State Library of South Australia

Director's Cut

This Winter edition of our e-newsletter highlights the diversity of our collections, with emphases on history back to early settlement, and history made yesterday.

State Library forecourt
State Library forecourt

Our music collection includes historic manuscripts and sheet music as well as recordings in a range of formats. So in this edition we pay tribute to two departed South Australian musicians, who made significant contributions to the contemporary music scene not only in South Australia, but on the national stage as well. A tribute to Doc Neeson and Jim Keyes has been prepared by Rob McDade from our Collection Development department.

Another opportunity for the Library to focus on our collection strengths is Distant Thunder, an initiative relating to the South Australian performing arts. This project involves the development of a cross-organisation partnership, from research to performance, that will explore music, opera, theatre and dance performances that captured the public imagination during World War One. The Library's in-depth research will include critical evaluation of the immediate and long-term impact of the War on South Australian popular tastes. This includes the role of the arts in forging national identity; performance practices; performing arts organisations; and finally government policy of the day. The project will bring together the University of Adelaide, State Opera, the State Theatre Company, the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Australian Dance Theatre and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. The Distant Thunder project provides an exciting, timely and cost-effective way for the partner organisations to participate in ways that they see fit. The anticipated outcome will be a suite of activities and outcomes that will remind the community of the creative vitality and social awareness of the South Australian performing arts.

I am proud of the relationships which have developed in recent years between the State Library and our major performance companies. The State Theatre Company's Tangent series continues to grow in popularity, as does the depth of discussion between special guests in conversation with Artistic Director Geordie Brookman. Most recently similar partnerships have been developed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the State Opera. We are delighted to present a program that complements the World Premiere performance of Our Don, composed by Natalie Williams, and researched in our Bradman collection. We will also host a series of events as part of the ASO's Beethoven Festival later this year. The State Opera partnership will follow a similar format with each opera being explored just weeks out from production. Watch our website and What's On bulletins for information about all of our partnership programs with the performing arts sector.

Valuing the Arts through quantitative and qualitative research is another new initiative. We are delighted that Flinders University has been successful in winning an Australian Research Council Grant for this innovative study. We will partner with the university over the next three years on a project that will ultimately inform us and our key funding groups about the actual and intrinsic value of the arts to South Australia and beyond.

In July I will host the quarterly meeting of the National & State Libraries Australasia meeting here. It is an opportunity to share our most recent developments with my colleagues, the Directors in our sister organisations.

On 4 August we will launch the first of our major exhibitions to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac. We are delighted to continue our relationship with the Australian War Memorial, and to host the exhibition Remember me... the lost diggers of Vignacourt. This exhibition of some 75 images reproduced from glass plate negatives found in the Thuillier studio in Vignacourt is made possible through the generosity of Mr Kerry Stokes. We will complement the War Memorial exhibition with items relating to the Great War, from our collections, in the Treasures Wall. A range of community programs and education initiatives have been developed to enhance our visitors' experience, and to tell the stories which are integral to the Anzac legend. Watch our website and further What's on newsletters for more information about our exhibitions and events.

Our record breaking winter rains will bring renewal when spring arrives, and we have quickly forgotten the wind and the rain. We know our Library community and the citizens of South Australia are avid readers and users of our Public Libraries as well. What better time than in this blustery and cold weather to take time out with a great book choice.

Story by: Alan Smith

Back to e-xtra 2014 - Winter stories

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