Such was life

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 ›

Federici’s ghost

Federici’s ghost

March 7, 2017

Arts & literature, Such was life:

Melbourne’s Princess Theatre has been host to many fine performers over the years, but the most famous performance of all belongs to its ghost, Federici.

'Cruising in search of whales'

Castaway in the Siberian Arctic

January 31, 2017

People & professions, Such was life:

David Wilkinson joined Victoria’s first whaling expedition, aboard the ship Japan under the command of Frederick Barker. On 5 March 1869 Japan weighed anchor in Hobson’s Bay and commenced a voyage from which she would never return.

It’s just not cricket… or is it?

It’s just not cricket… or is it?

January 10, 2017

Sport, Such was life:

On Wednesday 23 March, 1895 a large crowd gathered at the East Melbourne cricket ground for an unusual event – a ladies’ cricket match. The ladies had been practising in secret and speculation was rife over what they would wear…

A cargo of fallen angels

A cargo of fallen angels

November 30, 2016

People & professions, Such was life:

Children in detention. Stopping the boats. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was recent times but in fact, it was the 19th century.

The politics of poster making: the RedPlanet archive

The politics of poster making: the RedPlanet archive

November 11, 2016

People & professions, Such was life:

The years 1992 and 1993, when RedPlanet artists produced 24 house posters, can arguably be called the golden years of poster design in Australia.

List betting men on the flat

Murder at the Grand National

October 24, 2016

Sport, Such was life:

On Saturday 14 July, 1906 the Grand National race meeting was held at Flemington. During the afternoon young bookmaker Donald ‘Big Mick’ McLeod was beaten to death by an angry crowd after failing to pay out on winning bets. This shocking event gave great impetus to the strident anti-gambling campaign.

The Ern Mainka photographic collection

The Ern Mainka photographic collection

October 4, 2016

People & professions, Such was life:

Nature photographer Ern Mainka had a gift for capturing the divine. Pictures manager Madeleine Say tells us more about Mainka’s extraordinary photographs in her guest blog this week.

Oscar saves the day

Oscar saves the day

September 13, 2016

People & professions, Such was life:

Antarctica, January 1916…exhausted, ill, running out of food and 650 kilometres from their base on Ross Island, the Ross Sea Party had little chance of survival. Whatever hope they had relied on their four sled dogs…

The erasure of Melbourne’s wetlands

The erasure of Melbourne’s wetlands

August 29, 2016

Buildings & streets, Cities & towns, Such was life:

Creative fellow and author, Dr David Sornig, shows us how the library’s maps and manuscripts chart the demise of West Melbourne’s wetlands in his special guest blog this week. Welcome David.