Students can now take a close look into the experiences of Australians on the home front during the First World War in a new learning resource.
The National Library of Australia’s education unit has been working with the ABC to develop content for Splash, an education website for teachers, school-aged children and their parents.
Whilst researching the National Library of Australia’s collection for forthcoming exhibition Keepsakes, I came across a humble mapping instrument that led me to the story of a not-so-ordinary Australian, George Augustine Taylor (1872-1928).
We are well into Spring now which in Canberra means Floriade, thousands of visitors and even more daffodils, pansies and tulips. However, I can guarantee, you won’t to see anything like this in the flower beds of Commonwealth Park …
J.W. Power (1881–1943), Flower in Parenthesis 1934, oil and egg tempera on wood; Edith Power Bequest 1961 © The University of Sydney, managed by Museum of Contemporary Art
The Manuscripts Collection at the National Library of Australia represents a broad cross-section of people and organisations that reflect the diversity of Australian society, culture and politics. Although born a generation apart and raised in ideologically dissimilar families, the lives of Robert Samuel Ross (1873-1931) and Arthur Wesley Wheen (1897-1971), both of whose papers are held in the Manuscripts Collection, invite some surprising comparisons and contrasts.
The Treasures Gallery has engaged and uplifted nearly 300,000 visitors since its opening in October 2011. The content ranges from Cook’s handwritten Endeavour journal to Edward Koiki Mabo’s memorable papers, both landmarks in Australian history and bookends, in a sense, to the exhibition. Our visitors have enjoyed and given us wonderful feedback on the richness of the Treasures Gallery displays.
How do we remember the First World War? Over the last year staff in the National Library of Australia’s exhibitions section have been exploring this question. We have been searching the Library’s collections for material relating to the war and discussing the role libraries play in preserving our memory of the Great War.
Collector Rex Nan Kivell went to considerable lengths to create an identity for his burgeoning collection of books, manuscripts and maps. Recently, while looking through his papers held in our Manuscripts Collection, I found an invoice for the design and engraving of his bookplate dated 1 May 1948. It seems he commissioned Henry Wilkinson, a printmaker, engraver and illustrator and paid him £31 10s, a considerable amount I imagine in the immediate post-war period, to develop his very distinctive bookplate design.
It’s not every day that we get to peek inside the mysterious world of corporate collections. Even those of us who work in the cultural sector are rarely privy to the significant pieces that are spirited away after high profile auctions, or have been sitting in storage for decades as their asset value appreciates.