Articles by: Andrew McConville

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.

The scientists and the cricket match

The scientists and the cricket match

January 5, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories, Victorian history:

In March 1874, Melbourne played host to an unusual cricket match, featuring some of the most pre-eminent marine biologists in the world.

The triumphant and tragic life of George Coulthard

The triumphant and tragic life of George Coulthard

October 13, 2020

Family matters, Victorian history:

Australian Rules Football’s first superstar George Coulthard dominated the early days of the Victorian Football Association. A supreme athlete he was also a fine cricketer, both playing and umpiring Test cricket. Sometimes, though sport’s great triumphs collide with life, and life is not always fair.

Player payments and the great bribery scandal

Player payments and the great bribery scandal

May 5, 2020

Sport, Such was life:

In 1900, the VFL prohibited player payments. The upshot? Shady dealings with players, investigations, suspensions- and a pay rise.

The Chief Librarian’s casting vote

The Chief Librarian’s casting vote

November 26, 2019

People & professions, Such was life:

It is quite a tenuous connection but could our Library claim some credit for the exploration of the Antarctic?

Murder, mayhem and misdeeds: read all about it in the Police News

Murder, mayhem and misdeeds: read all about it in the Police News

September 18, 2019

Social life & customs, Such was life:

The ‘Police News’ had nothing to do with the police- it was a scandalous Melbourne weekly publication which relished depicting all manner of crime.

The Chief Librarian and the soap thieves

The Chief Librarian and the soap thieves

June 6, 2019

Our stories, People & professions:

In 1887, someone was stealing the State Library soap- or was it ‘someones’?

H.G. Wells in Australia

H.G. Wells in Australia

November 20, 2018

Arts & literature, Such was life:

In January 1939, HG Wells visited Australia and raised the ire of the Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons. His visit was brief, controversial and created international news.

Empress Josephine and the last emu

Empress Josephine and the last emu

July 16, 2018

Our stories:

In France, in 1822, the last surviving Australian dwarf emus died. The emus had made the unlikely journey from their their homes on Kangaroo and King Islands to the splendid gardens of Empress Josephine Bonaparte’s Malmaison.