Australian and Overseas Publications

Some of the highlights of the Library’s range of publications acquired during the year are:

  • a beautifully bound copy of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of George Barrington, Now under Sentence of Transportation…, a rare 1790 penny chapbook about the life of notorious pickpocket and famous convict George Barrington. This pamphlet was published after Barrington was sentenced in September 1790 and before he was transported on 2 February 1791;
  • a rare copy of the musical score, Dr Leichardt’s March: For the Piano, which celebrates the return of the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt from his 1846 expedition and was composed by his friend, Stephen Hale Marsh (1805–1888), an accomplished musician and harpist and an important figure in the Australian music scene of this period;
  • ephemera and websites relating to the 2013 Federal election and the 2014 Western Australia Senate election. The Library’s collection of this material was extraordinarily successful, surpassing all previous elections. With the aid of a very effective mass media and social media campaign, the Library received political ephemera for 727 House of Representatives candidates, 119 Senate candidates, and over 50 lobby groups. The Library also archived over 550 election-based websites, including the websites of political parties, interest groups and media and social network sites, which are available through the Library’s PANDORA archive;
  • two new databases purchased for perpetual access: a fourth module of the Nineteenth Century Collections Online database, Women—Transnational Networks (adding to the three modules already acquired), and the Chatham House Online Archive, 1920–2008;
  • Records of the Worshipful Company of Stationers 1554–1923 on microfilm. This collection provides access to all the existing records from the archive of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, the guild for the printing and publishing industry in England, from 1554 to 1923. It is the most important source for the history of the English book trade and provides a unique insight into the day-to-day workings of the printing and publishing world.


Outstanding acquisitions into the Pictures Collection include:

  • two watercolours by Donald Friend, Self Portrait in a Carved Mirror and The Dead, Labuan 1945, which complement the Library’s extensive holdings of his diaries;
  • a large bronze portrait medallion of William Charles Wentworth made in 1854 by Thomas Woolner;
  • rare albumen print carte de visite photographs by Johnstone and Co. of explorers Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills, taken in 1860, prior to their ill-fated expedition;
  • two watercolours on vellum of an Australian Cassowary and Rawnsley’s Bowerbird by Henry Constantine Richter, the illustrator and lithographer renowned for his work with John Gould;
  • two photograph albums compiled by a German merchant navy officer documenting his internment in camps at Enoggera and Liverpool during the First World War;
  • twenty black and white exhibition prints of Australian soldiers in Vietnam by Tim Page capturing battle scenes, operational conditions and interactions with the Vietnamese people.


Noteworthy manuscript acquisitions include:

  • the delivery book for Maidstone gaol, 1788–1795, which records details of prisoners, including 14 female convicts transported to Botany Bay in the Second Fleet on the Lady Juliana;
  • the 1852 journal of Alexander Barnett describing his travel to Australia and work on the Major’s Creek goldfields in NSW;
  • a substantial addition to the records of Belvoir Street Theatre, 1988–2006;
  • a beautifully illustrated journal of tailor Joseph Pettingell, who emigrated from London to Hobart with his family on the Thomas Laurie in 1834;
  • a signed original manuscript copy of Capriccietto for Little Bells by Australian composer Dulcie Holland, dated 1934;
  • a collection of material from rower William Dixon relating to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games;
  • letters written to his family by Errol Flynn, dating from his childhood to his death in 1959;
  • the personal papers of poet Dorothy Porter, author Andrea Goldsmith, publisher Sophie Cunningham, diplomat Stephen Brady CVO and actor director Noel Tovey;
  • email correspondence between photographers Francis Reiss and Jeff Carter successfully transferred from MacMail.


The following acquisitions will enhance the Library’s Maps Collection:

  • an 1838 edition of The London Atlas of Universal Geography Exhibiting the Physical & Political Divisions of the Various Countries of the World … published by John Arrowsmith and including 53 colour maps and additional plates not held in other editions;
  • a colourful example of carto-marketing, Betts’s Portable Terrestrial Globe, an expandable ‘umbrella’-frame world globe from c. 1920; 
  • some 1,000 maps of Myanmar from 2000, the latest large-scale publicly available mapping of the nation; 
  • a highly detailed, very rare six-sheet marine chart, A New Chart of the China Sea and East India Archipelago, produced in 1823 by J.W. Norie & Co., showing the East Indies and China Sea with the Malay Peninsula, New Guinea and northern parts of Australia;
  • Map of London’s Underground Railways, a New Design for an Old Map, the first edition of Harry Beck’s famous and influential simplified design;
  • A Colonial and Missionary Church Map of the World, printed for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, London, 1842, showing ‘Christian, heathen and Mahometan countries, English possessions and churches’;
  • a rare reduced form of a map of the Pacific Ocean, Carta Terza Generale del Asia by Robert Dudley, produced in the 1660s and intended for an atlas which was never published.

Oral History

Noteworthy oral histories added to the collection include:

  • new collaborative projects, such as the History of Australian Geoscience with Geoscience Australia, which interviews individuals active in industry, research and exploration from the 1960s. The History of ABC Rural Broadcasting in Australia has begun with interviews with former Rural Department Director, Graham White, and Countrywide presenter and producer Neil Inall; 
  • interviews with notable Australians, including former parliamentarians Paul Everingham, Jo Vallentine, Rosemary Crowley, Gerry Hand and Race Mathews; aerospace engineer Professor Brian O’Keefe AO; maxillofacial surgeon Dr John De Burgh Norman; environmentalist Philip Toyne; actor Angela Punch McGregor; businessman Harold Mitchell; theologian Professor James Haire; astronomer Professor John Norris; and submariner Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall;
  • social history interviews recorded with six people born in the early 1960s to mothers who had taken thalidomide and, with funding from the Centenary of Canberra, Canberrans, including Indigenous elder Matilda House, vintner Ken Helm, architect Enrico Taglietti and Joan Waldren, a member of the longstanding Cusacks family business;
  • the oral history component of several Australian Research Council funded grants, of which the Library is a partner, including The History of Australian Press Photography and ongoing projects, Trailblazing Women and the Law, Australian Gay and Lesbian Life Stories and Australian Generations, a large-scale social history project researching intergenerational dynamics and the impact of social change on experience and attitudes;
  • the only known recording of Indigenous opera singer Lorna Beulah (1928–2012) performing at a Presbyterian gathering in Forbes, NSW, in the mid-1960s;
  • eleven interviews recorded for the Vietnamese Veterans in Australia project, which documents the war experiences of veterans who served with the Vietnamese army, and now live in Australia.