State Library of South Australia

Chance Encounter: French influence in South Australia

Date: 8 June 2016 to 28 August 2016

Time: 10am to Varies

Location: Treasures Wall, first floor Spence Wing

Note: Free entry

Peron Francois Voyage de decouvertes aux terres australes Paris De L Imprimerie Imperiale 1807 1816 State Library of South Australia Rare Books Collection
Péron, François, Voyage de découvertes aux terres australes, Paris : De L'Imprimerie Impériale, 1807-1816, State Library of South Australia Rare Books Collection

From the collections of the State Library of South Australia.

Discover how the chance encounter of English and French explorers at the place they aptly named Encounter Bay in 1802 influenced South Australia's culture.

The French party, under Capitaine Nicolas Baudin, had already charted much of the Australian coastline, marking their charts with French names. While only a few of the names remain, the influence of the French on the culture of South Australia is significant - seen in fashion, winemaking, cookery and sport.

This exhibition is an opportunity to see items from the State Library collections that are rarely on display. Highlights include an exquisite 16th century French Book of Hours, the memoir of an English cabin boy who as a prisoner of war met Napoleon, beautiful modern versions of the 17th century French fairy tales of Perrault, a French children's game with a leaping tin kangaroo and the recently acquired photograph album and French souvenirs of an Adelaide man stationed in France during the First World War.

View the Library's open hours for this exhibit.

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