In late November 1914, the Brisbane Courier initiated the 'Courier Blanket Fund' - a blanket donation drive to supply the troops overseas as they faced their first European winter. The drive was a great success, described in an article on 20th November as 'a splendid token of Queensland's sympathy and well-wishes'. In six days the total number of blankets reached 1,270, and many of the blankets contained cheering messages from the donors to the men soon to receive them. One such message was, "Greetings from Queensland. I wish I could send you some of our Queensland sunshine to wrap about you with this blanket. Cheer up, boys, and keep the flag flying." One of the largest electric presses in Queensland was used to press the blankets into bales similar to wool bales, for ease of shipment, and in each bale a preservative was used to prevent the blankets being destroyed by moths or weevils whilst in transit. They were all sent to the Queensland Agent-General Sir Thomas Robinson in London, who then oversaw their proper distribution. An article dated 24th November provided a further progress update, and listed Messrs. Winchcombe, Carson's, Ltd. as the firm which had so patriotically undertaken the packing of the bulky articles. In addition, a Mrs. Pring of Sydney Laundry, Brunswick Street, had kindly offered to clean labelled blankets free of charge, and residents of the Ipswich district, who had responded very positively to the appeal, could have their blankets washed free of charge by Mrs. F. Williams, of Arthur Street, Ipswich. Each week we will be sharing news stories from the week 100 years ago, and we invite you to add your thoughts and comments. Want to join in and find and correct newspaper articles from 1914 and 1915? Here’s more information about how to get started text correcting newspaper articles on Trove as a Pitch In! digital volunteer. If you find something you’d like to share we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the Indigenous Languages Strategy, the State Library of Queensland is hosting an Indigenous Languages Research Discovery Workshop in Brisbane. This workshop aims to build upon and extend previous research workshops and enhance the research skills and knowledge of community language workers. Participants in the workshop will undertake research activities at the State Library, but also explore materials held at Fryer Library, University of Queensland. On Day Three, a visit to the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre at Beenleigh will provide participants with ideas on how to bring language back to life in communities. In addition to researching unique language materials, this will be an exciting opportunity to network and share ideas around language revival across Queensland. Audience: This event is aimed at language workers and community members who are currently working/have an interest in traditional languages and supporting language revival programs in communities. Aims: 1. to explore materials held in SLQ, UQ and Yugambeh Museum collections; 2. to undertake language/locality specific research; and 3. to identify potential applications for using materials to support language activities. Program Overview: Day One: Discovering the Collections – highlighting materials in SLQ collections relating to Indigenous languages. Exploring and researching materials relating to participants’ language(s) of interest. Day Two: Researching the Collections at Fryer Library, UQ – further exploration of language materials held at the Fryer Library, University of Queensland. Day Three: Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre, Beenleigh – participants will spend the day at Yugambeh Museum exploring their collections and language activities. Day Four: Researching the Collections – participants will continue further exploration of SLQ materials and share their outcomes with the group. The SLQ Research Discovery Workshops have been very successful events and we are looking forward to supporting language workers and community members in their language research. Further details: For additional information, including Registration Forms, please contact Des.Crump@slq.qld.gov.au or Rose.Warsow@slq.qld.gov.au Phone 3840 7893. Desmond Crump Indigenous Languages Coordinator, Queensland Memory State Library Indigenous Languages Webpages References and Further Readings Meston, A. (undated) Archibald Meston Papers Undated. OM64-17 Images from Research Discovery Workshops held at State Library 2012-2013. Jandewal Wildlife Poster, courtesy of Barry Brown.
In my last post I discussed the ‘promise’ of libraries remarking that it appears to float remarkably freely from anything in particular that libraries do. Because it is amorphous and strange, yet also powerful and therefore not easily ignored, the promise of libraries, may come to be distrusted as a form of irrational sentimentality; dismissed in favour of something more solidly utilitarian – improved educational outcomes for instance, or social cohesion or even economic growth. But you can be useful without being loved and you can be loved without being useful. Usually the reasons for love aren’t clear. Love is a mystery; it floats notoriously freely from rational argument or explanation. Everyone knows that. Libraries are much loved institutions. This isn’t incidental to what they are or to their continued existence. In fact it can only be central; love being up there in the field of human concerns. We want libraries to continue to be much loved institutions. It would be a terrible loss if they ceased to be that. Thus understanding the predicament of libraries, what to do about them, or with them, at this critical juncture in their history, must entail at least brief consideration of love. Love is inertial; it may endure without any basis in reality; by the warm glow of a promise alone; or it may be rooted in some combination of promise and reality. Certainly it is rarely rooted solely in reality and is not sustainably rooted in promise alone. Sooner or later the original impetus exhausts itself; sunlight turns to starlight, emitting only theoretical warmth. It’s always a relief to be loved. Bathed in love’s euphoric glow, whether the love springs from promise or its fulfilment may seem immaterial. But the trouble with being loved for a promise is that at some point the promise has to be fulfilled. The gap between promise and fulfilment is a sea gap, bridged by what we do; what libraries do - the practice of libraries. Sometimes, suddenly, cataclysmically, sea gaps widen, or reefs and shoals appear where there had been none, rendering the old maps useless, or worse. In the event of such upheaval, plying the once familiar gap between promise and its fulfilment ceases to be a matter of doing what you’d always done, no matter how conscientiously. It’s not difficult to arouse people’s feelings about libraries. Perhaps uniquely, libraries lend themselves to rhetoric normally reserved for national constitutions: The object of this Act is to contribute to the social cultural and intellectual development of all Queenslanders, heralds State Library’s enabling legislation. Existing to support the free flow of information and ideas, libraries have a special responsibility to oppose the infringement of intellectual freedom, including infringement by omission – neglect of the needs of individuals and communities – and by commission – exclusion, the violation of privacy and censorship, proclaims State Library’s Intellectual Freedom Policy Rhetoric has its place; it kindles the promise’s fire. It’s always reassuring to feel the promise’s vitality and warmth. You can be far from home, lost on an unfamiliar road, and there the promise appears, through an open door before you, burning brightly; a vision of things, as vital and relevant as ever. On the other hand, huddling at the promise’s hearth can too easily become a substitute for continuing the journey: refusing the snug torpor of dream but every day pushing further along the road, pushing the road further along; feeling the exhilaration and dread of unfamiliarity, having good days and bad, but always honouring a promise. It’s pleasing when the stories we need to be true actually turn out to be true and troubling and sometimes a lot worse when they don’t. Aversion to thinking that the ending won’t be happy may induce blindness to evidence pointing to this outcome. In this situation the implicit and dreaded expectation – that the story is turning out to be, well, just a story, its foothold in reality crumbling away – becomes self-fulfilling, for without the drift towards a feared predicament being unflinchingly observed and acknowledged nothing at all can possibly done to arrest and reverse it. It’s important to see clearly, to use the promise responsibly, to illuminate how it might be honoured; as compass more than justification; not just as a way of keeping warm. Beyond about twenty years ago it was possible for libraries and librarians to be good simply by conscientiously doing what they’d always done, conscientiously following a certain fairly stable, time honoured set of practices. Sea crossings were routine and ship wrecks and other accidents at sea rare; roads passed through familiar, secure territory; being a library wasn’t a voyage of discovery. About twenty years ago all of this began not to be true. Sea gaps began to widen, reefs and shoals began to appear where there had been none; the old roads began to fall short of the promise. What it meant to be a good library, a good librarian, fundamentally unchanging for generations, began to change. And yet, even as the terms of its fulfilment continue to dramatically shift the promise continues to burn as brightly as ever before. When structural change undermines the efficacy of inherited, time honoured practices inevitably it’s not clear what to do. The natural initial response to the beleaguerment of a deeply felt promise is consternation and confusion. Naturally, the prospect of the sundering of practice and promise becoming permanent, the idea that for entirely mysterious reasons something wonderful is irrevocably doomed, causes degrees of sadness. Not knowing what to do can be unnerving. Discovering new routes to the fulfilment of a persistent promise takes time, patience and goodwill; even a little compassion and forgiveness. It requires grasping the promise directly; being alive to its fulfilment, knowing and valuing deep down what it means for someone, anyone, to see, feel, understand something new, something transformative, for the first time. Counterintuitively – and counter to most ways of thinking the future of libraries – it requires looking backwards – back to the time when practice cleaved closely to promise. We need to remember what we’re trying to be, as a condition of formulating new ways of doing that in radically transformed conditions.
After two years touring around Australia, artisan’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor exhibition will have its final showing at APDL's Design Lounge, featuring 40 of 100 brooches. The 40 brooches selected by SLQ celebrate the achievements of Queensland women through history and the creative design and artistic talents of Queensland craftspeople. This exhibition was conceived by artisan to celebrate the 2011 centenary of International Women’s Day. The old rhyme was a starting point for 100 of Australia’s finest women jewellers to make a brooch in response to the professional achievements of 100 Australian women in every field imaginable — from tinker to tailor, bishop to soldier, bullocky to lawyer. This free exhibition will run from 17 Nov - 14 Dec, Asia Pacific Design Library, level 2.