Our stories

Alexandrino Da Costa, an East Timorese refugee, playing the guitar at the Puckapunyal Safe Haven. Photo by Ross Bird, 1999.

Let us all combine: refugee stories in Australia

June 22, 2017

Our stories:

Australian history is rich with refugee stories. Our shores have long been a destination for those fleeing war and persecution: from Prussia, 179 years ago; from post-World War Two Europe; and from early 1980s Vietnam. Throughout it all, we’ve seen policies that encourage and restrict immigration.

Anne Frank.

Hope within the darkness: Anne Frank’s diary, 70 years on

June 12, 2017

Our stories:

This year marks 70 years since the publication of Anne Frank’s diary. It was first published in Dutch as Het Achterhuis (The Annex), and later appeared in English as The Diary of a young girl. It went on to sell more than 30 million copies, and has been translated into nearly 70 million languages.

Meet some of the team behind Australia’s oldest public Library

Meet some of the team behind Australia’s oldest public Library

May 26, 2017

Our stories:

This week we’re celebrating our wonderful team as part of the Australian Library and Information Association’s Library and Information Week. From librarians and technicians to photographers and conservators, we have more than 300 staff who work to run Australia’s oldest public Library. We hope you celebrated your library this week too.

Nova et accvratissima totivs terrarvm orbis tabvla by Joan Blaeu, 1664

From Melbourne to the stars: 5 great maps from our collection

May 23, 2017

Our stories:

We have well over 110,000 maps in our collection— enough to carpet metropolitan Melbourne. Here are five highlights.

Meek’s Atlas: The story of a 155 year old oversized map

Meek’s Atlas: The story of a 155 year old oversized map

May 17, 2017

Our stories:

In late 2015, thirteen uncatalogued oversized maps and charts held in the Library’s Maps Collection were prioritised for treatment during a routine collection survey. Further investigation revealed two significant 1862 photolithographs of the 1861 oversized pen-and-ink drawing Meek’s Atlas of the British Colonies in Continental and Insular Australia.

“Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

“Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

April 13, 2017

Our stories:

Bill Hunter has been researching his grandfather, Fred Hunter, a star footballer in the Healesville area for many years from the early 1900s. Bill believes that it was Fred who perfected what is now known as the banana kick, a kick for goal from an impossible angle that screws at right angles. Fred’s father, Richard Rowan, developed the kick in the 1890s, and Fred perfected it during his playing days to the point where fans exhorted the team to “Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

The owl and the heiress: The life of one book over six centuries

The owl and the heiress: The life of one book over six centuries

March 29, 2017

Arts & literature, Our stories:

What do Athena’s little owl, an unashamedly unmarried Chicago heiress, and the Heide School of modernist Australian artists have in common? A book in our collection, as it turns out… Recently I… Read More ›

Cloud watching: how we came to understand the weather

Cloud watching: how we came to understand the weather

March 23, 2017

Our stories:

People love talking about the weather. How many times have you heard someone say “Crazy weather we’re having, hey?” in the past week (or said it yourself)?

Vivian Bullwinkel far right at the Australian General Hospital, ca. 1945. Source.

8 women from Australia’s history you should know

March 8, 2017

Our stories:

The effect Australia’s women have had on our country is undeniable yet oft-forgotten. That’s why we’re taking March—Women’s History Month—to look back and share the stories of women from our past.

Say it with scorn: Vinegar valentines from the collection

Say it with scorn: Vinegar valentines from the collection

February 14, 2017

Our stories:

Rejection rather than affection was the theme of early 19th-century paper valentines.