The Peer Learning Advisors aka PLAs are all experienced students with their fingers on the pulse of student needs in real time and are best places to represent, speak to and share space with the student body. They have been trained in being a point of referral to students, offering tips on everything from where to find the best coffee on campus, to overcoming feeling isolated to using tech to support student initiatives and goals.
Drop in for a chat with our PLAs at ThinkSpace, Bosch Commons, the Quarter, Dentistry Library, or Camden Commons.
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.
The University of Sydney Library is delighted to welcome Barbara Campbell as the 2019 Printer in Residence!
With an extensive creative practice spanning printmaking, performance, bookmaking and concept-driven enquiry, Barbara Campbell will take up residency in the Piscator Press workshop during Semester 2.
Her project ‘A Bird is in the Library’ brings together her passion for print techniques, haiku, libraries, and birds. It anticipates engagement with library users in an imaginative journey via letterpress and the architecture of the library and its systems.
Barbara will also hold two interactive open studios and a book launch exhibition at the end of the residency, see details below.
Dr David Andrés Fernández is a visiting scholar from Complutense University of Madrid, Musicology and he will be discussing his latest research findings concerning some of the liturgical manuscripts recently purchased by Rare Books and Special Collections.
These manuscripts include books for both Cathedral and Monastic use, dating back to the thirteenth century. Many of the books focus on the period from Christmas to Epiphany.
Although provenance for a number of these manuscripts cannot yet be established with any certainty, repertorial and decorative evidence in some of the books points to links with the liturgical agenda of Salamanca Cathedral. Two monastic antiphonals and one gradual are identified with religious communities (Servites, Jeronymites, Augustinians) and one of these appears to have been associated with a particular house of nuns (Our Lady of the Snows).
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.
Join Dr James Kane, lecturer at the University of Sydney discussing Florilegium, in our final rare bites talk of the year.
One of the many types of manuscript in circulation during the central Middle Ages was the florilegium (plural florilegia), a Latin word meaning ‘a collection of flowers’. Medieval writers tended to use florilegia to compile quotations and longer excerpts from works of literature, philosophy, history, and so on by the great classical and patristic authors of the past. Nicholson Ms. 2 is a late twelfth-century florilegium from France that has the distinction of being one of the earliest medieval manuscripts currently held in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library. It contains excerpts from the works of St Jerome, Apuleius, Cicero, Boethius, Seneca, and other Latin luminaries.
Though relatively unadorned, the manuscript shows various signs of usage over time and is a perfect example of how medieval annotators could keep books alive by appropriating marginal space. This talk will outline the contents of this florilegium, discuss its script and layout, and explain what its various marginal annotations and other features reveal about how it was used.
Dr James Kane is a lecturer at the University of Sydney, where he currently teaches Old English and Old Norse language and literature. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2016 on the topic of how crusading terminology evolved across various western languages between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. He is now preparing this thesis for publication under the tentative title Wearing the Cross in the Medieval West, c. 1095–c. 1300.
Join University of Sydney Alumnus Jenny Zhijun Yang discussing
The Orphan of Zhao in our fifth Rare Bites talk of the year.
The Orphan of Zhao was a play written by Ji Junxiang dating
back to 1330 AD and explores the main themes of revenge and retribution. The
play was the first specimen of Chinese dramatic literature translated into a
The Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections owns two
adaptations of the play by Voltaire in 1755 and Arthur Murphy in 1759. This
talk will focus on the original play and its adaptations to explore a special
type of cultural exchange.
Jenny Zhijun Yang graduated with a Master of Art Curating with distinction at the University of Sydney in 2018. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Asian studies in 2017 and was awarded the Summer Research Scholarship of the University of Auckland. Jenny is a currently a gallery assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and was previously a gallery assistant at the Auckland Art Gallery. She also works as a collection manager for a private collector. Jenny has Chinese heritage and her dream is to share her knowledge of Chinese civilization with others.
This Rare Bite Talk has passed. However you can view this Rare Bite on our YouTube channel soon.
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 Between1938-1975, and more recently his Master of Media Practice in 2010.
This talk has passed, however you can view this Rare Bite on our Youtube channel:
provides you with the foundational skills set to
be the ultimate annoying Library goer. From talking in silent zones, leaving
behind food scraps, eating near computers and desk hogging, this course will
equip you to irritate those around you with confidence. Awesome!
What skills will I learn?
Spread unpleasant food smells and attract insects
Learn how to
strategically leave food scraps and rubbish on desks so the strong smell of
your half-finished big mac, ramen and extra cheesy pizza linger in the maximum
air space possible. You will also learn how to attract a multitude of insects
with your left-over rubbish to gross out others. If you choose to further your
studies in ANOY1002 you will build on this skills set and learn how to attract
colonies of insects and potentially start infestations in Library spaces.
Damage electronic equipment
ANOY1001 provides you
with the knowledge on how to successfully damage electronic equipment by eating
hot food and drink near and on top of computer systems. You will learn skills
in how to spill your soft drink, coffee and hot food in the most effective angle
to guarantee the damage of different types of equipment. Equipment covered in
the course includes computers, printers, photocopiers and audio-visual equipment. You will
also learn to identify what types of drinks and foods cause the most stickiness
when spilt on keyboards.
Make excessive noise in the silent zone (silent zones)?
In this module you
will learn the skills to make the most noise possible in an area clearly marked
with blue silent zone signage. Learn unacceptable behaviour when in the silent
zone including: how to loudly talking on the phone, how to laugh really loudly
and how to contribute to a loud group conversation of participants talking over
each other to maximise the irritability of others studying in the space. Also
learn skills in how to project your voice to maximise the volume of noise you
Take up study spaces with unattended belongings
An ultimate annoying
skill, this course will teach you how to leave your belongings unattended
spread out on desk spaces to avoid other people from studying. This component
of the course includes various on campus tutorial excursions where you will
learn practical skills in walking away from your study desk to various on
campus destinations (coffee carts, other study desks, food outlets) for
extended period of time.
Spread cigarette smoke in non-smoking areas
In this final
component of the course you will learn how to annoy passers-by by smoking in a
geographically strategic manner that reaches the largest amount of air space
possible and so your cigarette smoke lingers for the longest possible time.
You will learn how to
avoid designated smoking areas on campus, and learn how to smoke in non-smoking
zones so that the maximum number of people around you unwillingly passive smoke.