Enjoy a CovidSafe visit to the National Library. Read more...

Trove's Treasures: Sport

Trove's Treasures: Sport
Week Three of Trove's 50 Objects Project
19 June 2018

Please note: Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised this page and links may contain names and images of deceased people.

As part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the National Library of Australia's building, the Library is featuring 50 of the most interesting and important records in Trove.

Read the other Trove's Treasures blog posts:
Week One: Print to Digital
Week Two: Arts
Week Four: Adventure
Week Five: Family history
Week Six: Politics

Sport has always been an important part of Australia's culture, from friends kicking around the footy in the backyard to elite athletes striving for glory in the Commonwealth Games. This week, we are looking at some of the sport champions in Trove and celebrating the variety of sports Australians play.

50th anniversary library logo

11. Donald Bradman's Cricket Bat


Autographed cricket bat used by Don Bradman (1934). https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/189336920

Few players are as synonymous with cricket as 'The Don'. This bat, held by the National Museum of Australia, was used by Donald Bradman in the first Test Match between England and Australia in 1934. As you can see in this photo, the bat is signed by all members of both teams.

Known for his test batting average of 99.94 runs, Bradman's cricket triumphs rallied Australia during the Great Depression. He went on to captain the Australian cricket team in the legendary 1948 tour of England, where the Australian team did not lose a single match, earning the team the title 'The Invincibles'.

12. Lionel Rose Oral History


Bishop, Mervyn. Lionel Rose, world champion Bantamweight boxer holding a pipe, Sydney Airport, 1968http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-153509128

What does it take to become a champion? In the words of sprinter Cathy Freeman, Lionel Rose 'created a path for indigenous athletes to walk proudly' [1]

Boxer Lionel Rose was the first Indigenous Australian to win a world title in boxing, and later the first Indigenous Australian to become Australian of the Year.

This National Library of Australia Oral History with Lionel Rose has the boxing champion recount his career in his own words from his early fights at Jackson's Track, through his bout with Masahito 'Fighting' Harada and his post-boxing business success.

13. Fanny Durack Olympic Gold Medal


Olympic gold medal won by Miss Fanny Durack at Stockholm, 1912. https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/22491154

The 1912 Stockholm Olympics was the first Olympics to let women compete in swimming events. The New South Wales Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association intitialy forbade their members from swimming in competions in front of men, but changed their rules to allow swimmers Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie to compete in the Olympics. Even then, the athletes had to fundraise to pay their own way.

At Stockholm, Durack broke the world record for 100 metres freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 19.8 seconds, also winning this gold medal in the event. Wylie won the silver medal in the same race, a story she recounts in this National Library of Australia Oral History.

Fanny Durack's journey to the Olympics and changing attitudes to women in sport are the subject of a National Library of Australia Digital Classroom.

14. Joyce Brown Oral History

Newspaper mention of Joyce Brown
Mention of Joyce Brown's inclusion in Queen's Birthday honours, The Canberra Times, 8 June 1992 pg.23. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126927483

The first person to be granted 'Legend' status in Australia's Netball Hall of Fame, player and coach Joyce Brown recorded an Oral History with the National Library of Australia in 2008. This oral history is findable in Trove, and preserved in the Library's collection.

As a coach, Joyce Brown led Australia to victory in the inaugural Netball World Cup in 1963, and in her career was undefeated in the Netball World Cup as both player and coach. Brown is also celebrated as a leader and mentor who inspired a generation of netball players, and her accomplishments have been honoured with the Order of Australia.

Originally a varient of basketball developed by female players, netball thrived in Australia and New Zealand, and is still one of the most popular team sports in Australia.

15. Victorian Roller Derby League All-Stars vs. Texas Rollergirls Hotrod Honeys


Cooper, Samuel. Victorian Roller Derby League All-Stars pivot Kitty DeCapitate assists jammer Swish Cariboom against the Texas Rollergirls Hotrod Honeys, Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne 23 July 2011https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/173625459

In 2011, the Victorian Roller Derby League All Stars faced America's Texas Hotrod Honeys at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. In this photo we see All Stars pivot Kitty DeCapitate assist jammer Swish Cariboom at a desperate moment in the game.  

This photograph, taken by Library photographer Samuel Cooper, documents the first international Roller Derby event in Australia.  The All Stars lost this match, but went on to claim the coveted Hydra trophy at the 2017 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association International Championship to become the reigning Roller Derby World Champions. No blocker can stop this team's power jam!

What are your favourite objects in Trove?

What are your favourite Trove objects? We are still seeking suggestions for our People's Choice week in August. These can be any objects in Trove -  they just have to be available online, and loved by you! Send your suggestions to trove@nla.gov.au.

Learn more about other activities planned for the Library's 50th Anniversary celebrations.

[1] Lionel Rose obituary in The Guardian 12 May 2011.