This month the Library farewells volunteer Ken Fraser, a dedicated and generous man who has left a lasting legacy for all Victorians.

Ken Fraser started at the State Library in 1969 as a reference librarian and cataloguer before his retirement (compulsory at age 65) in 1993. The next day, Ken came straight on board as a volunteer, working on the Anderson Chess Collection, then later upgrading the catalogue records for the bound pamphlets collections and exporting the records to Libraries Australia.

The pamphlets contain material often ephemeral in nature from the late 18th century to approximately 1950 and many of these items are either very rare or uniquely held by this Library. This material is being progressively digitised and made available online through the Library’s catalogue.

The Library holds approximately 140 bound pamphlet collections, some containing thousands of pamphlets, providing researchers with valuable insights to events such as the World wars and historical curiosities such as 19th century spiritualism.

Over twenty years as a volunteer, Ken has catalogued 59 of the bound pamphlet collections, over 15,900 pamphlets, covering a vast range of subjects such as temperance, viticulture, Belgian medicine, European war, as well as the Australian pamphlets on biography, literature, history, and art. This equates to over 1,440 volumes and a possible 11,520 titles catalogued – a huge body of work.

Thank you Ken for the many years you have given to the Library and for your dedication to public service.

If you are inspired by Ken’s story and are interested in becoming a Library volunteer, visit the information page for further details about this rewarding experience.


Ken Fraser at his retirement farewell, December 21st, 1993


This article has 2 comments

  1. Richard Hayward

    Congratulations Ken, a remarkable achievement.

  2. "Tess" Theresa Martin

    What a fabulous way to spend your retired years. Working in the VSLibrary you must have received a great amount of pleasure over the years. I have worked in a High School Library for 24yrs and I too would love to spend some of my later years in a large library as a volunteer. Good on you Ken.

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