Rare Bites: Free lunchtime talks exploring our Rare Books treasures

Rare Bites is a series of 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. Each talk features an expert speaker spotlighting specific Rare Books and Special Collections resources that are part of their field of study.

The series gives the opportunity for staff & students to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections.

Semester two talks include:

Exploring Amazing Fantasy #15: The genesis of Spider-Man

When unsuspecting teenager Peter Parker got bitten by a radioactive spider and later realised with great power there must also come great responsibility , America’s ‘most different new teenage idol’ and superhero Spider-Man was born.

Join University of Sydney alumnus Matthew Skinner as he discusses the origin of Marvel Comics’ flagship character within the pages of anthology book Amazing Fantasy #15 by co-creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (1962) in our 4th Rare Bites Talk of the year.

His presentation will explore Lee and Ditko’s tightly plotted, scripted and drawn 11-page collaboration, why their publisher was initially hesitant to print the story, the readership’s reaction to their teenage protagonist, and the pair’s later feud over who exactly created the hero.

Matthew has over ten years of experience delivering marketing, media and communications insight across the sports and higher education sectors.

His exposure to, and passion of, comic books as a medium spans thrice that.

Matthew completed his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 2006, presenting his thesis on The Literary History of Comic Books in America Between 1938-1975, and more recently his Master of Media Practice in 2010.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 21st August

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online(places limited)

Australian Piano Music 1850-1950. Our Cultural Legacy Exhibition

Australian Piano music is Associate Professsor, Dr Jeanell Carrigan’s ongoing research area and this exhibition coincides with the publication of her new e-book, Australian Piano music from 1850-1950. A performer’s guide, which includes published piano music examples with recordings.

The exhibition includes newly published piano music scores written by Meta Overman, Iris de Cairos Rego, Una Bourne and more, as well as CD covers.

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Join us for our exhibition opening event

Date: Wednesday 7 August 2019

Time: 3:00pm

Location: Conservatorium Library

Register your attendance online

You can also visit the ‘Australian Piano Music 1850-1950. Our Cultural Legacy ’ Exhibition 5 August – 5 October 2019.

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Share some positivity during exam time

Exams got you down? As part of our Exam Ready program, the STAR team (Student Transition and Retention) and the Library have put together a program of events to support you during exam season.

This includes our Chill Out Zone in Fisher where we asked students to leave a message of positivity for other students.

Here are some of our favourites:

Visit the Library website for more information and for the full program of Exam Ready events & best of luck with exams!

How to be as exam ready & least stressed as possible this semester

Feel like you have more to learn that brain capacity? Panicking over impending deadlines? Pressure and stress to pass & do well?

Exam time is tough, and at the Library, the hub of group assignments, 3am cramming & intense studying, we know all about it! So, together with the STAR team (Student Transition and Retention), we are here to help!

Here are some ways you can destress and study effectively for exams this semester:

Therapy Dogs

What better way to unwind than a soft, furry cuddle from one of our four-legged friends? Therapy dogs will be visiting Fisher, SciTech and The Quarter Libraries during our Exam Ready program so you can take a break and get your dose of puppy love. Visit our Facebook page for details.

Yoga and Meditation

Reduce your stress by taking some time out for you this exam period. Our free yoga and meditation sessions are designed to refresh your body and mind between study sessions, so you can stress less & focus more. Free fruit is also provided at the end of each session. Visit the Exam Ready page for more details.

Focus & Study

If you find it challenging to power through distractions and get things done, our Focus & Study sessions are for you. Using the Pomodoro technique, these sessions are all about short bursts of intense productivity. Come along with your study notes and walk away feeling accomplished.
Visit the Exam Ready page for more details.

Nap zone

Sleep = the secret power to retaining information. Drop by our Nap zones in Fisher and Health Sciences Libraries for a power nap to rejuvenate and up your productivity. Visit the Exam Ready page for more details.

Craft at ThinkSpace

Get creative, messy and give your brain a break with some craft at ThinkSpace. Drop by and get creative those creative skills in action- a zen way to clear a cluttered mind. Visit the Exam Ready page for more details.

The Library and the STAR team (Student Transition and Retention) have lots more activities happening this semester to help you get through exams. Visit the Library website for more information and for the full program.

It’s that time of semester once again… and we’ve got your back.

It’s that time of semester once again. Campus is filled to the brim of sleep deprived students, highlighted study notes and the presence of stress lingering in the air is strong. Exams.

But not to worry! The Library and the STAR team (Student Transition and Retention) have got your back!

We’ve got lots of activities lined up to support you during exams:

Breakfast Club

Remember Mum saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? If you’re planning on getting stuff done & having a productive day, start it off right with free breakfast at Fisher Library and The Quarter. It’s also a great opportunity to meet others. It’ll be a cereals-ly good time!

Fruit and Freddo handouts

Keep an eye out for Library staff across libraries handing out free fruit and Freddos while you study in the lead up to exams. You’re welcome.

Free coffee with a Cop

Re-fuel with a free coffee outside Fisher Library & chat with the STAR team.
Chat about where to go for help and support at Uni.

Yoga and Meditation

Relax, breathe and reset. Attend a free yoga or meditation session to refresh your body and mind and stress less these exams. Free fruit is also provided at the end of each session.

Visit the Library website for more information and for the full program of Exam Ready events held by the Library and the STAR team (Student Transition and Retention) this semester.

Uncover the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Treasures in our series of lunchtime talks

Rare Bites is a series of 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. Each talk features an expert speaker spotlighting specific Rare Books and Special Collections resources that are part of their field of study.

The series gives the opportunity for staff & students to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections.

Talk One:
More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library

Our first talk More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library is by Dan Anlezark- McCaughey Professor of Early English Literature and Language; Director, Medieval and Early Modern Centre; Associate Dean Research (Education) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of English who will be talking about the book from our collection: Add. Ms. 342

[A prayer book in Latin and Dutch]. 1501. Netherlands.

Add. Ms. 342 is an unstudied late medieval prayer book in Middle Dutch and Latin. This late fifteenth-century manuscript, written on paper, is only minimally decorated, and is the kind of book that was the output of mass production in the Low Countries in the later Middle Ages. The book appears to have remained in private ownership from the time it was made until relatively recently, as is indicated by the inscription of a number of names (including those of children) up to the early nineteenth century.

This short talk will provide a brief overview of the book in its evolving historical contexts, from the time of its manufacture, until it was acquired by the Fisher Library.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 20 March 2019

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Talk Two: Illustrations to micrographs: Visualising patterns in Botany

Learning about the world around us involves observing and recognising the patterns. In science, learning is about sharing and challenging “the what” and “the how” of our observations through discussion within the classroom and with the scientific community at large.

Botanische Wandtafeln (1874-1911), RB Elephant Folio 580 2
Online at https://digital.library.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/6401

Join Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science discussing Botanische Wandatafeln – a series of technical scientific illustrations (1874-1911) distributed globally as teaching tools to support student learning in botany.

Reliance on these illustrations of resources fell out favour for a number of reasons including the advent of digital imaging which coincided with the explosion in the number of online resources (including the University’s eBOT collection). Re-utilising Leopold Kny’s series in a digital platform allows for an enriched dialogue about how science, in general, and botany, is communicated.

Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell is from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science. Dr Quinnell’s research and teaching focus on plant sciences and the use of technology-enhanced solutions to improve student learning e.g. Botany, Zoology and Human Biology virtual microscopy slide collections, eBOT botanical image repository, electron laboratory notebooks, CampusFlora apps.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 17th April

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Talk Three: Not an Ordinary Dog: Flush by Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf wrote Flush, a fictional biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, after having been captivated by the dog’s presence in the love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. Flush was “not an ordinary dog”, by Woolf’s description, and he is certainly more extraordinary for his persistence in literary imagination.


Image: Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941., Flush : a biography, London : L. and V. Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1933., 823.91 W913 J10 5

Join Dr Vanessa Berry, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney discussing Flush by Virginia Woolf (1933) in our third Rare Bites Talk of the year.

Although Flush was a bestseller for the Hogarth Press at the time of its publication, it has long been considered one of Woolf’s minor works. However, with the rise of animal studies in the humanities there has been an upsurge of interest in Flush.

This presentation will introduce Flush and the genre of the canine memoir and consider the literary potential of the human-canine relationship.

Dr Vanessa Berry is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney, and a writer known for her work with history, memory and archives. Her most recent book Mirror Sydney, which examines the city’s marginal and undercurrents, was published in 2017 and won the Mascara Avant Garde literary award.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 22nd May

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

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Stay tuned for details of more upcoming Rare Bites talks throughout the year.