Homage to Honi Soit

By Julia Horne, University Historian, the University of Sydney

The very first Honi Soit edition from 3 May 1929
Click to view the first edition.

It was a privilege to view the first issue of Honi Soit in the University of Sydney Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections; a date with the past, a time to reflect on change and continuity in the University, Australia and the world. They are bound in volumes, well preserved (as you would expect), but nonetheless showing the signs of age, and ever more vulnerable to human touch.

If not quite the Magna Carta, this student newspaper is a compact of sorts that enshrines the right of university students to speak their minds on issues without fear or favour. The first editor, Arthur Crouch, an Arts graduate, put it this way: ‘Our criticism – and criticism will frequently form the theme of our journal – will be constructive, and for the good of all.’ Some 24 years later, the editor, Edmund Campion, expressed similar sentiments: ‘Do not expect Honi Soit to sit on the fence during 1953’, a tradition that has mostly continued down the decades. Forthright, opinionated, defiant, rebellious and bold, these are the hallmarks of the University of Sydney’s student newspaper.

The early Australian student newspapers

Honi Soit was first published on 3 May 1929. It was the second student newspaper in Australia after Melbourne’s Farrago (1925), and just before Western Australia’s Pelican (1930), Queensland’s Semper Floreat (1932) and Adelaide’s On Dit (1932). At four pages long, it was not yet the weekly newspaper it became. But it arrived on the scene brazenly with barely a cent to its name yet free to students and the public-at-large. Funded by what the editorial team assured its readers was ethical advertising – Tooth’s lager, Conn’s Saxophones and David Jones (Sydney’s grand old department store) – this ‘weekly’ appeared only nine times in 1929, its publication disrupted whenever the coffers ran dry. Yet its weekly format was crucial to the newspaper’s aims to ‘serve the student body of the university’.

Fast paced, timely, independent

The 1979, Issue 52 edition highlighting the problem of good campus food
Click to view ed 52, 1979.

Until then, Sydney’s student publications were different beasts. The venerable student magazine, Hermes (1886), thrived in the slower if stately lane of prose, poetry and essays, and the Union Recorder (1921) provided a weekly round-up of university and sporting events. The fast-paced Honi Soit, on the other hand, was to borrow the journalistic standards of the great ‘dailies’ and report news in a timely and independent fashion to inform undergraduates about social and political issues vital to their lives as students. There have been times when Honi Soit’s editorial independence has been challenged; a period of censorship by the Student Representative Council is said to have reigned in the 1930s, for example. Yet over the decades Honi Soit has largely lived up to the standards of independent and fair journalism even when sparks have flown. And as a journalistic training ground, well, even a brief look at its editorial teams reveals the likes of Donald Horne, Murray Sayle, Julie-Anne Ford, Lillian Roxon, Edmund Campion, Myfanwy Gollan, Clive James, Richard Walsh and Laurie Oakes, to say nothing of the younger Honi generations.

About the University and beyond

Women's Day Issue 3-001, 1984
Click to view ed 3, 1984.

The guts of Honi Soit news reporting have always been about the University itself. Issues range from demands to reform University and undergraduate governing bodies, to coverage of student politics (including the 1953 scandal of a rigged student election), protests, and calls to improve student facilities and services. Yet to deliver on the goal of the fully informed student, Honi Soit has long broadened its coverage to report on thought-provoking public lectures and debates held at the University as well as provide social, cultural and political commentary on the world at large. Also, it has often prompted discussion on various matters of burning personal interest to the lives of university students. In the first issue, an article about social etiquette appeared: ‘Should Men Pay Women Students’ Tram Fares?’. Debate raged in the letters columns for weeks thereafter without ever resolving the question. More seriously, communism, morality, nuclear disarmament, obscenity, Petrov, politics, sexuality, sex, vegetarianism, the Vietnam War, Whitlam’s dismissal … all this and more has graced the pages of Honi Soit providing an often alternative view, certainly a more youthful view, of the world around us.

Honi Soit edition 18, 1990: The revolution will not be televised
Click to view ed 18, 1990.

In short, Honi Soit is a treasure trove of well-written, enlightening, often humorous,
material about Australia, society, politics and youth culture. As I turned the pages of the first issue, fragile paper browning with age, edges torn, my fingers trembling in case I ripped it further, I realised how digital technology might be history’s salvation, thus the importance of transferring such priceless material to a digitised format. In this case, the digitisation is so good that we can see every wrinkle and tear of an ageing beauty. But we do so in the knowledge that more people than ever will now also have the pleasure of reading the past within the pages of Honi Soit.

To the archive.

Open Access Week is coming…


To celebrate the International Open Access Week (24–30 October 2016), the Library is holding an Open Access Day.

When: 26 October

Where: Fisher Library: Seminar Room and Exhibition Space, Level 2
As part of the day we will host a debate on open access publishing featuring speakers from Sydney University Press and UTS ePress (more to be announced), a series of talks and drop-in sessions about funding requirements as specified by NHMRC and ARC, the University of Sydney’s approach to open access – our policy and procedures, copyrights issues, support available at the Library, open data and more. This is an opportunity for you to learn about open access, share your thoughts and concerns, and ask questions.

So… If you are perplexed, or simply want to know more about open access, please mark the date of 26 October in your diary.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Open Access Day, whether you attend the whole day or simply drop into the sessions that interest you. We can assure you that you’ll learn something new and be part of an exciting and invigorating day.


Please register for the event here



Time Presentation Speaker
9 – 9.15am Arrival and Welcomes Dr Robin Burgess, University Library
9.15 – 9.35am What, Why and How of Open Access Dr Robin Burgess, University Library
9.35 – 10am How We Can Help with Open Access Dr Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg, The Research Development and Collaboration Team
10 – 10.20am Open Access and Copyright Conundrums Kate Stanton and Brett McCarthy, University Library
10.20 – 10.40am Break
10.40 – 11.10am Authors’ Rights and Open Access

Don’t Just Click ‘Agree’ – Know What You’re Signing

Elaine Tam and Ludwig Sugiri, University Library
11.10 – 11.30am Supporting Our Researchers and Students: “Raise Your Research Profile” Online Tool Michelle Harrison, University Library
11.30 – 12.30pm Challenges and Opportunities of Open Access: The Publishers’ Discussion Chair: Susan Murray, Sydney University Press

Diana Jones, Elsevier Australia
Dr Belinda Tiffen, UTS ePress
Other speakers TBC

12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch
1.30 – 1.50pm Focus on Open Data Jennifer McLean, University Library
1.50 – 2.10pm Digging for Open Access: Focus on Archaeology Georgia Burnett, Macquarie University
2.10 – 2.30pm Honi Soit: Open Access Issues in a Digitisation Project Kathrin di Rocco, University Library
2.30 – 2.50pm Break
2.50 – 3.10pm Managing an Open Access Journal Made Easy Hannah McFarlane, Scholarly Publishing
3.10 – 3.30pm Managing Open Access Expectations: Funder Requirements (NHMRC and ARC) Dr Pearly Harumal, Research Portfolio
3.30 – 4pm Round Up Dr Robin Burgess, University Library


Lunchtime ‘quick bites’ talks

Back by popular demand, the University Library will be offering a new program of ‘quick bite’ talks throughout October. These are chiefly targeted at Higher Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers, although all researchers and research support staff are invited to attend!

We welcome attendance in person and via video link (stay tuned for details). All talks will be recorded and uploaded to the University of Sydney Library’s You Tube Channel.

Increase your research impact: Extend your reach beyond the academy

What does impact mean in the context of university research? This session explores the shift from output to impact, identifies some key indicators of research impact, and considers strategies for increasing your impact outside academia.

Date: Friday, 7 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351



Smart social media: Bring your networking A-game to academic work

Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Research Gate – oh my! Are you being strategic in your use of social media to promote yourself and your research? This session looks at strategic approaches to social media, and provides some helpful tips for maximising your presence on networks.

Date: Wednesday, 12 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351



Building your research profile: What’s in a name? Get credit for your research from the outset

If you’re a debutante on the research scene, it’s crucial that your research identity is well-maintained. This session will provide an overview of the different types of researcher profiles out there, and introduce you to ORCID IDs.

Date: Friday, 14 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351



Copyright and your thesis: Understand Intellectual Property policy and the legal use of third party material

Who owns the copyright on your thesis? How can you use third-party material legally and ethically? What are the copyright implications of thesis-by-publication? Sometimes copyright issues can seem like a headache – so this session is designed to make them much easier to understand.

Date: Friday, 21 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351



Authors’ rights and Open Access: Don’t just click ‘agree’ – know what you’re signing!

Don’t fall prey to common publishing pitfalls – know what to consider when signing publisher contracts and understand how Open Access publishing maximises exposure to your research.

Date: Wednesday, 26 October

Time: 10:40am – 11:10am

Location: Seminar Room (218), Fisher Library



Open Educational Resources: Find out about learning material for use in the public domain

A quick bite that would appeal to educators! Heard of the term ‘OER’, but unsure what it means? Let us introduce you to the world of Open Educational Resources! This session will explain how to embed learning material from the public domain in your teaching.

Date: Friday, 28 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351



Translate your research for industry: Fast track the process of finding industry collaborators

We all know that research doesn’t exist in isolation – it has real-world implications. But have you considered how to pitch your research so that it can be understood by people outside of academia? This session will provide you with some tips and tricks for doing just that!

Date: Monday, 31 October

Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Location: Carslaw Lecture Room 351




Please direct all enquiries to Pat Norman: pat.norman@sydney.edu.au

Raise your research profile

Research impact and your research profile. Raise your research profile.

What really motivates you as a researcher? Is it bringing new ideas into the world? Is it changing government policy? Maybe it’s improving life for future generations?

Research impact and your research profile. Raise your research profile.

Whatever the reason, bringing about change is easier when your research is visible to more people.
Smart use of Open Access, data sharing and social media can help you achieve your goals by raising your research profile.

The Library’s new Raise your research profile resource gives tips on how to do this and shows researchers in different fields approaching it in different ways. The resource creates a personalised ‘to do’ list and connects you with more contacts and information to get you started.


Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian to learn more about raising your research profile.

Contact Michelle Harrison for more information about the resource.

The Weirdest of the Weird – Exhibition and movies

Skateman in Action

Rare Books and Special Collections staff have trawled the comic universes to present you with The Weirdest of the Weird – a selection of the most puzzling, convoluted, underwhelming, and bizarre comic heroes of all time. Meet Ragman, Infectious Lass, Skateman, Snowflame, and a host of intriguing others in our latest exhibition. Skateman in Action

Rest assured, with your brains and the Library’s science fiction collection, we’ve got a kazillion themes to base your thesis on! But be warned, with over 1,500 comic titles from the 1930s to the 1980s you may be shocked at how many super heroes it takes to protect the cosmos…

Visit The Weirdest of the Weird exhibition at:

Level 3 main corridor, Fisher Library

Exhibition space, SciTech Library


#RareBooks #usydlibrary #comix #superheros #FisherLibrary #SciTechLibrary

Exhibition: The life and music of Tommy Tycho

Tommy Tycho

The Conservatorium Library showcases researcher and PhD candidate Samuel Cottell’s The Life and Music of Tommy Tycho in a newly opened exhibition. View Tommy Tycho’s career, spanning radio, television and performances at the newly opened Sydney Opera House (in 1973), the opening of the Sydney Entertainment Centre (1983) and many more live concerts and performances.

Tommy Tycho
Tommy Tycho

Curated by Samuel Cottell (PhD)

When: 10 August – 10 October 2016

Where: Conservatorium of Music Library, Glass Space & Glass Case

Further features of the exhibition include key examples of Tycho’s musical output, featuring LP and 45’ recordings, samples of his handwritten sheet music (arrangements and compositions); commercial sheet music, trade journals, concert programs, photographs of Tommy Tycho as well video footage of him performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra on the ABC music program, My Music.

Gain a deeper understanding of Tycho’s musical style, output and contribution to Australian music from 1951 when he first arrived in Australia to 2007, when he received an Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Sydney.

The curator

Samuel Cottell (PhD) focuses his research on the mediation and consumption of ‘light music’ in Australia from 1951-1983. Following the life and career of Tommy Tycho his research addresses a central theme of Tycho’s life; adaptability.