Artist Augustus Earle’s life was in many respects so remarkable that if it wasn’t true it would have had to be invented. Born in London in 1793, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from the age of 13 and is acknowledged as the first independent, professional artist to visit all continents. He documented his travels with candour and honesty. Loving travel and immersing himself in the worlds he encountered, he captured them in luminous watercolours.
Sometimes we find answers in the most unexpected ways. I recently received an Ask a Librarian question about the life of an Australian poet. Initially, I had very little hope of being able to help; all we had was the name of a book of poetry, the author’s surname and their first initial:
I would like to find out more about the author of Melbourne's armageddon : and other verses by M. Sweeney, including his full name, dates of birth and death, and details of his life.
NAIDOC Week (NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’) on 3-10 July is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
Hidden away up on the fourth floor of the Library, the Preservation lab is always using weird and wonderful tools to undertake conservation treatment on our wide range of collection material.