When I heard what the National Library was looking for I couldn't believe my luck! Here was a request to write history (my day job) about fishing (my moonlighting activity). I guess the question was, how? How to capture that sense of wonder across time, of changing practices and attitudes to Australia and its environment.
Joan Lindsay’s classic mystery novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, was first published 50 years ago. The National Library is marking the occasion with an event, ‘Where’s Miranda: 50 Years of Picnic at Hanging Rock’.
Here are six things you might not know about the book and its author.
In February 2016, near the end of a bright, hot summer, the National Library of Australia welcomed long-anticipated changes to the Copyright Act with genuine excitement. For the first time in its history, the Library could at last collect electronic publications under the legal deposit provisions of the Act.
As a teenager, history was one of my favourite school subjects. While my girlfriends were reading about fashion and make-up, I subscribed to an illustrated history magazine! No doubt that early contact with retelling history in an accessible way—combining factual ‘storytelling' with historical images such as political cartoons, posters, newspaper cuttings and photographs—influenced the way I now present history to young people through my Heritage Heroes series.
A Closer Look at Pigments
The Preservation team at the National Library of Australia have recently been working with a number of amazing items that are now on display as part of the Melodrama in Meiji Japan exhibition. Many of these include stunningly beautiful and brightly coloured Japanese woodblock prints, also termed Kuchi-e (pronounced ‘koo-chi-eh’), literally translated as ‘mouth-picture’. A major part of the exhibition were the prints donated by Professor Richard Clough from 2011 to 2014.
A policeman’s lot was certainly not a happy one in colonial Brisbane, a rough frontier town with an exploding population and alcohol fuelled violence.
I first discovered the letters of Banjo Paterson's mother Rose—around which my new book Looking for Rose Paterson: How Family Bush Life Nurtured Banjo the Poet is based—in the course of my PhD research some 16 years ago. I was searching the National Library's Manuscript Collections for correspondence and diaries that might provide evidence about what kind of music Australian pioneer women played, and where and when they performed.
What did you do in the war, Mummy?
A whole lot more than most people think, or remember, according to some Trove-driven research emerging out of New England, in northern New South Wales.
One of the biggest challenges a book designer faces is to create a cover that is not only engaging but also reflects the content within. Covers speak to readers. They may say ‘I am for a young reader', ‘I am historical' or ‘I am a funny'. Many decisions made by the designer affect the readers' assumptions about the contents of a book and encourage or—though we try to avoid this—discourage them from picking it up and exploring it further.