On this last day of our 75th anniversary year, we in the John Oxley Library, and other sections of Heritage Collections, would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year.
2009 was a landmark year with Q150 celebrations, White Gloves Tours of Oxley collection items around the state, and numerous activities and events in which history took centre stage. Thankyou to all who played a part. We look forward to seeing you in the John Oxley Library Reading Room in 2010.
Felice Anno Nuovo!
The John Oxley Library’s Original Materials collection, which includes personal papers, business records, church records, station records, photographs, works of art, digital stories and oral histories, is now discoverable on the State Library’s catalogue, One Search.
This means you can now do a search simultaneously for a range of published and original materials on any given topic. Or, you can restrict your search to just Original Materials. The Original Materials collection includes Queensland treasures such as the Labor Party Manifesto, the Qantas Log Book, and Henry Lawson’s Collar.
One Search allows you the opportunity to tag collections and leave comments, as well as store or email your search results. Collections can also be ordered, for viewing in the John Oxley Library reading room, using your eServices Card. Search for our Original Materials collections at http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/.
Henry Lawson collar, OM90-42
With Christmas just around the corner we thought it would be timely to highlight some of the wonderful Christmas related material held in the John Oxley Library. This material includes photographs, Christmas cards, ephemera and posters depicting the celebration of Christmas in Queensland through the years.
Christmas poster published by the Disabled Men’s Association of Australia, post World War I.
Christmas card featuring Sutton’s Beach, Redcliffe. Image No: 193119
One particularly lovely collection of Christmas cards is to be found in the James Wieneke Papers. A prominent artist himself, and Director of the Queensland Art Gallery from 1967 – 1974, Wieneke’s collection includes cards, many of them specially created, from a wide variety of artistic friends. Names of senders include Cyril Gibbs, Rubery Bennett, Sali Herman, William Dargie, John Santry, and Kenneth MacQueen.
From all of us here at the John Oxley Library we would like to wish our researchers and colleagues a happy and safe Christmas Season.
Did you know that up until 1958 the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens included a zoo? The Zoological Gardens contained over time, a bear pit, a deer and Australian animal compound and several aviaries. In its half century of existence, over a million people reportedly visited the attractions. There were Capuchin monkeys, baboons, kangaroos, wallabies, deer, antelope, foxes, dingoes and rabbits. The aviaries contained over 400 bird species including swans, Egyptian geese, Green or Burmese Pea Fowl, wonga, Topknot pigeons, budgies, peacocks, galahs cockatoos parrots and rosellas. Perhaps one of the most famous inhabitants was a giant Galapagos Island tortoise called Harriet who was allegedly originally captured by Charles Darwin in the 1830s and brought to Australia in the 1840s.
Brisbane Zoo. Museum Victoria. Record Number MMOO8723.
Although the zoo was officially recognised as an A class zoo in the 1930s, it was closed in 1958 due to conflicts of interest, the cost of upkeep of the animals and the poor state of the animal enclosures (Courier Mail 12 August 1958). The grounds were redesigned by Harry Oakman under the curatorship of Harold Caulfield and became a purely botanic garden.
Continuing our series on the history of the John Oxley Library, in this, our 75th anniversary year.
In 1994, the Queensland Heritage Retrieval Project was established, to be led by the John Oxley Library, with the aim of appealing for Queensland historical material from overseas, in particular from Britain. A range of significant material has been acquired through this project, including:
• The George Edwards Collection, comprising material relating to the early Moreton Bay Penal Colony.
• The Charles Card Journals on board HMS Rattlesnake.
• A large collection of theatre programmes and newspapers, printed on silk, collected by Sir Anthony Musgrave, formerly Governor of Queensland.
• The Rawson Collection, comprising photographs and diaries relating to the Mackay region in the 1870s.
Charles and Winifred Rawson. Image number: raw00062
The Library now has an on-going program of digitisation, whereby collection material is increasingly made available online. Services to Indigenous Queenslanders are a particular focus and a range of public programmes including talks, training and exhibitions are developed and delivered widely throughout Queensland. Oral history, including the collection and preservation of digital stories of Queenslanders, is a recent initiative.
The Queensland History Teachers’ Association held their annual professional development day for Primary and Lower Secondary School Teachers at the State Library of Queensland on Monday 7th December.
The theme of the day was “Exploring History through SOSE and Humanities in Primary and Lower Secondary Classrooms”.
Dr Brian Hoepper, well known in the world of history teaching, delivered an insightful and inspiring key-note address titled, “I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes”(taken from lyrics in Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street 1965). In this presentation Brian proposed strategies for encouraging historical empathy by students for people of the past.
It was fantastic to see so many history teachers onsite attending interesting workshop sessions throughout the day. As a memory institution devoted to developing collections that preserve our history the State Library of Queensland was an ideal host venue for this event.
In early 2010 the Queensland Writers Centre will commemmorate the end of an era when it moves from the Metro Arts Building in downtown Brisbane to new premises in the State Library of Queensland’s South Bank building. Dr Leanne Day, the State Library’s Queensland Authors and Legal Deposit Librarian, recently attended the a function at the cnetre celebrating the move.
During the evening, the 2010 Johnno Award recipient was announced. The winner is Jenny Stubbs, Ipswich Librarian and founder of the Ipswich Festival of children’s Literature. Jenny was recognised for her commitment and experience in literacy programs over the last 20 years.
2010 Johnno Award recipient, Jenny Stubbs (left), is congratulated by QWC Chair, Theodora Le Souquet (centre) and QWC Chief Executive Officer, Kate Eltham (right).
Leanne chats with two authors about their latest publishing ventures. Bob Cleland (centre) discusses his memoir, Big Road (Red Hill Publishing), which tells of his first four years as a Patrol Officer in Papua New Guinea in the early 1950s. Pat Ritter (right) tells about his book, Dream Angel. He explains how he used his own life story to analyse why life-changing events occurred and how they profoundly shaped the path he would take.
Continuing our series on the history of the John Oxley Library, in this, our 75th year.
The issue of who should have responsibility for the collection and housing of Queensland public records would cause on-going conflict and confusion and would not be resolved until the late 1950s. In November 1959, a separate Archives Department was finally established, the foundation of today’s Queensland State Archives.
The 1970s continued to be a period of limited resources however the collection continued to grow with the photographs and artworks collections developing. This period, through to the 1980s, also saw expansion of the microfilming programme and holdings, the continued development of the photographs and artworks collections, as well as the provision of resources for the preservation of the collections. The passing of the Libraries and Archives Act 1988 repealed the Oxley Memorial Library of Queensland Act 1946 and the Oxley Memorial Library Advisory Committee was disbanded as a consequence. Now known as the John Oxley Library, it remained a separate entity within the State Library of Queensland, continuing to develop its collections and services.
John Oxley Library, ca. 1955. Image No: 50763
Watercolour of Moreton Bay, 1835. Image No: 3944-1v00r001
Picture Queensland has reached 50,000 images. The 50,000th image features Lilian Willis Snr. and other members of the Gulumba Dance Group from Townsville and Palm Island performing at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival in June 2009. The image was taken by photographer Sarah Scragg.
Picture Queensland, State Library’s collection of digital images, started in 2002. The first image indexed in the collection was on 11 November 2002 at 2:08pm by Serena Coates. The photograph, titled ‘Road through rainforest in the Cairns District, ca. 1890′ is by an unidentified photographer. You can view these, along with the other 49,998 images on the Picture Queensland website.
Another two Discovering Queensland courses have finished on a high note with participants’ feedback being overwhelmingly positive. The one criticism that keeps surfacing at the end of each successive course is that they are never long enough and the sessions are too short. This is high praise indeed, considering each course has been six weeks long and all sessions 1.5 hours long. To watch most of the participants arrive in the evening after a long day’s work and see them re-energise as Professor Raymond Evans relates extraordinary and spellbinding stories from his vast knowledge of Queensland history, has been magical.
The direction of discussion in each of the sessions has always been determined by what the participants are interested in knowing more about from their reading of the focal chapter of the set text book, A History of Queensland. One of the main observations I have made from facilitating the Discovering Queensland course is that it has no script. The mix of backgrounds and the personal and professional interests of the various participants in each group has ensured the discussion has always been completely different from all of the other groups. This has meant that despite facilitating the course five times, I have had the benefit of deepening my knowledge of Queensland history each time the course has been run.
At the end of 2008 this course was initially offered to staff as a pilot to prepare for a course to be delivered to the public. the large number of people who missed out on booking in to State Library’s first Discovering Queensland course prompted organisers to offer a second round as a way of ‘managing our success’. It was a complete surprise to us when it was greeted with enthusiasm, considering that all the other Queensland history courses on offer through universities and other institutions had been withdrawn due to lack of interest and bookings. The ongoing popularity of the courses then led to two more courses being offered during October and November of this year.
Professor Evans attributes the popularity of our Discovering Queensland course to its unique 3 Rs combination, which comprises:
Reading and discussing the set text, A History of Queensland; in a similar way to how members of book clubs interact with their chosen books
Raw material from the John Oxley Library’s collection being on display each week for participants to enjoy, as well as having access to the
wRiter of the set text book at each session who fleshes out the various themes and topics of the week’s focal chapters with the participants.
Facilitating the Discovering Queensland course and working with Professor Evans will remain one of my career highlights. This role will now move into the very capable hands of Heritage Collections’ Manager of Information Services, Simon Farley. I now look forward to the exciting prospect of exploring and developing my role as Queensland Authors and Legal Deposit Librarian.
A big thank you to all the people who have participated in the Discovering Queensland courses – it really has been a fantastic experience and one that I will cherish forever!
Dr Leanne Day