In 1923 at a meeting of the international Pan-Pacific Congress at the University of Sydney the Australian government was urged to establish a Department of Anthropology and to fund urgent anthropological research in the region to counter the devastating effects of colonisation. The University of Sydney took up the challenge, instituting the first Department of Anthropology in the Australian-Pacific region with the appointment of AR Radcliffe Brown in 1926.
Many of the first generation of men and women who were taught at Sydney worked in isolation for periods of a year to eighteen months in areas where English was not spoken, in places not inscribed on maps, and with limited contact with people outside the community they were studying. For their work they were obliged to learn map making, linguistics and medical skills alongside their anthropological training.
The University’s Archives and Macleay Museum today look after the enormous wealth of information that these anthropologists produced from their interactions with Australian Aboriginal and Pacific peoples. For this exhibition we have focussed on the work of Phyllis Kaberry, the first female professional anthropologist to emerge from the Department.
This is a joint exhibition between Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library, University Archives and Museums to commemorate the inscription of the Anthropological Field Research and Teaching Records, University of Sydney, 1926-1956 into the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register.
The exhibition is being showcased on level 3 of Fisher and Sci Tech Libraries until August 2018.
Where: Fisher Library level 3 and SciTech exhibition space
Our new exhibition Bright sparks: women in struggle features feminist authors from the Library’s East Asian Collection, to commemorate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
We have chosen authors from three countries on which our East Asian Collection focuses, and selected important works written by them. All of them are/were fierce fighters for women’s liberation, whose activism and written works continue to inspire many around the world today.
This exhibition is a celebration of the University Library’s Rare Music collection, on the occasion of its relocation from the Conservatorium Library to Fisher Rare Books & Special Collections.
When the NSW State Conservatorium of Music was officially opened on 6 May 1915, its stated aims were “providing tuition of a standard at least equal to that of the leading European Conservatoriums”. It would seem logical then that the Rare Music collection of Australia’s first dedicated music education institution be concentrated around two main cultural waypoints: the European classical music tradition that the Conservatorium sought to transmit, and the Australian musical culture that developed from this foundation.
These two areas of strength provide natural entry points for exploring this varied and intriguing collection. They provide the framework for this exhibition, the aim of which is to showcase not only the objects themselves, but the continuation of their stories through ongoing scholarship and engagement.
Comics are a natural way to communicate. If you can draw a picture, you can tell a story.
By Julie Price
When: 8 February – 31 August 2016
Where: Fisher Library F03; Level 2 Exhibition space
Everybody knows what a comic is. We’ve all read them, laughed at them and enjoyed them. A few well-chosen images can transport meaning across language barriers.
Threads of humour are teased from many situations: political circuses; the foibles of gender; even war, as soldiers entertaining themselves find domestic appreciation for larrikin humour. So many strands to spin a chuckle from be it an ocker, a Major, a gumnut, the Little Boy from Manly; all have made Australians laugh through the years. What was true throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries holds true now – any newspaper that wants to be taken seriously simply must run a cartoon or two.
Enquiries: Rare Books and Special Collections P: +(61) 2 9351 2992