8 May 2015

Rare Gallipoli rugs on display

Two rare and historically significant rugs with fascinating backstories about Turkey’s victories during the Gallipoli campaign are currently on show in the Mitchell Building foyer.

Silk map depicting the battlefields of Gallipoli
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) in the trenches at Gallipoli

One is a beautiful fringed silk map depicting the battlefields of Gallipoli. It was a gift to Enver Pasha, Minister of War, who was instrumental in Turkey forming the alliance with Germany at the beginning of the First World War. He was in command of Turkish forces during the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign that gave Turkey its first major victory. The rug was created in 1916 to commemorate the event.

The second rug, dated c.1930, shows Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881–1938), the founder and first president of the modern Turkish State, in the trenches at Gallipoli. It tells the story of a famous event where Ataturk ordered the Turkish soldiers, who were out of ammunition, to fix their bayonets and fall to the ground. This carpet commemorates Ataturk’s courage and resourcefulness which is believed to have been responsible for Turkey’s victory at Gallipoli.

The rugs are on loan from the Cadry family private collection and will be on display until 28 June.

17 December 2014

Help transcribe our World War 1 diaries

The State Library of NSW has released 50,000 pages of digitised World War One diaries for the public to transcribe. This unique collection of soldiers’ intimate accounts of war has been included on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Having just completed the major digitisation of its entire collection of World War One diaries and letters, 180,000 pages, made possible through the support of the NSW Government, the Library has launched its very own purpose built transcription tool.

“The State Library has for a long time relied on its dedicated volunteers who have worked to transcribe over 700 diaries to date. Now, with this new tool, we are turning to the wider community for help so that we can provide global access to this extraordinary content,” said Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

“We are seeking the community’s support in the important task of transcribing our diaries and letters to help unlock the compelling stories held within them.”

According to Elise Edmonds, the State Library’s World War One curator, “This important crowd sourcing project will introduce participants to the day to day experiences of the Australian men and women who served in the war, and help bring their tales of adventure, heartache and bravery to a global audience.

“The story of the ‘Great War’ cannot be fully understood without reference to these very personal and moving firsthand accounts,” said Ms Edmonds.

Learn more about transcribing or view our full media release