Australian and Overseas Publications

  • Important music collections from two well-known Australian conductors. The headline item was the collection of world-renowned conductor and pianist Richard Bonynge AC, CBE, which comprises some 65 boxes of material. The collection consists chiefly of conductor scores for performances in Europe and Australia annotated by Maestro Bonynge, and also contains posters, magazines, theatre programs, ephemera and manuscripts, which will be housed with the relevant special collections. Most of these conductor scores were prepared for Dame Joan Sutherland OM, AC, DBE, and the collection also includes a large scrapbook covering Dame Joan’s early career, compiled by her sister. This collection is a significant addition to preserving Australia’s important musical heritage and joins Maestro Bonynge’s already substantial collections at the Library;
  • A Cabinet of Quadrupeds (1805), ‘consisting of highly-finished engravings by James Tookey; from drawings by Julius Ibbetson; with historical and scientific descriptions by John Church’. Two Australian animals are included: the relatively newly described ‘flying opossum’ depicted with its Virginian cousin and the ‘kanguru’ drawn from the group ‘now living in the Royal Gardens at Kew, where they breed, and appear quite naturalised’;
  • Websites, programs of service and original musical compositions, produced to commemorate the Anzac expedition to Gallipoli. These items were collected by the Library and provide an enduring record of the importance of the Anzac tradition. Historical Anzac items include a program for the first Anzac Day parade in Melbourne in 1916 and a signed menu for the dinner of the 6th Light Horse in Cairo in 1916, featuring Consommá Royal à la ‘Anzac’, Loup de Mer Mayonnaise à la ‘Gaba Tipe’, Pommes à la ‘Stolly Ridge’, Desert ‘Rest Gully’ and Café à la Turque;
  • Nearly 6,500 items received from the Commonwealth Department of Environment Library upon its closure. Due to resourcing constraints, the Library only accepted Australian publications not available in any other Australian library from the Department of Environment. The items include material previously held in the National Heritage collection, primarily government-commissioned studies and reports. Without resources available to process this collection, it will remain securely stored but unavailable for the present;
  • Tiananmen Square and U.S. China Relations, 1989–1993, which hosts digitised primary source documents relating to the demonstrations and their aftermath, including public mail, memoranda, reports, cables, meeting notes and news clippings from the US White House Office of Records Management files. This collection documents the response of the White House to deteriorating relations between the United States and China, and the worldwide response;
  • Punch Magazine Historical Archive 1841–1992. This archive matches previously anonymous Punch articles and those written under pseudonyms with the private ledgers of contributors kept by the magazine’s editors, in many cases revealing for the first time the true identity of the authors.


  • The photographic archive of journalist Wilfred Burchett, including photographs of the Korean and Vietnam wars, often from the Communist side of the trenches;
  • Forty-eight photographs of the Northern Territory, taken soon after the Commonwealth took control in 1911, including images of the Government Residency, the Administrator and his family, social activities and the demonstration farms established at Batchelor and Daly River in 1912;
  • A collection of embroidered signatures of prisoners from both the men’s and the women’s Changi and Sime Road camps, made by women prisoners of war;
  • The original drawing for one of Australia’s most famous cartoons, long thought to be lost, For Gor’sake, Stop Laughing—This Is Serious by Stan Cross, an example of Depression-era humour;
  • More than a hundred portraits of Indigenous people dating to 1885 photographed by Charles Kerry and Henry King.


  • The Nottingham town gaol ledger, 1836–1845, which details the crimes and sentences of convicts sentenced to transportation to Australia;
  • Letters patent granted by Queen Victoria in 1863, creating the Anglican Diocese and the city of Goulburn, the last such instance in the British Empire once it was established that the monarch had no ecclesiastical jurisdiction in self-governing colonies;
  • The illustrated manuscript journal of Captain Foley Vereker, which records the voyage of HMS Myrmidon in the 1880s and is particularly significant for its description of survey work along Australia’s north-western coast;
  • The records of Mitchell / Giurgola & Thorp Architects, documenting the commissioning of art and craft for the new Australian Parliament House;
  • New acquisitions of personal papers, including the family papers of bibliographer Sir John Ferguson, writer Michael Boddy and artist Janet Dawson-Boddy, critic Professor Roger Covell AM, sociologist Professor Peter Beilharz and composer Gerard Brophy.


  • The Battle of Bantam, 1601, which is an early illustrated ‘news-map’ created to publicise the Dutch victory over the larger Portuguese fleet and includes a depiction of the Duyfken, the first European craft to chart Australian waters in 1606;
  • A fragile cartographic toy, produced in Nuremberg c. 1830, which shows ‘N South Wales’ marked on the tiny globe and includes a folding paper concertina of vignettes of 28 hand-coloured figures from different countries;
  • Lotharingia, Vastum Regnum, by Martin Waldseemuller, published in Strasbourg in 1513 in an early edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia and considered the earliest known specimen of map printing in colours;
  • Haand-atlas til Brug for Lærde-, Borger- og Almue-skoler, an 1819 Danish atlas for children, providing evidence of geography teaching about the new colonies of Australia and New Zealand;
  • The Anzac Panorama, an unusual map of the Gallipoli peninsula, sketched from memory by Major L.F.S. Hore. Printed in Cairo in early 1916, it is the only known surviving copy and shows the dispositions of Australian forces on 7 August 1915, the day of the attack on The Nek;
  • Rare maps of Manchuria, printed during the period of Japanese Manchukuo prior to the Second World War, commissioned for military and administrative uses;
  • A small collection of manuscript charts, drawn by the trawler operator Captain Charles R. Stuart, documenting fishing grounds in New South Wales in 1923;
  • Carte Archéologique du Cambodge, maps commissioned by UNESCO, showing archaeological and monument sites across Cambodia in 2007.

Oral History

  • Four current Australian Research Council-funded projects, with the Library participating as an industry partner, including: Trailblazing Women and the Law led by the University of Melbourne; Press Photography in Australia led by the University of Melbourne; Australian Lesbian and Gay Life Stories led by Macquarie University; and the Australian Generations project, led by Monash University, which concluded in June 2015, having recorded 300 interviews, over 80 of which are now available online;
  • Collaborations with: Geoscience Australia, recording interviews with individuals active in research, exploration and industry from the 1960s; the Museum of Australian Democracy, recording interviews with former politicians, including Margaret Reynolds, Kay Patterson, John Hewson and Bruce Childs; and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, recording interviews documenting the history of rural broadcasting;
  • Interviews with eminent Australians, including Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler, business woman Janet Holmes à Court, author Linda Jaivin, physicist Professor Harry Messel, archaeologist John Mulvaney, Ballets Russes dancer Edna Busse, former South Australian Premier the Hon. John Bannon, glass artist Klaus Moje, diplomat Frances Adamson, football coach Ron Barassi, shipbuilder John Rothwell and Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick;
  • Additions to the Folklore collection, including recordings of old-time dance bands from regional Victoria in the early 1980s, and interviews covering diverse practices from Japanese tea ceremonies in Australia to bus driving and the emergence of Australian bluegrass music;
  • New social history interviews, including: recordings for the Centenary of Canberra project with urban planner Keith Storey and property developers John Hindmarsh and Sotiria Liangis; six interviews about the work of Australian People for Health, Education and Development, including with former ACTU president Sharan Burrow; and a new project on Community Sheds.