Warburton Arts and Knowledge Project: Artists in Residence at Fisher Library

This NAIDOC week the Library has been lucky enough to host Artists in Residence from Warburton in Western Australia.

The artists are visiting to celebrate the launch of the new University of Sydney digital portal of Indigenous Knowledges.

The portal is about the commitment by the University to ensure that Aboriginal knowledges are embedded in the learning, teaching and research at our University.

The small town of Warburton in remote Western Australia is home to the largest collection of Aboriginal art owned by Aboriginal people in the country, if not the world. This astonishing body of work by the Ngaanyatjarra people has been collected over the past 30 years, with the community acquiring all of the significant works being created there. Consequently, Ngaanyatjarra art is rare on the market, with the most outstanding examples sitting within the 1000 strong Warburton Art Collection, managed by the Warburton Arts Project.

This collection is a spectacular example of how Ngaanyatjarra knowledge is celebrated, remembered, made new, and shared. The Warburton Arts and Knowledge Project, by way of a digital portal of Indigenous Knowledges, interfaces these alternate world views with our current teaching pedagogies, thus allowing any student, researcher or lecturer immediate access to Indigenous Knowledges.

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Visit Fisher Library Foyer this Thursday 11th July to see the artists at work and chat to them about their process.

We will also be exhibiting the works from the new portal at
ThinkSpace until 19th July 2019. Visit for your chance to see some of the incredible artworks in detail on the Digital Wall.  

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Preserving our Indigenous Australian Languages

Did you know that out of the estimated 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia, 120 are still spoken and approximately 90% are endangered?

This year in the Library, we’ve started a project to add in additional spelling variations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages into our records.

Now you can more easily search & discover items in our collections that feature Indigenous Australian languages.

For example, whether your preferred spelling is “Kamilaroi”, “Gamilaraay” or Gamilaroi, you’ll now be able to find resources like Gagan = Colours, a picture book written for Gamilaraay language learners by Suellyn Tighe, a Gamilaraay woman and University of Sydney graduate.

“Our languages are inextricably linked to who we are. It encapsulates our identity and  connection to country whilst maintaining links to the past, present and future through our stories and songs” says Suellyn Tighe.

A selection of resources in our collections with AUSTLANG codes. From L to R: Gagan = colours by Suellyn Tighe (Language code: D23), Gamilaraay, Yuwaalaraay, guwaaldanha ngiyani = We are speaking Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay / Accompiled by the Walgett Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay Language Program. (Language code: D23 and D27), The rainbow by Ros Moriarty (Language code: N153) and Apmwe-kenhe arne = The snake’s tree by by Margaret Heffernan (Language code: C8)

This work is also timely as the United Nations General Assembly have declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019). Australian indigenous languages are increasingly recognised as a precious global resource and IY2019 is an opportunity to raise awareness and to provide an opportunity to achieve positive change through improving the promotion and preservation of these languages.  

“The importance of our languages being spoken between generations can not be undervalued or replaced. We are fortunate to live in times when technologies can assist us to ensure that our languages are not forgotten. It does not replace human interaction, though it does provide us with the opportunity and ability to ensure our and future generations have a connection to ancestral belonging and knowledge.” says Suellyn Tighe.

This project is based on AUSTLANG, an online resource developed by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), which provides comprehensive information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken across Australia in an effort to preserve our Indigenous Australian languages and what we know about them.

This NAIDOC week, you can learn more about the languages of Australia by looking up your local language using the AUSTLANG website and searching our Library for language resources.

Welcome Week, Semester 2: Don’t Panic – The Library is here for you!

Are you new to the University? The Library is here to support you & what better way to get to know the services & facilities we have to offer than Welcome Week, Semester 2.

From Monday 29th July to week 1 of Semester, we have a jam-packed schedule of awesome activities for you to take part in. Join us in everything from Speed Meet & Chat, Virtual Reality Escape Rooms, Karaoke, Library Tours and more!

Check out our full program of events on the Welcome Week website.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Rare Bites: Free lunchtime talks exploring our Rare Books treasures

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.

Semester two talks include:

The Orphan of Zhao – An Influential Chinese Drama

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 European language.

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.  

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Thursday 26 September 2019

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online, places are limited.

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 Between 1938-1975, and more recently his Master of Media Practice in 2010.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 21st August

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Australian Piano Music 1850-1950. Our Cultural Legacy Exhibition

Australian Piano music is Associate Professsor, Dr Jeanell Carrigan’s ongoing research area and this exhibition coincides with the publication of her new e-book, Australian Piano music from 1850-1950. A performer’s guide, which includes published piano music examples with recordings.

The exhibition includes newly published piano music scores written by Meta Overman, Iris de Cairos Rego, Una Bourne and more, as well as CD covers.

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Join us for our exhibition opening event

Date: Wednesday 7 August 2019

Time: 3:00pm

Location: Conservatorium Library

Register your attendance online

You can also visit the ‘Australian Piano Music 1850-1950. Our Cultural Legacy ’ Exhibition 5 August – 5 October 2019.

Listen to recordings from the exhibition on Dr Jeanelle’s website
(if required, select ‘advanced’ & ‘proceed’ to be redirected to the site) or visit Dr Jeanelle’s researcher profile page.

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Visited this exhibition? We would love your feedback in this short survey.

A new & simple way to search Library services

From document delivery, events and exhibitions to chat now and book a desk… the Library has a lot to offer students and staff.

Luckily we’ve catalogued all the different Library services available to you – which you can now easily search in one place through the Library’s home page.

There are 50 services split into five categories:

  1. Information management
  2. Library spaces
  3. Online support
  4. Research support
  5. Study and teaching support

Each service lists a description of the service, how and when you can access the service and who to contact if you need support or feedback.

So next time you are looking for a specific way the Library can help,  you can search the Library services site for more information.