State Library of South Australia

e-xtra - Spring 2014 - the stories

Gwen Champion  B 70416-33 Flowers on North Terrace_Circa 1963

Director's cut

Spring is a time of abundant growth, renewal, hope and fresh beginnings. All of these eternal verities of Spring will be greatly in evidence at the State Library over the coming months and beyond as you can see from the articles in this issue. The oldest part of our Library, the venerable Institute Building will emerge from the shabbiness of winter (and the 28 years since it was last painted) as a bright, glorious bloom when the scaffolding comes down in February next year. I am delighted that its current faded grandeur will be faded no longer and its two components - the 1861 and the 1907 wings - will be resplendent in a recreation of their first unified colour scheme of 1908.

Edward Abbotts cookery book

Edward Abbott ‘s Cookery Book at the heart of an historic dinner

Some months ago the Marketing team was approached by the producer of a UK based documentary film Production Company, who were visiting Adelaide to develop their stories for Jimmy Doherty's Australian Food Adventures. They were aware of Edward Abbott's The English and Australian Cookbook, arguably the first Australian cookery book, with the original copy held in our collection.

Delivering the future

State Library of South Australia Strategic Plan 2014–17: Delivering the Future

The State Library of South Australia has released its Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 which identifies five priorities that focus on our customers, collections, digital responsibilities, cultural role and the people and partners we need to make it happen. While it builds on our previous plan it also signals some key changes and initiatives.

One Card Network

South Australia creates Australia’s largest public library network

The One Card Network project connecting more than 130 public libraries across South Australia has been completed, enabling customers to borrow and return items at these libraries with one library card.

Patsy Hall Fashion in SA

SA in Fashion

Patsy Hall began working as a commercial artist after graduating from the South Australian School of Arts in her teens. Her first paid work was for the well-known Adelaide fashion store Miller Anderson in Hindley Street in the 1940s. It was a time when the city's newspapers contained full-page department store advertisements dominated by women's fashion. Locally owned businesses such as Miller Anderson, John Martin, Charles Birks and Charles Moore promoted the styles of the time. Young Patsy's work included both advertising in-store, as well as pen and ink artwork for the important Advertiser promotions. The State Library is most fortunate to have been gifted many fine examples of Patsy's work.

Lorraine one of our State Library Ambassadors in the Mortlock Chamber

We are on the world stage

Did you know that your State Library is a 'must do' on the international and interstate tourism trail? For example, people from the UK, South Korea and Brisbane joined us on Friday for one of our free weekday tours. A couple from the United States, who had heard about our magnificent Mortlock Chamber when it was voted one of the 20 most beautiful libraries in the world, called in on the same afternoon to have a look around and were delighted to be taken
on a personal tour of the building.

The pioneering Captain John Hart in 1880 B 6771

Transcribing Tales : a new one stop shop

Captain John Hart was a mariner, shipowner and whaler, merchant, flour miller, grazier, mining investor, Parliamentarian and Premier. The Library holds his diaries from 1865-72 in PRG 218 and a volunteer has transcribed his diary for 1865. This diary, with our growing array of transcripts, is now discoverable, readable, word searchable, and downloadable in one place in a Library guide on our website.

Lost Diggers exhibition

Remember me… the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt

The Australian War Memorial exhibition Remember me...the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt exceeded our expectation in many ways. The visitation reached 22,789 at the close of the exhibition on 19 October.

What would you like to see at the State Library

State Library survey

There are lots of things we currently do in the State Library, and lots of resources available - but we want to make it BETTER!

We have developed a non-user survey in collaboration with YourSay and we now need your help to distribute it far and wide to colleagues, friends and your networks that are non-users of the State Library of South Australia (SLSA).

B 72733 Sylvester Sydney Day ca 1914

South Australians At War website

The South Australians at War website refresh project is well underway. The site has a new look and more fascinating South Australian stories have been added.

The emphasis of the project is on World War One material.

You can now view high quality images of 137 items from our collections which explore the experiences of servicemen and women, Indigenous South Australians and women and children on the home front during World War One. There is also a focus on the issue of conscription and commemoration and creative responses to the conflict.

Stephanie one of our volunteers at one of the dedicated workstations. Photo Katie Hannan

South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau project update

From 1916 until 1919, the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau (SARCIB) performed the service of undertaking research into 8,033 enquiries from family and friends of missing Australian Imperial Force personnel who fought in World War 1 (WW1). An envelope was created for each enquiry containing:

  • information about each soldier enquired upon
  • letters from the requesting family
  • eyewitness statements about the soldier's last known whereabouts
  • and, in most cases, the resulting information on the fate of the soldier, expressed to the enquirer.
Valmai Hankel and Anthony Laube with State Library treasures

Treasures on show

Over its 82 years' history, the Friends of the State Library has donated many treasures to the State Library's collections.

Some of these beautiful and fascinating objects were shown to a small group of Friends at a morning gathering in July.


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