A big thank you to our Queensland Memory volunteers!

This week we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions by volunteers who have generously given their time to work on projects within Queensland Memory at the State Library of Queensland.

We wish to thank all volunteers that have been involved in the transcription of the Claudius Buchanan Whish diaries. This project commenced in 2009 and through the diligent work of our dedicated volunteers, we have forty-six diaries in digital format.

Claudius Buchanan Whish (1827-1890), sugar-planter and civil servant, was born on 5 January 1827 in Meerut, India. Whish established himself on the Oakland’s Sugar Plantation at Caboolture. For more about the diaries see the blog story “The peacock feather – Diary of Claudius Buchanan Whish” by volunteer Dr Rosemary Gill and for biographical information see http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/whish-claudius-buchanan-4833

Peacock Feather – Whish Diary

Peacock Feather – Whish Diary – OM65-33/39

Ephemera – those transient pamphlets and invitations that find their way to our door steps or are picked up when we are out and about are a wonderful source of information about what is happening around us at any given time.

The Australian Library of Art houses an extensive collection of ephemera about Australian artists, galleries, organisations, awards and prizes.  Each week a dedicated team of volunteers enthusiastically sorts and files incoming ephemera into the collection.  The process is complicated and requires a high attention to detail.  The collection would not be available today without the assistance of volunteers who take enormous pride in their work and who have worked tirelessly to build a collection that contains several hundred pamphlet boxes of material.

The Australian Library of Art ephemera sorting bench

The Australian Library of Art ephemera sorting bench

Similarly, the John Oxley Library holds a collection of ephemera covering a large number of topics of relevance to Queensland including the performing arts, politics, organisations, places and sport.  Dedicated volunteers have worked diligently to help sort specific topics, such as theatre, into chronological or alphabetical order to allow researchers to easily find what they are looking for.

Artist Normana Wight volunteers in the Australian Library of Art writing stories about collection materials. Her focus is on artists’ books; however other collection materials also attract her attention from time to time. This year Normana has reviewed the very successful Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Lecture with particular reference to the work of Helen Douglas. She also selected Joyce Ho’s artist’s book ‘Shadows developed: memories exposed’, highlighting a Brisbane State High student work from 2005.

Normana’s stories are topical, and provide just a brief introduction to collection items. She aims to encourage readers to visit the Library to dip into the wonderful offerings in the Australian Library of Art. Thank you Normana!

Normana Wight

Australian Library of Art volunteer Normana Wight

We also acknowledge our volunteers who have contributed to the QANZAC100 project. There are more than 30 volunteers working with State Library staff on activities to support QANZAC100, and in Queensland Memory there are currently four volunteers transcribing First World War letters, diaries and postcards, and researching images in order to better describe them.

In April for instance, volunteers spent 71 hours transcribing 20 letters from the 30629 Morris Hawkins collection and the 2885 George Goddard correspondence, the M299 Alan Campbell diary, and they sorted a collection of letters – the OM91-11 Adam Family correspondence.  They are learning to use State Library’s new online transcription platform Digivol. We appreciate their wealth of knowledge, their eagle eyes, and their expertise and fearlessness in the face of difficult and often indistinct handwriting!

A big thank you all our volunteers!  We couldn’t have done it without you.