It's refurbishment time again in the Parnell Building and the old Lecture Demonstration Preparation Room behind 7-222 is up for a makeover.

This is about the last place in the building that has not had one before, and there was one corner I had never combed for treasures. Access was restricted by a pile of old equipment and the computers which link the world to the Pitch Drop Experiment, which I dared not disturb for fear of the Wrath of the Net. There was a large cabinet of drawers containing glass lantern slides used in lectures in the 50s and 60s, and a stack of boxes of 35mm slides used after that. These are worth preserving, especially as some of them show research work current at the time. But one box turned out to be rather more special for me:                                 

It is a card index of 'instruments' and 'lecture equipment' ranging over the time from 1911 to 1957 when the department was at Gardens Point. Many of the cards give acquisition dates and purchase prices. Both I and John Mainstone have looked unsuccessfully for many years for such a listing. Now we have it. Eventually it will be a source of sadness as we see how many instruments we have lost, but for the moment, we are thrilled to have this extra documentation of those that have survived.

Norman Heckenberg.