State Library of NSW appoints 'extraordinary talent' to lead Indigenous Unit

The State Library of NSW has expanded its thriving Indigenous Unit with the appointment of Kirsten Thorpe as the new leader, the NSW State Librarian announced today.

“Kirsten Thorpe’s appointment is an exciting addition to the Library’s Indigenous Unit,” says Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive. “She brings extraordinary talent, depth of experience and her strong roots in Aboriginal culture to a significant leadership role.”

“Ms Thorpe’s proven ability to connect present generations of Indigenous people creatively to archived records on their history and culture will enrich the Library’s vital work in this area,” says Dr Byrne.

The State Library’s Indigenous Unit has a long-standing history in delivering quality services for Indigenous communities across NSW. Currently staffed by Indigenous Librarians, Melissa Jackson and Ronald Briggs, this team has built a remarkable service supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; linking communities with information and stories from their history and traditional heritage.

In 2011 the State Library launched a landmark project to identify and preserve vital surviving records of Indigenous vocabularies and word lists found in the Library’s collections, with major findings to be announced later this year. The Library will host an Indigenous Librarians Symposium on 26-27 August to discuss the role of libraries and archives in the revival of Indigenous languages.

“Ms Thorpe’s appointment adds significant strength to the Unit’s ability to capture meaningful Indigenous material from our collection of records, diaries, photographs and artworks, as well as providing guidance in preserving contemporary Indigenous content for future generations,” says Dr Byrne.

See the full media release attached.

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