Community feedback helps confirm future of Mitchell Library

Readers and writers will continue to research the State Library’s world-renowned Australian collections in the iconic Mitchell Library Reading Room under a revised plan which responds to community feedback, the NSW State Librarian announced today.

“We have listened carefully to people’s concerns since our December 2013 announcement of plans to renew the Mitchell Library building, and have been working on a proposal to address them as fully as possible,” says Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

“The depth of passion expressed for the Mitchell Library and our expert staff has been tremendous and highlights the important roles this Library plays in the lives of readers, near and afar,” says Dr Byrne.

“Our revised plan confirms that researchers, readers and visitors will continue to read and work with our rich collections surrounded by the grandeur of the Mitchell Library Reading Room, which we are continuing to restore.”

Under the revised plan the current special collections area inside the Mitchell Library Reading Room will be extended in the coming months for researchers and readers to access the Library’s original materials, related reference books and card catalogues for manuscripts and Mitchell printed books. Expert librarians will continue to provide advice and assistance at a dedicated service desk.

See the full media release attached

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News Corp Australia and NSW State Library partner to bring our ANZAC history to all Australians

News Corp Australia and the State Library of NSW today announced a partnership that will see the two organisations work together to bring to all Australians for the first time the evocative and often confronting war diaries of diggers who served in World War I.

The partnership is part of a broad ANZAC centenary program that will see also see News Corp Australia:

  • Encourage modern day diggers to share their stories at war working with the Australian War Memorial (AWM) to capture a contemporary view of war
  • Produce a library of rich and comprehensive materials that become an ultimate resource for high-schools around the country to access and contribute to

At the end of World War I in 1918, the State Library of NSW embarked on an extraordinary collection drive for Australian soldiers’ war diaries, and received diaries from soldiers across the country.  Many of these diaries have never been seen by the general public.

Today, over 1,100 WWI diaries and letter collections exist in the Library alongside maps, photographs, artwork, books and objects from the battlefield.  The collection is a priceless resource that sheds light on what it was like for men and women on the front line.

For instance, Hector Brewer, a Sydney horse groom when he enlisted aged 19 in 1914, wrote: “The pitiful part of these attacks is that many badly wounded men are unable to get back and receive proper comfort and attention. It makes one heartsick to hear the poor chaps moaning and crying for the help which cannot be given.  This is the crowning horror of war I think.”

News Corp Australia will work with the State Library of NSW to publish such stories of Australian service men and women under the title “100 Years of Untold Stories: ANZAC to Afghanistan.”

Through its national network of newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser (Adelaide) and their websites, News Corp Australia will use the latest and most innovative storytelling techniques to take readers to the front line.

See the full media release attached.

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Shortlists announced for 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Leading Australian writers have been recognised with the announcement today of the shortlists for the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

Minister George Souris MP, Minister for the Arts welcomed the announcement of the shortlist saying:

“The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards promote national and international recognition of our dynamic literary community and the work of our talented writers,”

“Now in their 34th year, the Awards continue to support and encourage great Australian writing, and demonstrate the value and importance of reading to the people of NSW.”

Twenty-four judges considered hundreds of entries across nine prize categories, with the winners to be announced on the evening of Monday, 19 May.

People’s Choice Award  – voting is now open and will close at midnight on Friday 16 May 2014.

Please see the full media release and judges’ comments attached.

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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
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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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