State Library of South Australia

Director's cut

Date: 30 March 2016

Welcome to a new year and a new season. It's been a busy start to the year at the library, as you will see from our newsletter.

Crowds enjoying Fringe Illuminations Dreaming Light on our historic Mortlock Wing Photographer Craig Laurendet
Crowds enjoying Fringe Illuminations, Dreaming Light, on our historic Mortlock Wing. Photographer Craig Laurendet

In February we proudly launched the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau website. It's the culmination of three years' hard work by our staff and a dedicated team of volunteers. The project is significant as it provides worldwide access to the personal stories of missing Australian soldiers who fought in World War 1.

It was an incredible privilege to welcome to the Library the relatives of four soldiers whose stories are part of this valuable web resource. The families reconnected with their family history and the century-old letters written to the Bureau. For many the original letters and correspondence explained many unanswered questions of the stories never talked about through the generations.

The city of Adelaide came alive during February and March with the Adelaide Fringe and Festival of Arts. Our beautiful Mortlock Chamber was the stage for the award winning and highly entertaining California Crooners Club, starring Adelaide's own Hugh Sheridan. The show won the Adelaide Critics Circle Award and the Pick of the Fringe Award.

The Library was also part of the Adelaide Fringe Illuminations which saw our magnificent heritage buildings illuminated with 'Dreaming Light', stories of the Kaurna culture. Being part of this exciting project allowed us to showcase our collections in an innovative and engaging way.

The crowds flocking to see the Fringe Illuminations also stopped by our Story Wall. We were thrilled to see hundreds of people soaking in our new stories, including animated Fringe posters, and using our interactive pod.

Also featured in this autumn edition of the newsletter are three articles showing the richness and diversity of our collections. Read about one of our treasures - the 13th century Italian Antiphonal; the quintessential digger, Leo Terrell, and his diaries; and why suburbs in South Australia were renamed during World War 1.

Lastly we are pleased to welcome Mei Xiaomei and Chai Yun, interns from the Shandong Public Library. They are here for 10 weeks to learn about the systems and programs of our Library.

Alan Smith
Director, State Library of South Australia

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