The staff who describe the digitised photographs in our collection select a photo each week that is added to SLQ’s Flickr Commons Photo of the week 2013 set. This week our photo of the week is in celebration of Library and Information Week which is held in the last week of May each year. Our photo of Townsville Library from around 1948 shows a very different library than today. In 1938 Townsville was the first city in Queensland to open a free public library, and now has three vibrant libraries, a mobile library and a home service. City Libraries serves almost two hundred thousand residents of Townsville and surrounding areas. The theme of Library and Information Week 2013 is "Share your story" What's the best thing about your local library? Do you have memories of libraries like the one in this photo? We'd love to hear from you. Want to see more digitised photos, maps, music scores and manuscripts? There’s more than 60 000 digitised items in our collections. You can find them in One Search, our catalogue.
Guest blogger: Randall Warkill, Australian South Sea Islander Police Liaison Officer, Rockhampton To mark an incredible milestone we have a calendar of events planned throughout the year including a Gala Dinner in Yeppoon Central Queensland. It will be our opportunity to look back at the people who shaped our future and embraced our heritage, so we may continue to evolve in the decades to come. The Gala evening will include a welcome and a magnificent three course meal to some highly anticipated entertainment. To complete the night guests will be able to chat with new and old friends in a relaxing social setting while humming along or dancing to a favourite tune or two. The Gala night is to recognise the accomplishments and adversities of the Australian South Sea Islanders and honour and celebrate the best in human spirit. It is our intention to showcase a unique cultural heritage in Central Queensland to the rest of the State and Australia by inviting a diverse mix of people from all walks of life. Our auspice body for this event is the Rockhampton Australian South Sea Island United Council (ASSIUC). Led by Chairperson Mr Warren (Joe) Leo and with its core business in Culture, Education and History of Australian South Sea Islanders, ASSIUC was a major player in the fight for recognition by the Federal and State Governments. Our gala night is on the 24th August 2013 commencing at 7.00pm with pre- dinner at 6.00pm. The venue for the event is the Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon set on 20km of secluded coral reef coastline similar to our island homes of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. For further information contact Randall Warkill on Ph: 07 49277899 or email: email@example.com
As part of the commemorations celebrating Australian South Sea Islander heritage this year, State Library staff have gone into collection repositories to retrieve documents to digitise and share rare materials with the world about indentured South Sea Islanders. Unique John Oxley Library monographs that tell the stories of the indentured labourers are being digitised and reviewed. The “book reviews” provide summaries of the arguments and discussions about the indentured labourers that were taking place in Queensland and around the world from 1863 through the early 1900s. Starting with Brian Randall’s book review, readers have access to information from these unique publications that reveal the contentious and highly debated issues around the practice. Look for more “Book Reviews” in the months to come here in the ASSI blog. Many photographs from the collections have also been digitised and placed online through the library’s catalogue, One Search. Two photographs from the John Oxley Library were used by Australia Post in a recent ASSI commemorative envelope put out this year. The commemorative envelope notes that 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first South Sea Islanders in Queensland. According to Australia Post, "This important milestone highlights Australian South Sea Islanders' unique history and important contribution to Australia and Queensland in the development of the sugar industry and as soldiers, sports people, artists, civic leaders and most importantly, citizens." Rare maps from the John Oxley Library collection also help to tell the story as we see the islands and Queensland as depicted in the mid-1880s. With the zoom and search feature available, researchers can get very accurate information about the islands online through the One Search catalogue. Catherine Cottle - Digital Collection Curator, State Library of Queensland
Storytelling is at the heart of social life. It helps us to understand ourselves in relation to others. Sharing stories through performance, music and oratory are just some of the many ways in which Australian South Sea Islanders continue to actively participate in and contribute to life in Queensland. In the Gallery 5, Queensland Art Gallery exhibition 'Sugar', oral histories recounted by members of Queensland's Australian South Sea Islander community about their experiences and those of the early labourers working the sugar are combined with performances by a younger generation. Including personal accounts of Mackay Australian South Sea Island elders, Reginald Yasserie, Robert Boah, John Williams, Neville Thomas, Doug Mooney and Stirling and Nita Tomarra; Brisbane based Valda Coolwell, Fred Leone and Krishna Nahrow and Sunshine Coast elder Uncle Sonny Byquar the interviews provide a personal perspective on the historical photographs in the exhibition and offer fresh insights into life working the sugar. They also invite us to broaden our knowledge of this community - its history, resilience and aspirations. Thanks to Imelda Miller, Shennie Yasserie, Starret and Joy Vea Vea, Geraldine Baggow, Krishna Nahow, Aunty Joan Collins and all the participants and their families for their assistance with these interviews. Ruth McDougall – Curator Pacific Art, Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art
As part of celebrations commemorating 150 years of Australian South Sea Islander contributions to Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery will launch the exhibition 'Sugar'. Bringing together historical photographs with recorded stories, music and works by contemporary artists, 'Sugar' highlights the contributions made by South Sea Islanders and their descendants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, of Australian-Chinese families, as well as European settler communities. At the heart of the exhibition are stories and songs recorded by descendants of the South Sea Islanders recruited - or kidnapped - from across Melanesia between 1863 and 1904, and brought to work in cane fields across Queensland and northern New South Wales. This year marks 150 years since the first Islanders arrived in this state. 'Sugar' offers a glimpse of their experiences and of the early development of the sugar industry through historical documents from the Queensland Art Gallery and State Library of Queensland collections. The use of indentured labour to fuel economic development was not isolated to nineteenth-century Queensland, as the spectacular work by Robin White, Leba Toki and Bale Jione attests. Drawing on its legacy in Fiji's sugar industry, this barkcloth installation brings together indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian cultural references, presenting a unique vision of contemporary Fiji. Like this work, 'Sugar' seeks to acknowledge these diverse histories, to celebrate the ongoing contributions of these communities and to provide a compelling portrait not only of the sugar industry but also of Queensland. For more information about 'Sugar' please go to the Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art webpage for more information. Ruth McDougall - Curator Pacific Art, Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art
State Library of Queensland has completed the Queensland’s Collections, Access and Digitisation Survey 2013. Sent to organisations throughout Queensland that house historical collections, the survey shows a very busy and diverse state of collecting of Queensland memory. Survey participants let us know that Queensland memory can be found in libraries, Indigenous Knowledge Centres, archives, museums, historical societies, associations, family history centres and small collecting institutions. State Library is a shared custodian of this distributed collection and was eager to learn what support might be needed to assist with advocacy and online access to these diverse and priceless collections found in almost every Queensland community. The survey shows that the majority of the organisations in this distributed collection are staffed with volunteers. For those of you who volunteer, thank you. Other interesting findings show: Top three types of content collected: photographs, books, organisation records 73% responded that they are collecting contemporary materials 80% are digitising collections Those who are not digitising noted limited funding resources as the number one reason for not digitising The majority of respondents asked for support with training, and need funding, equipment and technical advice in order to digitise collections Participating organisations were entered into a draw, with winners selected at random by State Librarian Janette Wright. Winners are Australian South Sea Islanders Secretariat, Inc. (iPad) and Cunnamulla Municipal Library (digital camera). Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all participants. Look for a more detailed survey review from State Library in the upcoming months in the Queensland memory enewsletter. Catherine Cottle - Digital Collections Curator, State Library of Queensland