Australia Post’s Christmas Stamp Collection features Rare Books and Special Collections

Each year, Australia Post releases Christmas stamps that celebrate the Christmas holiday, featuring both traditional and secular themes.

This year’s traditional Christmas stamps feature images from a magnificent French illuminated manuscript from the 15th century Book of hours : Horae B.V.M. ad usum Parisiensem, one of the treasures from the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. The two scenes from the Christmas story include the Adoration of the Magi and the Flight into Egypt.


  Domestic Christmas-card-rate -rate traditional Christmas stamp, 2019 ‘Flight into Egypt’ from Book of hours : Horae B.V.M. ad usum Parisiensem, folio 84
 International-rate traditional Christmas stamp, 2019 ‘Adoration of the Magi’ from Book of hours : Horae B.V.M. ad usum Parisiensem, folio 76 verso

The traditional Christmas stamps were designed by Simone Sakinofsky with photography by Sarah Lorien.

Read more about the Australia Post 2019 Christmas collection, on the Australia Post Website.

Fritz Schonbach: Exhibition

Fritz Schonbach was 18 when Nazi forces invaded Austria in 1938 and he was forced to flee. While his parents went to Argentina, Schonbach escaped to London where despite being a Jewish refugee he was eventually declared an enemy agent.

Collection of sketches 1 (Hay Internment Camp, 1940)
Schonbach, Fritz Pencil on paper

On the 10th of July 1940 Schonbach, along with 2,000 other German speaking Jewish men, became passenger aboard the infamous HMT Dunera and bound for Australia. The conditions and treatment aboard the Dunera were horrific, but Schonbach was content as long as he was creating his art.

Schonbach, Fritz Pencil and Watercolour on Paper

With only a stub of pencil, he recorded the journey and conditions on the Dunera, his arrival in Sydney, and his time at the Hay Internment Camp through a series of beautiful drawings, satirical cartoons, and later watercolor paintings. During his time in the Hay camp, Schonbach and two other young men created a bi-weekly newspaper that was remembered fondly by the other internees for years to come. At such a young age, despite the often-depressing conditions and the prohibiting aspects of camp life, Schonbach managed to view this time in his life as an adventure where he was free to follow his artistic passion.

Schonbach, Fritz Pencil and Watercolour on Paper

After his internment, Schonbach became a member of the 8th Employment Company of the Australian Army under the command of Captain. E. R. Broughton. He was released from duty by 1946, a demoralizing entire year after the end of the war, at which time he moved to Sydney and began a painting and drawing degree at what is now the National Art School. During his three years of study Schonbach became engaged to local photographer Beverley June Heydon. They were married in 1950 and travelled for several years before eventually settling in Buenos Ares, where Schonbach worked as an artist, illustrator, and cartoonist, and he and June had two children.

“He Say He Wants to Travel by Liner – Not by Mistake” (Hay Internment Camp, 1941)
Schonbach, Fritz Pencil and Watercolour on Paper

His paintings from this time are vibrant and evocative. Never completely content in the politically and socially unstable Argentina, Schonbach eventually moved with his family to the US, and then later to Canada where he lived until his death in 2011. Throughout his life, art continued to be a central theme and driving force.

This exhibition celebrates Schonbach’s work from very difficult to exciting times of his life.

The Archive of Australian Judaica has been operating since the 4th of July 1983 within Rare Books and Special Collections at Fisher Library, The University of Sydney. The Archive of Australian Judaica houses over 32 partial or complete collections of both prominent and lesser known Jewish community organisation, some of which are now non-operational. It also houses over 80 individual collections of prominent Jewish people that have impacted life in the Australian Jewish Community and Australia. You may also wish to visit our collaborative repository for Australian Jewish records, the Archives of the Australian Jewish Historical Society

This Exhibition has be curated by Laura Kevan. Laura is a current Master of Museum and Heritage Studies student at the University of Sydney. Previous she completed a Bachelors of Art Theory with first class Honours and the University Medal from UNSW: Art and Design, with a focus on contemporary war memorials and commemoration. Having been volunteering and interning with art organisations across Sydney for the last few years, Laura has applied this knowledge and experience to her current internship with Australian Archive of Judaica (AAJ) studying the artworks and life of Fritz Schonbach, developing an exhibition, and writing his bio for the AAJ website. A lifelong lover of 20th century art, Laura has visited numerous art galleries worldwide and has spent years on its study. As such, the chance to handle and engage with Schonbach’s work has been an exciting opportunity. His life is truly a wonderful untold story, and the artworks, firsthand accounts, and period newspapers from the Dunera and Hay Internment Camp available in the AAJ are impressive and interesting.

See the Fritz Schonbach on display at Level 4, Fisher Library, 15th November 2019 – 3rd April 2020, or visit the online exhibition.

Les Murray: Australia’s “Bush-bard”

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

Sydney Rare Book Week: Free events this October!

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:

Introduction to hand printing on the Albion Press Workshops

Have you 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.

Evening lecture: Giorgione in Sydney

Rare Books & 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.

Thursday 31 October 2019, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Places are limited, please register your attendance online.

Sydney Rare Book Fair

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.

Hosted by 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.

Whether you 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.

For the full program of events, and to register your attendance, visit the State Library of NSW Website

#SydneyRareBookWeek

Free Lunchtime Talk on Late Medieval Spanish Manuscripts

Join us for an upcoming lunchtime talk by Dr David Andrés Fernández: Sacred space, music and liturgy in Late Medieval Spanish Manuscripts.

fol. 19 verso from Add.Ms. 420. “Poissy Processional.” 10 Mar. 1501: n. pag. Print. (One of the books discussed in the talk: a written and illuminated book of plainchant music that contains the liturgical processions used by nuns at the Dominican convent of Saint-Louis de Poissy at the beginning of the sixteenth century, between 1500 and 1510.)

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).

When
Tuesday 20th August, 1pm – 2pm

Where
Fisher Library
Seminar Room, Level 2

RSVP

Numbers are limited so please register here.