Victorian history

Kathleen Gawler: Uncovering a local connection

Kathleen Gawler: Uncovering a local connection

May 10, 2024

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Librarian Daniel Giddens discovers a local connection through the photograph albums of Kathleen Gawler, WWI nurse with the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.

Strange lights in the sky: The Westall UFO event, 1966

Strange lights in the sky: The Westall UFO event, 1966

April 6, 2024

Ask a librarian, Cities & towns, Our stories, Victorian history:

On 6 April 1966, in a quiet suburb south east of Melbourne, reports emerged of something strange in the sky…

Caroline, the immigrants’ friend

Caroline, the immigrants’ friend

March 26, 2024

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Such was life, Victorian history:

When you follow your heart, your achievements often multiply. The remarkable philanthropist Caroline Chisholm achieved so much for us all. Read about an incredible woman who changed the lives of so many for the better.

From the Travelling Library to the Internet: a Library beyond the building

From the Travelling Library to the Internet: a Library beyond the building

February 1, 2024

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Since our opening we have looked at ways to connect with people who cannot come to our building. This includes a Travelling Library, a Country Member Postal Service and a Lending Library

The unsolved mystery of the ‘Pride of Australia’

The unsolved mystery of the ‘Pride of Australia’

November 3, 2023

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

In 1991, a seven-kilogram gold nugget was stolen from its display case in a daring raid on the Museum of Victoria. Speculation was rife that it was an inside job, but neither the thieves, nor the gold, were ever found.

‘Believe me to be your fellow laborer and friend’: The friendship between Redmond Barry and Augustus Tulk

‘Believe me to be your fellow laborer and friend’: The friendship between Redmond Barry and Augustus Tulk

October 24, 2023

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Sir Redmond Barry and Augustus Tulk are significant figures in the story of our State Library, as the first President and Chief Librarian. But what was their relationship like? Their personal correspondence provides an insight.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: ‘a lost masterpiece’

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: ‘a lost masterpiece’

September 27, 2023

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Last year marked the 75th anniversary of the publication in Melbourne of a novel compared by some to Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’, and described as ‘a lost masterpiece’. The novel in question, ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow’, was by M. Barnard Eldershaw, the pseudonym adopted by Marjorie Barnard (1897-1987) and Flora Eldershaw (1897-1956) in a remarkable literary partnership that produced novels, short stories, literary criticism, essays and lectures.

Marcus Clarke: Literary Librarian

Marcus Clarke: Literary Librarian

September 27, 2023

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Marcus Clarke, author of the great convict novel, ‘For the Term of His Natural Life’, witty and provocative journalist, bohemian, and Librarian at our Library fitted much into his eventful but short life.

Victoria’s Intercolonial exhibition, 1866

Victoria’s Intercolonial exhibition, 1866

September 27, 2023

Social life & customs, Such was life, Victorian history:

The nineteenth century was the great age of exhibitions as industrialisation, colonialism and nationhood led to national and international display and celebration. In 1866 the Great Exhibition Hall was built behind Ian Potter Queen’s Hall to host the Intercolonial Exhibition.

Isabella Fraser, a library pioneer

Isabella Fraser, a library pioneer

August 22, 2023

Our stories, People & professions, Victorian history:

For many decades, Victorian legislation discriminated against women who wanted to work at the library. Isabella Fraser was State Library Victoria’s first female staff member in 1908, and paved the way for the many women who have followed in her footsteps.