6 ways to use the Library’s Digital Collections in your research

A sample of the resources available through the new Digital Collection platform

The Library has launched the new Digital Collections platform making the Library’s digital resources more accessible. Over 5,600 digital items are now available to search online in one place.

Here are seven ways to use the Library’s new Digital Collections platform in your research:

1. For the first time, you can search across many of the Digital Collections

2. You can now save and sort resources according to your research projects under ‘My Collection’

3. You can view your ‘browsing history’ making it easier to find what you were previously searching for (this is automatically cleared once you leave the website for your privacy)

4. The search expands access to the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections through making more of our digitised collections available

5. The platform has a mobile friendly interface, allowing for easier sharing and engagement

6. You can search across the text of collections like Hermes and Honi for the first time as our new system detects and uploads text from each page of our items

Browse and explore the Library’s Digital Collections.

The Golden Age of Dutch Printing

In the seventeenth century, a period known as the Dutch golden age, Dutch book production led the world.

Atlas minor…noveau revue, et augmente / Gerardus Mercator (1512-94). Amsterdami, excusam in aedilus Judoci Hondii [1613]. RB 6113.1

Dutch dominance of European printing at this time can be attributed to two main factors: the Dutch Republic’s position as a centre of international trade, and its relative freedom of the press. This exhibition showcases some examples of fine Dutch printing held in Rare Books & Special Collections.

When: 18th March – 23rd September 2019

Where: Fisher Library, Level 1

How the Library can help you to master your information literacy skills

This year, the Library is offering two fully online courses developed for students to master the foundational skills in information literacy. Learn how to research like a pro – know what resources are reliable and go beyond Google for the best possible results. Both courses available are zero credit points.

The two courses include:

Fact or Fake News 

Not all information is created equal. In this course, you will learn what information is best suited for your needs. Learn how to detect bias and how to determine authority, accuracy and intended audience. You will investigate all the different ways information can be created and in turn question how to identify reliable and suitable sources. 

Access the Fact or Fake News course via the OLE canvas site.

Going beyond Google 

Sometimes Google is not enough. In this course you will develop the ability to apply universal search techniques across scholarly, government and commercial websites to become a more flexible and efficient searcher. Learn how to identify common search features on a range of websites and use them to quickly find specific sorts of information. 

Access the ‘Going beyond Google’ course via the OLE canvas site.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledge Seminar Series – Videos

Image by Sarah Lorien

Between May and November 2018, the University of Sydney Library Cultural Competence Community of Practice in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) hosted a series of seminars examining various perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges. The seminars were presented by experts on areas including History and Language, Cultural Astronomy, Connection to Country, Visual Art, Health, and Perspectives on Gender. The video recordings of these sessions, accessible via the below links, remain a valuable resource for members of the University community wishing to wishing to learn more about the rich cultures of our First Nations peoples.

With permission, these seminars were recorded and are available here as videos.

  1. History and Language, Presenters: Professor Jakelin Troy, Matt Poll and Joel Davison.

  2. Cultural Astronomy, Presenters: James Smith, Robert Fuller and Carla Guedes

  3. Connection to Country, Presenters: Dr Peter Ampt

  4. Visual Arts, Presenters: Djon Mundine and Janelle Evans

  5. Health, Presenters: Elizabeth Elliott and Professor Jane Latimer

  6. Perspectives on Gender. Presenters: Dr Sandy O’Sullivan, Laimena ‘Wilo’ Muwadda, and Darren Budda-Deen

 

How to use the Library to win at Uni life

  1. Nap time!

Feeling sleepy? You can take a nap in one of our nap pods in Fisher or SciTech Libraries

2. Have a go at 3D printing

Visit ThinkSpace, our technology-driven, creative play-space & have a go at 3D printing, Virtual Reality, CNC carving and more…

3. Book a desk

Whether you need to concentrate in a quiet space, or study in a group, there is place for you across our 12 Library locations. You can even book a desk during peak study time.

4. Cuddle a puppy

Exam time can be tough. To help you the Library hosts a program of activities & workshops to support you to relax, keep healthy, study effectively and ace your exams.

5. Study as late as you like

Need to work on that assignment? The Library has your back with some Library spaces open 24/7 equipped with kitchenettes & vending machines.

6. Explore the Rare Books Collections

The Library has thousands of resources in our Rare Books and Special Collections. Explore manuscripts dating back to the 1603 A.D., historical sci-fi comics and much more.

7. Chat with our friendly staff

Our Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs) are postgraduate students and experts at navigating University of Sydney life & their here to help. Drop in for a chat at ThinkSpace, Bosch Commons, the Quarter, Dentistry Library, or Camden Commons.

Have a burning question? We’re here to help. You can also chat live with a Librarian Monday–Friday, 10am-4pm

Rare Renaissance Drawing Discovered in Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections



Giorgione’s sketch of the Madonna and Child and the inscription.
Credit: Sarah Lorien.

For the first time in centuries, in a copy of Dante Alighieri’s Commedia (Venice, 1497) owned by the University of Sydney Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Academic Liaison Librarian Kim Wilson discovered an inscription and sketch by Renaissance Artist Giorgione dating back to over 500 years ago in the back pages of the book.

The inscription confirms Giorgione’s birth year and exact date of death which has previously been unknown, and the sketch is thought to represent a first thought for Giorgione’s paintings Benson Holy Family and Virgin and Child.

An Italian Renaissance painter, Giorgione’s life was shrouded in mystery for centuries, with the exact date of his birth and death remaining unknown until now.

In the back pages of the 1497 copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy, is the red chalk drawing of Madonna and Child, a technique developed by Leonardo da Vinci fifty years earlier. The drawing is one of only two ever to be attributed to Giorgione.

An article in The Burlington Magazine March 2019, No. 1392 – Vol 161, written by Kim Wilson and  Professor Jaynie Anderson (Melbourne University), Professor Nerida Newbigin (University of Sydney) and Julie Sommerfeldt (manager of Rare Books and Special Collections) argues that Giorgione is the artist behind the drawing and potentially the owner of the rare copy of Dante’s famous text.

Little is known of the 36-year-old’s life, though historians have speculated the painter was illiterate.


Kim Wilson, Academic Liaison Librarian and Julie Sommerfeldt, Manager Rare Books and Special Collections. Credit: Sarah Lorien.

“It was a serendipitous finding that will allow art historians to rewrite Giorgione’s place in history, as one of Bellini’s apprentices” said Ms Wilson.

After discovering the drawing, Ms Wilson sought the expertise of Emeritus Professor Nerida Newbigin from the University’s Department of Italian Studies, to translate the inscription written in Venetian at the top of the page on which the drawing appears. [PIC]

Professor Newbigin confirmed the inscription read:

“On the day of 17 September, Giorgione of Castelfranco, a very excellent artist died of the plague in Venice at the age of 36 and he rests in peace.”

Professor Jaynie Anderson from the University of Melbourne, said, “Not only does this give the precise date of Giorgione’s death, but also indicates a birth date, providing bookends to his life. This is particularly significant given he was said to have had an ‘impossible biography’ for centuries.”

While the exact date the University of Sydney Library obtained the book is unknown, records indicate the book was a donation to the library sometime between 1914 and 1959.

The drawing may represent a first thought for The Holy Family, which resides in the National Gallery of Art in Washington or Adoration of Kings, which is in The National Gallery in London.

Giorgione (Venetian, 1477/1478 – 1510), The Holy Family, probably c. 1500, oil on panel transferred to hardboard

A copy of the book can be viewed online through the Library’s Digital Collection platform here.