On 9 July 1800, Pierce Collits was tried at the Old Bailey in London for receiving stolen goods, including muslin, lace and handkerchiefs, and sentenced to fourteen years' transportation.
On 14 December 1801, Pierce and his wife Mary, a free woman, arrived in Sydney on the Minorca. They would have endured a journey of some months on a vessel that carried both convicts and free settlers, and have landed in a colony that was only 13 years old when they arrived.
This blog was co-written by Ashley O'Neill of Scotland.
Of all the different places to plonk myself down in the National Library of Australia, the Newspapers and Family History Zone is my favourite. Awash in the amber hues of a Canberra twilight, abuzz with the gentle hum and occasional click-clack of microfilm readers, visitors flock to this glorious space to fastidiously uncover scant gems of their family history or perhaps just read the newspaper.
Today the term ‘Aussie battler’ sits easily in the Australian vernacular, is used nightly on current affairs television programs, and in popular culture in characters such as the Kerrigan family in the 1997 film The Castle. For the first half of the twentieth century the Rudd family were the quintessential Aussie battlers; the working class family who continued fighting against the odds, always embracing their challenges with humour and optimism.
Trove’s people and organisations zone passed a milestone in May 2015. The zone now contains biographies describing the lives of over one million people. One million people who have contributed to the creation of Australia in both small and large ways. We’ve written about our work on this zone before. In 2014 I introduced you to the sort of work we do for people records, using the story of an Australian doctor and writer.
On Sunday 20 March, Professor Nicholas Jose will visit the Library to deliver the 2016 Eric Rolls Memorial Lecture. Professor Jose is a novelist, essayist, playwright and academic. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the Australian National University, and gained his doctorate at Oxford University, before returning to ANU to teach in the English department from 1978 to 1985. He then taught briefly in China, before serving as Cultural Counsellor in the Australian Embassy Beijing from 1987 to 1990.
On Saturday 19 March, Linda Jaivin will visit the Library to discuss the perils and seductions of writing about China in the context of her own experiences as foreign journalist, memoirist, travel writer, librettist, essayist and novelist.
On Thursday 10 March, join multimedia artist Tianli Zu and Chinese art scholar Edmund Capon as they discuss their appreciation of Chinese culture as experienced from two vastly different backgrounds. They will converse over 5 themes: Identity and definition, continuity, ideological and 'spiritual' threads, nature and landscape and the contemporary diaspora of artists around the world.
We were lucky enough to borrow time with Tianli and Edmund to ask a few questions about their recent projects and career influences.