In my role as a reader’s assistant at the Library, I am privileged to work closely with both our collections and our readers, and to see the myriad ways in which our collections are used and interpreted by others.
Previously, Richard traced the Gore family through three Johns, beginning with Captain John Gore who served as third in command on the H.M.S. Endeavour—Royal Navy Gores in Australia—part one. Here, he continues his journey.
While Central London enjoyed the spoils of the rise of the printing industry in the late eighteenth century, the Strand became a hub for the book trade and fashionable buyers, and a quiet man was seemingly swallowed up. How can it be that so very little is known about Mr Alexander Shaw, of No. 379, Strand—the man for whom the now celebrated book of tapa cloth samples collected by Captain James Cook, was “arrainged and printed”?
As a child my favourite animal was the polar bear. It may have been because it exemplified the polar opposite of my experience growing up in steamy, tropical Brisbane. It may have also been the not-so-subliminal connection to ice-cream through the image of the frosty Paul’s polar bear. Whatever it was, it has persisted. Although, a love of animals in all forms has grown throughout my life as I’ve become more aware of the depredations humans enforce on the animal kingdom.
Judith has just completed a project with NLA Publishing researching images from the National Library’s collection from the 1960s and each Wednesday takes people on tours through our Treasures Gallery. She is a volunteer here at the Library—and because it is National Volunteer Week, we decided to find out more about her.
Since our last blog post, digitisation of the Library’s medieval manuscripts has been advancing apace, with more than 65 per cent of the collection now captured and stored in our digital object storage system.
As you may recall I wrote some time ago about the Hairy Wild Man from Botany Bay who is currently residing in the Treasures Gallery—see also the December NLA Magazine. You may also have seen publicity connected with the ambitious recent acquisition, for a record price of the Rothschild Prayer Book by Australian businessman and collector extraordinaire Kerry Stokes AC.
Like many early reputations, that of Judge-Advocate Richard Atkins (1745–1820) is being revised as new information comes to light. Governor Bligh reviled him ‘a disgrace to human jurisprudence’ who pronounced ‘sentences of death … in moments of intoxication’. John Macarthur denounced him for being ‘a public cheater living in the most boundless dissipation’ who was ‘addicted to liquor, immorality and insolvency’.
The National Library’s Gallipoli Letter written by journalist Keith Murdoch in 1915 has just been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register. The acknowledgment of this key item from the Library’s collection by the UNESCO program is very significant. Being included on the Register is the highest level of recognition for archival material and is part of UNESCO’s global effort to enhance awareness and support for the preservation of documentary heritage collections.