Articles by: Sarah Matthews

The old tin shed

The old tin shed

January 25, 2018

Buildings & streets, Such was life:

‘The Elizabeth Street blot’, ‘unsightly’, ‘deplorable’, ‘an ancient eyesore’. Few buildings in our city’s history excited as much controversy as ‘the old tin shed’.

Convict tattoos

Convict tattoos

October 18, 2017

Such was life:

What do the following things have in common: candlesticks, beehives, cock fights, drinking glasses, swans, flowerpots, crucifixes, stags, comets, and roses? Give up? They’re all convict tattoos.

The 1967 referendum

The 1967 referendum

May 26, 2017

Such was life:

On 27 May 1967, Australians voted in record numbers to alter two sections of the Constitution so it no longer discriminated against Aboriginal people. The landslide ‘yes’ vote was seen as a watershed moment in Australian political history.

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.

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 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.

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.

Poetry of the pongo

Poetry of the pongo

August 8, 2016

Such was life, War:

‘Pongo’ was a term used by Australian troops in World War One to refer to the common foot soldier of the infantry battalions. The songs, stories, art and verses of the pongos tells us much about the Australian soldiers who fought in the Great War.

So, you want to be a librarian?

So, you want to be a librarian?

May 23, 2016

People & professions, Such was life:

From 1948 up until 1969, the Melbourne Public Library’s training school educated nearly 300 aspiring librarians. Many things have changed since then, but some things still remain the same…