Daddy Cool to The Rolling Stones

A pair of red lips with an exaggerated tongue protruding from them. An 'S' with an arrow on the end. A lightning bolt.

The visual style of a band often forms a big part of our experience of them and their music. Cast your mind back: how many hours did you spend, poring over the album art of a favourite band? 

It leads me to question: who are the geniuses behind some of the world's most recognisable music brands? We often know nothing about the people who created the images we know so well.

National Anti-Sweating League of Victoria

Was this an attempt to cope with those hot summer days in Victoria? A case of trying mind over matter in the days before deodorants? Although the name conjures up wonderful images of bowler hatted gentlemen in dark suits steadfastly remaining cool, calm and collected, or ladies in their long sleeves and many petticoats attempting not to “glow”, the League had a very serious purpose, and in one sense it was about perspiration.

Call for calendars!

Easter eggs are in the shops, Autumn is in the air, and the National Library is looking for calendars to add to our 2014 collection. We collect calendars that represent what it is to be Australian and need your help! Tell us your suggestions or if you have a new, unused calendar from this year that you’d like to donate, just email

Thai politics in clappers, whistles and slogans

The Thai collection at the NLA offers extraordinary resources for researchers, especially in the fields of the humanities and social sciences. In addition to items you would expect to find in a library, such as books and journals, we have been making significant progress since 2008 in building our collections of topical ephemeral materials.

Ephemeral items we now hold include bandanas, banners, masks, handbills, booklets, posters, t-shirts, clappers, whistles and similar colourful expressions of Thai polity in this era of public protest and contested political space.

Look out! She's behind you!

As an intern in the National Library this year, I expected to find myself doing ‘something’ with books, knowing little about the vast holdings of realia and ephemera the Library also holds. For the past few weeks however, I’ve been going through our PROMPT (Australian Performing Arts) collection and updating a finding aid for the ephemera associated with Aussie soap stars performing in UK pantomimes.

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