Articles by: Andrew McConville

Lola Montez

From Bavaria to Ballarat: wild times with Lola Montez

October 19, 2022

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

From love affairs with kings, to political intrigue, to wild times in the Australian goldfields and cities, few have lived lives as riotous or colourful as Lola Montez.

Message in a bottle

Message in a bottle

September 30, 2022

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

There is always a romance to a bottle washed up on a lonely shore, containing a message from the past and from far away. This may be a message of greeting, of despair, for science or sometimes even a hoax.

Gas lighting in (Ian Potter) Queens Hall. Charles Nettleton

Let there be light

May 29, 2022

Ask a librarian:

Within months of our Library opening in 1856 gas lighting was installed to allow the Library to stay open in the evenings. However, there were some unforeseen problems, and the gas lights were later replaced by electricity.

Graham Berry & the Upper House

Graham Berry & the Upper House

May 26, 2022

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

Premier Graham Berry was a giant in the wild politics of 1870s Victoria. His battle with the Legislative Council resulted in mass sackings, freezing of budgets and a journey to London to try and woo the Imperial Government.

‘Iceberg’ Irvine and the Kyabram Movement

‘Iceberg’ Irvine and the Kyabram Movement

February 25, 2022

Our stories, Victorian history:

In late 1901, locals in Kyabram found a common cause in government extravagance. Politician William ‘Iceberg’ Irvine saw an opportunity in aligning with the Kyabram Movement.

Online Collection Spotlight: Gale Literature

Online Collection Spotlight: Gale Literature

February 13, 2022

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights:

The Gale Literature database draws together full text reviews and analysis of literature from around the world. It is exceptionally useful for students, bibliophiles, book clubbers or the casual reader.

Melbourne’s first Exhibition Building

Melbourne’s first Exhibition Building

January 7, 2022

Ask a librarian, Our stories:

Melbourne’s grand glass Exhibition Hall, built for a 1854 Exhibition and inspired by London’s famous Crystal Palace, reflected the ambition and confidence of the fledgling new colony of Victoria.

When Spanish Flu came to Victoria

When Spanish Flu came to Victoria

September 28, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

Spanish flu arrived in Australia in January 1919. With masks, closures, quarantine, inter-governmental squabbles and death, the events of a century ago resonate very keenly today.

Voices from the Great War

Voices from the Great War

June 30, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights:

Our Library has a vast collection of material relating to World War 1 including many original diaries and photographs. Two notable diaries were written by (Victor) Rupert Laidlaw and Alice Kitchin. Both were eyewitnesses to history and their diaries speak eloquently of their experiences, and reflect the horrors of the conflict.

The All England 11 about to embark for Australia. Mr Mallam, the top-headed gentleman behind the players, was the agent for Spiers and Pond

The All England 11 and the birth of Australian cricket

February 1, 2021

Our stories:

In 1861 the great tradition of England and Australian cricket contests commenced when the first English team arrived in Australia.