreds of letters asking for help with family and local history research. We try to answer promptly, but given that all our members are volunteers, a busy tourist season or time to sow the wheat crop can cause delays. We aim to promise a maximum wait of two months.
The Group welcomes enquiries by mail, addressed to: The Research Officer, Clare Regional History Group, PO Box 6, Clare, South Australia 5453. Other contact details are given in "Contact details".
Please enclose a self-addressed envelope. A donation towards the Group's work is always much appreciated. We charge $15 per hour for research carried out, or $3 per entry for BD & M entries transcribed.
The annual subscription to the History Group is A$20. A membership application, giving your name, address and signature, and enclosing your subscription, can be sent to Clare Regional History Group, Box 6, Clare SA 5453.
Members receive minutes of meetings and newsletters, with articles of historical interest, an update of members' activities and additions to the Collection, and excerpts from early newspapers, such as The Northern Argus.
Contact us by letter, fax, email or phone:
Regional History Group
PO Box 6, Clare SA 5453
Upstairs Clare Town Hall
Phone: 08 8842 4100
Fax: 08 8842 4233
Community access to the Collection is available each Thursday and Friday between 1.00pm and 4.00pm except for the month of January. Group volunteers are in attendance and available to assist. A small fee applies for copying and donations from non-members to help the work of the group are always very welcome.