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.

Rare Books and Special Collections Symposium: a Celebration of Music Manuscripts

Sydney University Library

In early 2017, Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Sydney added three manuscripts to its significant collection of Spanish Liturgical Music Manuscripts. This Symposium is to celebrate these additions, and to mark the doubling of this collection since the last Symposium ten years ago. Jointly convened by Rare Books and the Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney, this Symposium brings together scholars from Spain, Taiwan, Canada, the United States and Australia. Rare Books is hosting a Reception which will include a book launch, and a short concert of excerpts from the manuscripts. The book, “Mapping Processions: Four Sixteenth-century Spanish Music Manuscripts in Sydney, is by the keynote Speaker Dr David Andrés Fernández (Spain).

When: 14 June 2018; 4:00pm – 8:00pm

15 June 2018; 9:30am – 5:00pm

Where: Fisher Seminar Room, Level 2

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Andrés Fernández (Spain)

Register – 14th June

Register – 15th June 

Guided Exhibition Walk: Phyllis Kaberry and the Sepik

Phyllis Kaberry

The Phyllis Kaberry exhibition is on but we would like you to join us for a guided exhibition walk.

When: 4 July; 1 –1:45pm

Where: Fisher Library, level 3 and SciTech Library

Speakers: Dr Jude Philp, Senior Curator at University Museum and Nyree Morrison, Senior Archivist at University Archives

This guided walk will be conducted through the exhibition currently on display in the Fisher Library Level 3 and the SciTech Library. The exhibition was curated by anthropologist Diane Losche from the collections of Sydney’s Anthropology Department held by Rare Books and Special Collections, University Archives and the Macleay Museum. It focuses on Sydney anthropologist Phyllis Kaberry to commemorate the inscription of the Anthropological Field Research and Teaching Records, University of Sydney, 1926-1956 into the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian

Register here

More about Phyllis Kaberry and the Sepik:

In 1923 at a meeting of the international Pan-Pacific Congress at the University of Sydney the Australian government was urged to establish a Department of Anthropology and to fund urgent anthropological research in the region to counter the devastating effects of colonisation. The University of Sydney took up the challenge, instituting the first Department of Anthropology in the Australian-Pacific region with the appointment of AR Radcliffe Brown in 1926.

Many of the first generation of men and women who were taught at Sydney worked in isolation for periods of a year to eighteen months in areas where English was not spoken, in places not inscribed on maps, and with limited contact with people outside the community they were studying. For their work they were obliged to learn map making, linguistics and medical skills alongside their anthropological training.

The University’s Archives and Macleay Museum today look after the enormous wealth of information that these anthropologists produced from their interactions with Australian Aboriginal and Pacific peoples. For this exhibition we have focussed on the work of Phyllis Kaberry, the first female professional anthropologist to emerge from the Department.

This is a joint exhibition between Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library, University Archives and Museums to commemorate the inscription of the Anthropological Field Research and Teaching Records, University of Sydney, 1926-1956 into the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register.

The exhibition is being showcased on level 3 of Fisher and Sci Tech Libraries until August 2018.