Sydney Rare Book Week: Free events this October!

The Library is excited to announce that this October, together with the State Library of NSW, we will be hosting the inaugural Sydney Rare Book Week: A week-long program of free talks and events to celebrate the importance of everything books: literature, publishing, book production, collecting & more.

Sydney Rare Book Week will be held at venues across Sydney from Sunday, 27 October to Saturday, 2 November 2019. There is something for everyone – talks and lectures, walking tours, exhibitions, hands on workshops, and behind the scenes visits.  The free events held here at the University of Sydney include:

Introduction to hand printing on the Albion Press Workshops

Have you ever used a letterpress? This workshop is an introduction to hand-printing using the University of Sydney Library’s Piscator Press. The course includes an overview of the history of letterpress printing, showing examples from our Rare Books & Special Collections.  Register for your opportunity to try the Piscator Press yourself & create your own print to take home.

Evening lecture: Giorgione in Sydney

Rare Books & Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library holds a first edition copy of Dante’s Divine comedy printed in Venice in 1497. In 2017 a chance discovery by a Librarian of an inscription and sketch in the back of this book has revealed the inscription to be a notice of the death of the elusive Venetian Renaissance artist, Giorgione, and the sketch, of the Madonna and Child, has since been attributed to him. 

Join Jaynie Anderson, Professor Emeritus in Art History at the University of Melbourne, and international expert on Giorgione discussing this remarkable find and its implications for rewriting Venetian art history.

Thursday 31 October 2019, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Places are limited, please register your attendance online.

Sydney Rare Book Fair

Sydney Rare Book Week will conclude with the Sydney Rare Book Fair at MacLaurin Hall on Friday 1st November 1pm to 7pm & Saturday 2nd November 10am to 4pm.

Hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), Australian and international booksellers will display a broad, diverse and interesting selection of books, maps, manuscripts and ephemera, including early printed books, historical accounts of travel, prints, literature, art, militaria, and children’s books.

Whether you already have your own personal library and wish to add to it or would like to know more about book collecting, this is your opportunity to explore the world of rare and antiquarian books with experts in the field.

For the full program of events, and to register your attendance, visit the State Library of NSW Website

#SydneyRareBookWeek

Camden Research Computing Day, 30th October 2019

Library Peer Learning Advisors, together with Sydney Informatics Hub (SIH) present: Camden Research Computing Day, Wednesday October 30th 2019 at Camden Commons Library.

Join a range of workshops happening all day, covering everything stats & data:

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Stats Stream:

TimeCourseRegistration Link
9:30-10:30amStatistics 101 – How to analyse your data from beginning to endDetails
10:30-12:00pmExperimental Design and Power CalculationDetails
12:00-1:00pmBreak
1:00-2:30pmLinear Models in RDetails
2:30-4:00pmHacky HourDetails

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Data stream:

TimeCourseRegistration Link
9:30-10:30amEnhancing your research data management with eNotebooks and other University toolsDetails
10:30-12:00pmInfographics 101: Creating infographics for research communicationDetails
12:00-1:00pmBreak
1:00-2:30pmGetting started with data publishingDetails
2:30-4:00pmHacky HourDetails

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See more details & register for Camden Research Computing Day on the SIH website

Changes Proposed to Library Desk & Open Hours in 2020

In an effort to provide concentrated support when you need it most and to simplify our hours across our sites, the Library is proposing changes to our desk hours and opening hours starting Semester 1, 2020.

The proposed changes include the following across our sites:

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Changes to Desk Hours

Fisher and Law libraries are open 24/7 (for those of you who like to study late!). Statistics tell us that 94% of our enquiries are received between 8am-8pm, so we are proposing a change to when our information desks are open:

Monday-Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday 
Fisher 8am-8pm  8am-8pm  10am-5pm  1pm-5pm 
Law 8am-8pm  8am-8pm  10am-5pm  1pm-5pm 

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Changes to Library Opening Hours:

To simplify our opening hours across our other Library sites, we are proposing to change when libraries are open at the following sites:

Monday-Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday 
SciTech 8am-8pm  8am-8pm  10am-5pm  1pm-5pm 
Health Sciences 8am-8pm  8am-6pm  10am-5pm  1pm-5pm 
Conservatorium 8am-7pm  8am-5pm  10am-5pm  – 
Nursing 9am-7pm  9am-5pm  –  – 

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Changes to Chat Now hours

Chat Now is a great way to chat live with a Library staff member for instant support. From Semester 1, 2020 we are proposing to extend our ChatNow service hours to the following:

Monday-Thursday  Friday 
Chat Now 8am-10pm  8am-8pm 

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What do you think about these changes? We want to hear from you!

Provide your feedback in this short survey.

The survey will close on Friday 25th October 2019 at 17:00.

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Reflection and Respite: The Big Anxiety Festival Exhibition at Fisher Library

Detail from Reflection and Respite by Ross Richardson

One of the simplest and most immediately accessible ways to lift your mood is a walk in the countryside or along the beach. Can spending time in front of a piece of art have a similar effect?

Influenced by recent research work on biophilia and ecopsychology, artists Emma and Ross propose that observing, drawing and even colouring in natural forms can help to reduce blood pressure, improve immune responses, and help alleviate anxiety. Art and nature in this sense combine to provide an antidote, and looking at images of nature can enhance a calm meditation. The concepts of mandalas, symmetry and balance are explored in the context of compositions which promote reflection and respite from the busyness of everyday life. 

Reflection and Respite exhibition, Fisher Library by Dr Emma Robertson and Ross Richardson

This exhibition in glass vitrines is on three levels of the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney, and the installation is also inspired by the setting of the Library, and the conventions of scientific illustration. Quotations from books relating to anxiety are integrated into the displays.

Supported by Scientia Education Fellowship, UNSW and The Fisher Library, The University of Sydney.

Detail from Reflection and Respite exhibition, Fisher Library by Dr Emma Robertson and Ross Richardson

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Reflection and Respite is part of the Big Anxiety Fesitival, Australia’s largest mental health festival.

The Big Anxiety brings together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century.

A radically new kind of international arts festival, in which every project is an open conversation, designed to promote curiosity, awareness and action, The Big Anxiety presents events across Sydney, tackling the major anxieties of our times, as well as the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Whether through hi-tech interactive environments or one-on-one dialogues, our goal is to create the rich engagements we need for our collective mental health.

The Big Anxiety is an initiative of UNSW Sydney in association with the Black Dog Institute and partners in the cultural, education and health sectors.

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Artist Biography

Dr Emma Robertson is an award winning artist, whose work is in seven public collections in four countries. The Hospital Trust for Scotland purchased two works for their permanent collection, which were commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council for the exhibition Wordworks. Emma’s work has been competitively selected for a public art commission for a Hospice, for the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, the JADA, and four International Biennials of Drawing. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Scientia Education Fellow / Associate Professor at UNSW, and a previous Artist in Residence at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Her expertise in education relating to entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity at University and Executive Education levels has seen her win three prestigious teaching awards. Her PhD at The University of Sydney explored biophilia, ecopsychology, and artistic, nature-based antidotes to anxiety.

Ross Richardson studies illustration at the University of Edinburgh, and he is inspired by the natural environment, people, patterns, and landscape. His work has been competitively selected three times for the Mosman Youth Art Prize. He has received Highly Commended notifications for the Camden Art Prize, the Nan Manefield Youth Writer’s Award, and the Young Archies. Ross has also been selected for the Hunters Hill Art Exhibition, the Waverley Youth Art Prize, the Royal Art Society of NSW Youth Artist Prize, and the Hornsby Art Prize. In 2015 he won First Place in the Wollongong University Design Award for NSW. His work in this exhibition features watercolours, and also polymer clay three dimensional forms.

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Visit Reflection and Respite, 27 September – 31 October 2019 at Fisher Library levels 2, 3 & 4.

Les Murray: Australia’s “Bush-bard”

In the latest Rare Books and Special Collections exhibition, see selected publications, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, interview tapes, and typescripts of poems and interviews from our Erica Bell collection and donations from John Rowe, to commemorate the Australian poet Les Murray, the University of Sydney graduate who was to become known as the leading poet of his generation. 

Les Murray was born in Nabiac, NSW on 17 October 1938. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, he faced economic and emotional hurdles, including being targeted by high school bullies. Life improved for Murray in 1957 when he started his Arts degree to study modern languages at the University of Sydney. Student publications gave Murray an output for his creative work and he contributed labour and time to editorial boards of these publications.  

After having taken a break from his studies working as a translator and traveling Europe, he published his first volume of poems was published in 1965: The Ilex Tree, co-authored by Geoff Lehmann, another Sydney alumnus.  

When Murray graduated in 1969, he became a fulltime poet and writer. He played a significant role in the ongoing development of Australian literature and poetry, as a creator, editor, and critic. His poetry was much admired, for his ability to connect with others through class, mythologies, ideals, and landscape. 

Murray died in April 2019. He was 80 years old. 

Visit Les Murray: Australia’s “Bush-bard” from 9th October 2019, level 1 at Fisher Library

A digital re-offering of HARVEST

In June 2018 PhD student Daniel Howell was fortunate to work with Cambodian farmers as part of his Biology Honours year undertaking research linked to an ACIAR project “CamSID”.

The project explores the adoption of new technologies for sustainable intensification and diversification (SID) in the lowland rice system in north-west Cambodia, contributing to increased income for farmers and stronger businesses that are more sustainable and resilient.

During Daniel’s studies and visit to Cambodia, one of the farmers with whom Dan worked, Mr Wanta, fell ill just when Dan returned to Australia. Mr Wanta passed away late July 2018 and in December 2018 Daniel and Rosanne held a fundraising exhibition – HARVEST – for Mr Wanta’s family as a celebration of Mr Wanta and his family’s generosity.

The current exhibition is a digital reoffering of the HARVEST exhibition. Images include sections of rice grown by Mr Wanta himself and photomicrographs derived from our own campus flora.

Daniel Howell is a PhD student within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. Dan’s research is based in the rice-growing regions of northwest Cambodia where he is investigating potential cultural, chemical and biological disease management strategies in a bid to reduce the negative impacts of rice blast, a virulent pathogenic fungus.    

Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell has a research background in the biochemistry of symbiotic systems where the symbiotic relationships are sustained and maintained by effective communication between the partners. Rosanne currently remains active in biology research and also conducts research in education.

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Visit the HARVEST Exhibition at ThinkSpace from Monday 30 September – Friday 11 October 2019

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The Library’s ThinkSpace 16:3 aspect digital wall – is a tool to enable creative teaching, learning and sharing in our technology-driven, creative play-space.

What would you use our digital wall for? We are looking for creative ways to use this technology in teaching, learning and sharing. If you have an idea, reach out to: thinkspace@sydney.edu.au