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
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:
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.
& 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As part of USU’s PopFest, the Library is exhibiting a selection of iconic manga from our collection titled: From slapdash drawings to an art form: Japanese manga from the East Asian Collection.
Deemed by some as rooted in the twelfth-century scrolls of illustrated stories, manga (漫画) – literally meaning dispersed, uncontrolled, careless, free-form, excessive drawings and translated as comics or graphic novels – became a successful cultural export of Japan during the twentieth century. Since its entry into the domain of popular culture first in Japan and then around the world, it has established itself as a unique art and literary form diverging greatly on styles as well as subject matters. This exhibition showcases some of the iconic works of manga from the Library’s East Asian Collection. Want to see more? Go explore our extensive manga collection on level 9, Fisher Library.
少女漫画 Girls’ manga or純情漫画 “Pure love” manga
少女漫画 [shōjo manga] is manga intended primarily for young female readership, as opposed to 少年漫画 [shōnen manga], manga for teen boys. Often considered as not so much a genre but a category by target audience, and sometimes disregarded and passed as inferior as are many things created and appreciated by women, shōjo manga is in fact a distinct and distinguished genre in itself that made space for women creators and readership in the manga world, opening possibilities for alternative characters, narratives, and sensibilities beyond the battles and adventures of robots, pirates, and samurai. From this genre many auteurs and masterpieces emerged, some that may today seem conventional and others subversive, yet all worth consideration
ベルサイユのばら = La rose de Versailles
La rose de Versailles, affectionately nicknamedベルバラ [berubara], is a classic of the classics in the genre of 少女漫画 [shōjo manga]. Also known as Lady Oscar, Berubara tells a story of two main characters: Oscar and Marie Antoinette. Both are caught in the political and romantic whirlwind against the backdrop of pre- and post-revolutionary France. Oscar is especially conflicted between their duty as the commander of the Royal Guard and their sympathy with the revolution.
It first appeared in May 1972 in the Margaret (マーガレット[Māgaretto]) magazine, which ran weekly then. After the final episode was published in the magazine in 1973, a forty-episode anime television series of Berubara was released in 1979. The series gained a huge national following during its first run until 1980, achieving cult status in Japan and overseas thereafter. Consequently, it was rerun numerous times until very recently. Berubara has also been made into Takarazuka (宝塚), Japanese all-female musical theatre, since 1974.
The Glass mask is a manga written and illustrated by Miuchi Suzue that first appeared in shōjo manga magazine Hana to yume (花と夢, “Flowers and dreams”) in 1976. It is a story of two ambitious and talented young women, the protagonist Maya and her rival Ayumi, striving to reach the highest level of the art of acting as well as to achieve their career goals.
One of the bestselling shōjo manga (over 50 million copies by 2006), Garasu no kamen is still running, the most recent volume being volume 49 published in 2012. Known to be a perfectionist, Miuchi does not release new episode easily or often. She is now 68 years old and her readership, of all genders and ages, is wishing her all the best and looking desperately forward to the next volumes. One fan aged over 80 said in an interview that her last wish would be to be able read the finale of Garasu no kamen in her lifetime. A Musical based on Garasu no kamen is scheduled to premiere in 2020, for which Miuchi is writing the scenario.
Fast forward to 1999, when Nana was created by Yazawa Ai. Nana first appeared in josei-and-shōjo (女性・少女, “women and girls”) manga magazine Cookie (クッキー), and started as a series in 2000, running until June 2009. It soon became one of the bestselling shōjo manga, selling over 34.5 million copies by 2006. In 2009 Yazawa fell ill and stopped creating Nana, leaving the story unfinished with forty-seven episodes so far. Meanwhile, monograph series was published by Shūeisha (集英社) in twenty-one volumes.
Nana is a story that evolves around the lives of two seemingly opposite women, both of whose names are Nana: one Komatsu Nana (小松奈々), the other Ōsaki Nana (大崎ナナ). Komatsu comes from a care-free home with her naïve outlook and dependent personality. Ōsaki on the other hand was a teenage runaway who is now a depressed and anxious punk rock singer. At the age of twenty-one, both end up heading to the big city, Tokyo, for a new chapter in their lives. The pair meets for the first time on their train to Tokyo and then get to live together in their new city, where one is looking for musical success and fame while the other seeks love and stability.
With the pages turning, the reader follows their journey in friendship and solidarity, while clumsily and painfully navigating their new surroundings, relationships, work, and passion. One can surely call Nana a type of twenty-first century coming-of-age tale of two young women, that cannot be told without female friendship taking centre stage.
子供向け漫画 [kodomo muke manga], or simply 子供漫画 [kodomo manga], is manga for children. Usually of a shorter length and telling simpler stories, children’s manga often features children themselves as main characters and contains educational content. Many children grow up reading manga, alone in their rooms and socially amongst friends. They read manga during their bus or subway trip to and back from school, during class breaks, and hanging out with friends after school. They borrow manga books from libraries, save up their pocket money to purchase new releases, and circulate volumes amongst friends. Manga is part of their daily lives and a common reference and forms their childhood memory as they grow up. Researchers have shown that manga helps develop literacy in children by exposing them to complex visual narrative sequences. Through repeated practice in visual language, children’s ability to comprehend and create narratives is increased. More researchers are finding that children who read manga also read more of other materials compared to those who do not, and grow up to be avid readers in general.
ドラえもん = Doraemon
Doraemon is an iconic and much beloved children’s manga series created by 藤子・F・不二雄 [Fujiko F. Fujio], nom de plume of the manga artist duo 藤本弘 [Fujimoto Hiroshi] and 安孫子素雄 [Abiko Motoo]. Doraemon first appeared in 1969 in an educational magazine for school children and in 月刊コロコロコミック (“Monthly Korokoro Comics”), both published by 小学館 [Shōgakukan], a publishing house specialising in primary education books. ロコロコ is a mimetic word describing a small, round object rolling. In January 1970, Doraemon became a regular appearance and the original series concluded with 1,345 short stories in total in 1996. Selected stories from the series were also published in monograph forms in 45 volumes from 1974 and 1996, which became one of the bestselling manga in the world, selling more than 100 million copies by 2015.
Doraemon is a story of a twenty-two-century robotic cat named Doraemon with special time-traveling powers who takes a boy, 野比のび太 [Nobi Nobita], on adventures anywhere and anytime: overseas, in the past, and into the future, while trying to help him with his troubles. Doraemon is in fact sent by a descendant of Nobita, and is equipped with all kind of futuristic gadgets. While each short story covers one problem to solve and has an ending, all stories have something in common: Doraemon uses his secret tools that magically appear from his pocket to help Nobita, but something somehow always goes wrong.
Doraemon was and still is extremely popular, and naturally grew to a huge franchise including anime series, e-book series, anime film, feature films, and video games, adored all around the world. Licensed merchandise is also very popular, generating billions of dollars globally. Doraemon collected many an award, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan appointed the character Doraemon as the nation’s first anime ambassador in 2008.
Displayed are the manga Doraemon itself and the images of entries for the Doraemon exhibition subtitled ‘please make your own Doraemon’, held in Japan between 2002 and 2004.
グルメ漫画 [gurume manga], gourmet manga, is manga on food that has established itself as a topical genre over time, starting with 包丁人味平 (HōchōninAjihei, Ajihei the cook, 1973-1977). Deemed to be the very first work in the genre, HōchōninAjihei was a series written by 牛次郎[Gyū Jirō] and illustrated by ビッグ錠 [Bikku Jō], published in Weekly shōnenjump. In this seminal work, Ajihei, son of a renowned and respected chef of traditional Japanese cuisine, decides to go on his own journey against his father’s wishes. To his father’s dismay, he decides to become best at making inexpensive yet delicious food for the people. HōchōninAjiheitells a story of Ajihei’s development as a chef, including the obstacles and challenges he meets. It is filled with information on ingredients, dishes, and cooking techniques, and punctuated with many a cooking battle. Although this particular work is not held by the East Asian Collection, the building blocks of Gourmet manga established and developed in HōchōninAjihei are evident in the succeeding titles held in the collection. The bubble economy during the 1980s and 1990s in Japan brought about a boom in gastronomy, and the gourmet manga also proliferated.
将太の寿司=Shōta no sushi
Shōta no sushi, “Shōta’s sushi”, is a typical example of the subgenre of Gourmet manga, バトル物, “the battle type”, where the protagonist chef’s personal and professional growth is achieved through various cooking battles and competitions. Created by 寺沢大介 [Daisuke Terasawa] in 1992, the original series was published in Weekly shōnen magazine between 1992 and 1997, followed by a sequel series 将太の寿司 : 全国大会編 [Shōta no sushi : zenkoku taikai hen] from 1997 to 2000.
Shōta’s Sushi follows a teenage male apprentice sushi cook, Shōta, through his journey to becoming a specialist sushi chef. The story centres around Shōta solving problems and overcoming obstacles while competing in sushi tournament competitions, from regional preliminaries to nationals.
Unlike Shōta’s sushi, Oishinbo, “The Gourmet”, belongs to another subgenre of Gourmet manga called 情報物, “the information type”, although the boundaries are unclear. In this type of gourmet manga, information on ingredients, recipes, origins, traditions, and food-related social practices are central to the story. In line with such characteristics, Oishinbo often provides lengthy and detailed description of the dishes featured, accompanied by realistic and meticulous pictorial representation.
It follows two newspaper journalists Shirō and Yūko who are put in charge of the paper’s special centenary project titled <the perfect menu>. Written by 雁屋哲[Kariya Tetsu] and illustrated by 花咲アキラ[Hanasaki Akira], Oishinboseries was first published in 1983 and ran until suspension in 2014 on the pages of Big Comic Spirits. The monograph series was published in 111 volumes, and soon became one of the bestselling manga in the world, with the approximate sales over 130 million copies by 2008. Anime television series, television films, and live-action films were also released.
Exhibited are the manga Oishinbo itself, along with two related materials: <美味しんぼ> をもっと美味しくする特别講義 (“Special lecture to make Oishinbo more delicious”), and; 美味しんぼア・ラ・カルト. 15(身も心も温まる!鍋料理) (“Oishinbo à la carte 15: nabe dishes to warm your body and mind”).
As part of Wear It Purple Day, 2019 the Library is proud to present Bending Sydney: Camp Ink 1970-77, a new exhibition featuring material from Rare Books & Special Collections. The exhibition runs from 30 August – 30 September in Fisher Library and on our ThinkSpace video wall.
We will be decorating service points and rolling out the purple carpet! Wear It Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environment for young members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The exhibition Bending
Sydney features material from CAMP Ink, which was the official publication
of Sydney’s first lesbian and gay political organisation Campaign Against Moral
Persecution. CAMP was co-founded in 1970 by John Ware and Christabel Poll to
create a “safe space” for homosexual women and men to come together to discuss
the issues of discrimination they were facing in Australia at the time.
A CAMP Inc branch was established on the campus of The
University of Sydney, and Rare Books & Special Collections now holds the
collection of the group’s historical publication which was published from 1970
– 1977. This exhibition highlights these publications, which was a vital outlet
for CAMP Inc.
The exhibition is curated by Library staff member Suzy Faiz. Suzy graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts in 2017. Her work explores painting’s critical relevance within contemporary art. It ostensibly concentrates on painting and collage and primarily exhibits abstract tendencies coupled with the occasional inclusion of figurative elements. Suzy’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally and is included in private collections in Australia and Austria.
“As a young queer person, this exhibition has been particularly close to my heart. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the history of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ activism, without which we would not have the freedoms to express ourselves today.”
Explore the evolution of knowledge about the human brain through Rare Books and Special Collection’s latest exhibition ‘The beautiful brain: the exacting detail of anatomical art’.
See the exquisitely
detailed anatomical art which assisted medical students through centuries dating
back to the 16th century
includes early anatomical atlases and medical texts including Vesalius’s
illustrations of the brain in the Fabrica (1543).
Curated by neurologist, Catherine Storey, the exhibition will fascinate everyone. See records of historical & scientific disputes and discoveries attempting to answer questions like: how many pairs of cranial nerves in the human brain?