Ballarat's heritage brought to life in historical photos

To mark Heritage Weekend, we replicated old photos of Ballarat from the book Ballaarat Golden City: A Pictorial History. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

To mark Heritage Weekend, we replicated old photos of Ballarat from the book Ballaarat Golden City: A Pictorial History. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

MAX Harris has been collecting historic photos of Ballarat for around 40 years and has a collection of about 3000 which he has worked tirelessly to restore. 

"It's my passion," he says.

See below for a "then and now" photo gallery of Ballarat.

The semi-retired Ballarat photographer's first historical photographic book Ballaarat Golden City: A Pictorial History was published in 1989, produced in conjunction with John Reid and John Chisholm. 

To mark Ballarat Heritage Weekend, The Courier photographer Lachlan Bence has replicated some of the images found in the book to create an amazing snapshot of the city then and now.

Mr Harris said being a photographer had opened up a lot of doors for him in finding photos to add to his collection. 

"It is hard for me to find new historic images of Ballarat now, but I do get excited when I see something new," Mr Harris said. 

"When I see an old photo, I know straight away if I have it in my own collection or not." 

Since his first book, he has done four others.

He is in the process of producing a second edition of his Panoramas of Ballarat, to be released in limited numbers mid-year. 

Max Harris with book Ballaarat Golden City: A Pictorial History. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Max Harris with book Ballaarat Golden City: A Pictorial History. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Mr Harris said many Ballarat people adored historic photos.

"A lot of old buildings remain in Ballarat, so you can trace history through the photos a bit," he said.

"It's a bit romanticised, when you see a building your familiar with an old car or a hose and cart out the front. It's a bit of a trip down memory lane." 

Although, Mr Harris said he was surprised that younger generations were interested in his stuff. 

"Whenever I have an exhibition, younger people come and have a look." 

Some of Mr Harris' collection will be on display this weekend as part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend, with about 50 photos exhibited in the foyer of the Mining Exchange.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Ballarat Heritage Weekend

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11

WHERE: Venues around Ballarat

MORE INFO: ballaratheritageweekend.com

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