Prized Australian history heads to western NSW

Rare Indigenous word lists, a convict letter and the world’s smallest English dictionary are among the extraordinary items from the State Library’s world-renowned collection heading to primary schools in western NSW from 25 to 27 May 2015.

According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne, this will be the first time these prized Australian historical items from the State Library’s collection will be shown in western NSW as part of the Library’s valuable FAR Out! Treasures to the Bush initiative.

“Over the past two years 243 schools have enjoyed the Library’s popular FAR Out! regional outreach program, and I’m thrilled primary students from seven more schools will get to experience amazing items related to some of the earliest recorded experiences of our continent and nation,” said Dr Byrne.

Over 410 students and teachers will be among the first in their region to view the actual handwritten letters of Mary Reibey, extraordinary Indigenous artwork and Indigenous word lists from the local area.

The tour to Narromine, Trangie, Warren and Gilgandra in western NSW will be the State Library’s 24th FAR Out! tour. This is just one of the unique learning services the Library offers students and teachers, with extensive online services and learning resources available to all on the Library’s website at

See the full media release attached.

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Winners announced for 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced tonight by the Acting Premier for NSW and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Troy Grant MP, at the State Library of NSW, with a total of $310,000 presented across 13 prizes.

Acting Premier for NSW Troy Grant said: “These Awards celebrate and honour Australia's greatest living writers, and on behalf of the NSW Government I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted authors and winners for 2015. Through these prestigious awards we also acknowledge the vital work of our translators, and I am thrilled the inaugural Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize is being presented this year.”

Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive said: “The fabled collection and dedicated staff of the State Library of NSW have assisted and inspired many of our nation’s award winning writers. We are proud to be managing the Premier’s Literary Awards, in association with Arts NSW.”

One of the big winners of the night was Don Watson whose book The Bush won Book of the Year ($10,000) and Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000). David Williamson AO was honoured to receive the Special Award for his prodigious output across theatre, film or television.


See the full media release and judges’ comments attached. 

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Australia's most amusing stories shortlisted in inaugural prize

Six of the most amusing books published over the last two years have been shortlisted in Australia’s inaugural humour writing prize, the State Library of NSW announced today.

The shortlisted books for the $10,000 biennial Russell Prize for Humour Writing are:

  • A Short History of Stupid, The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream, Helen Razer & Bernard Keane (Allen & Unwin)
  • Boomer & Me, A Memoir of Motherhood, and Asperger's, Jo Case (Hardie Grant Books)
  • I, Migrant, A comedian’s journey from Karachi to the outback, Sami Shah (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies, Bernard Cohen (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Full Ridiculous, Mark Lamprell (Text Publishing)
  • The Wife Drought, Why women need wives, and men need lives, Annabel Crabb (Random House Australia)

The winner will be announced at the State Library of NSW on 25 June 2015.

See the full media release and judges comments attached

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