State Library of South Australia

Join us as we take you to a world of different places and time

Date: 14 July 2016

Imagine you're visiting the State Library and unexpectedly you find yourself being taken on a journey to another place or time. Maybe it's back to 1959 when television first went to air in South Australia, or to the battlefields of the First World War, or perhaps to the 18th and 19th centuries when the French explored our beautiful coastlines. This journey may evoke emotions you weren't expecting - did you shed a tear as you read a heart-warming, but sometimes heart-breaking story or laugh as you recalled a funny childhood memory?

Through the Red Cross Tracing Service Melania was reunited with her sister after 17 years of separation
Through the Red Cross Tracing Service, Melania was reunited with her sister after 17 years of separation.

Are you wondering how? Well our captivating exhibition program can take you on a journey through the unknown. We have a long and proud tradition of connecting people with the knowledge about our state and the world. Our exhibitions open our unique collections to the community, regardless of a person's age or background. They create opportunities for more interaction with all communities in South Australia and help teach the value of different cultures and how their history has influenced our state and beyond.

It's been a very busy time so far this year with our exhibition program. The journey started back in January with two exhibitions acknowledging the tireless work of the Australian Red Cross over the last 100 years in reconnecting loved ones separated by war, conflict, disaster and migration. A selection of original correspondence from our South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau Collection was also on display for the first time.

We then moved to an exhibition that captivated people of all ages, A Theatre Inside the Book, a discovery of pop-up books and moveable paper items from our special collections. This was reflected in the visitors' comments, for example:

"What a splendid exhibition! Works to stimulate the imagination of children and adults alike, without electronic help or television. Simple, but not simplistic - a pure delight."

"It was fascinating and my favourite thing was the tunnel, when you look through and see different layers." (aged 8)

Sparkling Anne Wills and Will McDonald Presenter Channel 9 launching our television exhibitions Image by Jenny Scott
Sparkling Anne Wills and Will McDonald, Presenter Channel 9, launching our television exhibitions. Image by Jenny Scott.

A look at television in South Australia, from its beginnings to now, transported some visitors back to their childhood, when television was a novelty. Meanwhile our younger visitors discovered how different television was in the olden days - what no colour! We reminisced about the iconic shows that went to air and the colourful personalities that graced our screens. One such personality, Anne Wills, with her dazzling earrings, joined us for the launch of the exhibitions. Our wall collage of 110 TV Week covers dating back to the 1950s certainly got people talking about the TV shows they loved and the superstars that were a part of their childhood.

This winter sees a touch of France at the Library. The expressive power of South Australia's landscapes steeped in history, through the lens of French photographer Frédéric Mouchet, is on display for the first time in Australia. We were very fortunate to have Frédéric here for the launch of his exhibition. Frédéric provided a personal insight into his stunning contemporary photographs of Kangaroo Island, Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor, Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight with a number of exhibition floor talks.

French photographer Frederic Mouchet with one of his photographs Image by Jenny Scott
French photographer, Frédéric Mouchet, with one of his photographs. Image by Jenny Scott.

We've also delved into our collections to show how the chance encounter of English and French explorers at the place they aptly named Encounter Bay in 1802 influenced South Australia's culture. Highlights include an exquisite 16th century French Book of Hours and the memoir of an English cabin boy who as a prisoner of war met Napoleon.

It is also a privilegeto present Franz Kempf - Aspects of a Journey, an exhibition celebrating the work of internationally recognised Adelaide-based artist, Franz Kempf. Celebrating his 90th birthday, this exhibition is a reflection Kempf's past and present work, drawn largely from his personal collection from the late 1940s.

As you can see our exhibitions can help you to unlock the past, delve deeper into the present and discover the future. So the next time you're visiting the Library take a moment to soak in the exhibitions that are showing, you just never know where we might take you.

For more information about our exhibitions visit our featured exhibitions page.

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Story by Tracey Parnis, Communications Project Officer

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