Rare Books: Bookstall Company Exhibition

Rare Books and Special Collections are sharing with us these historical treasures in the Bookstall Company exhibition in Fisher Library, beginning on 30th July.

The N.S.W. Bookstall Company was a retail publishing success story. Between 1904 and 1946 the N.S.W.

Bookstall Company released 234 books. The company sold books through its newsagencies, included smaller press items in its distribution network for a fee, and survived the Great Depression.

The Bookstall outlets were well situated at railway stations to sell a range of entertaining books to travellers when the 22.5 km journey from Central to Parramatta could take 50 minutes by train.
The settings and stories appealed to the diverse tastes of readers – Australian bush idylls and dangers, Pacific adventures, humour, romance, bushrangers, and Australian history. Read today, the stories reveal a view of life and values from a harsher time in Australia’s history.

The soft cover design with attention-grabbing cover art and illustrations throughout appealed to the public. Australian artists were contracted for this work, further linking the Bookstall Company to national identity and pride in the product.

Rare Books and Special Collections hold many of the N.S.W. Bookstall Co. publications, contracts, and 153 original book cover designs and illustrations. The exhibition using this material has been curated by Dr Peter Kirkpatrick (Associate Professor of Australian Literature) and Dr Anita Callaway (Nelson Meers Foundation Lecturer in Australian Art). Visit our exhibition and imagine Australia in the time of family farms, remote islands, and long train journeys.

23-27 July, O-Week Semester 2

sydney university staff taking guided tour

O-Week is a great opportunity to come and meet us and get familiar with your new Library home. There are lots of things you’d expect in a Library, but also so many more! This is a space for inspiration, research, creativity and discovery. It’s a place to help you thrive.

Rare Books and Special Collections regularly exhibits selections of their precious treasures, ThinkSpace is a hub of technology and super cyber things including 3D printers and a One Button Recording Studio where you can video your presentations and take them with you on a USB. If you feel the need to focus, or snooze, our sleep pods are out of this world. And of course, our books, online resources and study spaces are right here, for you.

From 23-27 July there are library tours, Speed Meet and Chat sessions for both undergrads and postgrads – the perfect way to meet other students, two VR Escape Room events in ThinkSpace and Discover Your Library sessions in English and Mandarin. You’ll need to register for most of these so be sure to click here.

We’re really looking forward to meeting you.

Rare Books: Perspectives of an Outsider

University Library

Drawing on historical materials from the Rare Books and Special Collections in the Fisher Library, Perspectives of an Outsider is an exhibition featuring on Thomas Allom’s 4-volume books China Illustrated which were first published by Fisher Son & Co. in 1845 in London. Thomas Allom was a well-known British traveler and illustrator in the 19th Century. These 173-year-old travel books have 75 steel engravings of original sketches by Thomas Allom and descriptive letters of Chinese social habits and scenery written by an Irish clergyman, G.N. Wright.

Perspectives of an Outsider is an exhibition that explores ‘what’ Thomas Allom as a British travel artist fascinated with and analyze ‘how’ he depicted Chinese social life using the art historical concept of Orientalism. Digging into ‘what’ and ‘how’, visitors will be able to see the 19th century China from an outsider’s perspectives. Outsider’s perspectives can be fresh, valuable and epigrammatic while sometimes full of discrimination, bias and prejudice. Through Alloms’ eyes, visitors can gain an insight into Chinese history of the 19th century, the so-called ‘century of humiliation’. This exhibition also reminds us of the importance of cultural diversity and respect for cultural uniqueness. As there are no two identical leaves in the world, each of us is different.

When: 2 July 2018 – 31 August 2018

Where: Fisher Library Cases

Congratulations to the winner of the Library Client Survey

Fisher Library

Thanks to everyone for taking part in our Library Client Survey. Congratulations to the first prize winner Luke Hale who won $500. We caught up with Luke to hear what he plans to spend the prize money on.

How often do you come to the Library?

I come to Fisher about four times a week to study and relax in between class.

What are you studying?

Exercise Physiology and I’m in my second year.

What do you plan on spending your money on?

I’m stoked to have won first prize and I am planning on putting it towards a tablet so I can take it to lectures. Any of the remaining money I will put towards recording equipment for my side project which is doing voice-overs!

And finally, what do you love about the Library?

As far as the Library goes, what I love most is no one talks to you. You can get as much done in as little time as possible, you don’t have that at home!

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Knowledges Seminar Series: Cultural Astronomy

Sydney Library

The Library is delighted to invite you to the second seminar of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges Seminar Series. Run in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), our Seminar Series will include a total of 6 talks held during this year, presented by experts on areas including: History and Language, Cultural Astronomy, Connection to Country, Visual Art, Medicine, and Perspectives on Gender.

Our second seminar focuses on Aboriginal cultural astronomy and cultural competence in research. Our guest speakers include: Robert (Bob) Fuller, PhD Candidate in Ethnography and Carla Guedes, Academic Tutor and Master by Research candidate, both from the University of New South Wales; and James Smith who works for the Department of Museums at The University of Sydney and the Australian Museum.

Bob will discuss his study of the astronomy of the Aboriginal peoples of the NSW Coast, and Carla will explore cultural competence for astronomers developing astronomical facilities in Indigenous sacred lands. James has been involved in a number of Indigenous cultural projects, and will be examining the role of Indigenous culture in contemporary astronomy practices.

Attendance is open to all University staff and students and presents a wonderful opportunity for those wishing to learn more about the rich cultures of our First Nations peoples.

Register here.

Rare Bites: A ticket in Australia’s first lottery

Sydney Library

Our third talk of the Rare Bites series is coming soon!

When: 30 May; 1-1.30pm

Where: New Law School Annex, Seminar Room 028

Speaker: Dr Neil Radford

In this talk Dr Radford will discuss Australia’s first lottery, held in Sydney in 1849. This lottery was surrounded by controversy and was probably illegal. It was immensely popular however, and the government turned a blind eye because it seemed the only way of averting the consequences of a financial disaster. The Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections holds one of the tickets issued for the lottery, plus the full list of prizes.

About the speaker:

Dr Neil Radford was the University Librarian 1980-1996. He is currently Patron of the Friends of the University of Sydney Library; on the Executive of the Chancellor’s Committee, and Voluntary Editor at the Dictionary of Sydney.

Register here.