Jul
10

National Biography Award Shortlist announced

Six fascinating stories have been shortlisted in Australia’s pre-eminent prize for biographical writing and memoir, the State Library of NSW announced TODAY [Thursday 10 July].

[Thursday 10 July].
The shortlisted books for the $25,000 National Biography Award 2014 are:
? A Spy in the Archives, Sheila Fitzpatrick (Melbourne University
Publishing)
? Exit Wounds: One Australian's War on Terror, John Cantwell & Greg
Bearup (Melbourne University Publishing)
? Kitty’s War, Janet Butler (University of Queensland Press)
? On Warne, Gideon Haigh (Penguin Australia)
? Stillways: A Memoir, Steve Bisley (HarperCollins Publishers)
? The Ambitions of Jane Franklin, Alison Alexander (Allen & Unwin)

The shortlisted books for the $25,000 National Biography Award 2014 are:

  • A Spy in the Archives, Sheila Fitzpatrick (Melbourne UniversityPublishing)
  • Exit Wounds: One Australian's War on Terror, John Cantwell & GregBearup (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Kitty’s War, Janet Butler (University of Queensland Press)
  • On Warne, Gideon Haigh (Penguin Australia)
  • Stillways: A Memoir, Steve Bisley (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Ambitions of Jane Franklin, Alison Alexander (Allen & Unwin)

The winner will be announced on Monday 4 August at 11am at a special free event at the State Library.

Please see the full media release attached.

Download media release
Jul
1

Compelling personal accounts of WWI unveiled in a major new exhibition, opening 5 July

21 year-old POW George Bell hides his scribbled notes in a Colgate toothpaste tube.

Former jockey Jack Hutton enlists after height restrictions are relaxed and fills his pocket-sized diaries with startling one-liners … “Murder bloody murder God in heaven tis awful.”

Nurse Anne Donnell spends Xmas at Lemnos where staff & patients forget about war for the day.

Artist turned signaller Ellis Silas confesses “I know I shall never be able to shoot at a man.”

Intimate, personal accounts of war
 contained in the State Library of NSW’s rich collection of 1,100 hand-written diaries will be showcased for a first time in a major exhibition commemorating the centenary of World War One, opening 5 July 2014.

Life Interrupted: Personal Diaries from World War I exposes the compelling tales of adventure, heartache and bravery – with a dose of great Aussie humour – through the hand-written diaries and letters of soldiers, doctors, nurses, stretcher-bearers, journalists and POWs.

The diaries include accounts of the first battle in New Guinea and the naval battle between HMAS Sydney and the German raider the Emden in 1914, the Gallipoli campaign and the battle at Fromelles and Pozieres in France in 1916 and the Middle East Campaign.

The exhibition features an amazing installation of 750 WWI diaries drawn from the Library’s collection, and visitors will be able to hear recordings of diary entries written in the trenches, from hospital beds and while on leave in Paris and Cairo.

The exhibition also features iconic Frank Hurley images alongside evocative amateur photography captured on Kodak ‘Soldiers’ Own’ cameras by soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, along with rare maps, posters, postcards and objects souvenired from the frontlines and from Paris and the UK while on leave.

See the full media release and diary extracts attached. 

Elise Edmonds is available for interviews. Audio recordings of diary extracts are available on request (see transcripts attached)

Download media release
Jun
27

Local face of WWI on show at the State Library of NSW

 

For the first time in nearly a century an extraordinary and haunting collection of over
230 photographic portraits of WWI soldiers from NSW will go on show in a free
exhibition at the State Library of NSW, from 28 June 2014.
Produced as part of the Library’s WWI centenary program, Portraits of War: The Crown
Studios Project reveals the fascinating story behind the creation of the portraits and
delivers a moving experience that bears witness to the individual faces of Aussie
soldiers who served their country and faced a hostile and deadly conflict far from home.
The pocket-sized images on show are drawn from the Library’s collection of some 1,600
portraits taken in 1918 - prior to the soldiers heading overseas - by Sydney’s largest
photographic studio at the time, the Crown Street Studios, as part of an ambitious WWI
collecting project.
According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive, Alex Byrne: “When the project
began it encountered a storm of newspaper criticism and monopoly accusations by
Sydney photographers however, thanks to the tenacity and support of the Principal
Librarian at the time, William Ifould, the project continued and he secured the portraits
for future generations.”
The project was initiated through a generous proposal made by Sydney’s Crown
Studio’s proprietor Mark Blow in 1918. Blow’s idea was to compile a portrait collection of
all WWI soldiers from NSW by photographing the men in his studio or by asking
relatives of soldiers to forward existing images for copying. The entire collection would
be donated ‘free of charge’ to the Mitchell Library [now part of the State Library].

For the first time in nearly a century an extraordinary and haunting collection of over 230 photographic portraits of WWI soldiers from NSW will go on show in a free exhibition at the State Library of NSW, from 28 June 2014.

Produced as part of the Library’s WWI centenary program, Portraits of War: The Crown Studios Project reveals the fascinating story behind the creation of the portraits and delivers a moving experience that bears witness to the individual faces of Aussiesoldiers who served their country and faced a hostile and deadly conflict far from home.

The pocket-sized images on show are drawn from the Library’s collection of some 1,600 portraits taken in 1918 - prior to the soldiers heading overseas - by Sydney’s largest photographic studio at the time, the Crown Street Studios, as part of an ambitious WWI collecting project.

According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive, Alex Byrne: “When the project began it encountered a storm of newspaper criticism and monopoly accusations by Sydney photographers however, thanks to the tenacity and support of the PrincipalLibrarian at the time, William Ifould, the project continued and he secured the portraits for future generations.

See the full media release & selection of images attached

Download media release

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State Library of NSW Media Centre

For more detailed information, images and interviews please contact:

Vanessa Bond, Manager
Media & Communications Branch
State Library of NSW
+61 2 9273 1566 / 0411 259 898
vbond@sl.nsw.gov.au

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Ministerial media releases

Media releases issued by the Minister for the Arts and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts are available on the Communities NSW website.

Requesting an image

The Library offers digital images of out-of-copyright photographs and collection items to media free of charge*.

To request an image, please locate the image on the Library's catalogue and send the catalogue record & digital order number to vbond@sl.nsw.gov.au
*some conditions will apply

Filming at the Library

Looking for a great venue to shoot your next film, commercial or fashion feature? The Library offers a range of locations, featuring one of Sydney's finest Art Nouveau interiors to more contemporary décor.

For more information, please contact our Venue Hire department.

For non commercial filming requests, please contact vbond@sl.nsw.gov.au

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