News

11 September 2014

Changes to venue hire

The State Library is undertaking a major project to restore the Mitchell building, which includes the Mitchell Library Reading Room.

As part of planned improvements to the Mitchell Library we are establishing new temporary exhibition rooms on the first floor of the Mitchell building that will showcase the State Library’s collection as well as local and international works from other institutions.

To make way for these new facilities, the seminar rooms located on Level 1 of the Mitchell building will no longer be available to hire. We are hoping to create replacements but they will not be ready for some time.

Work is being carried out throughout the Mitchell building until the end of this year may also impact on other venues located in the Mitchell building. Please contact our team to discuss venue hire options.

The new temporary exhibition rooms will open on 1 November 2014 with an exhibition of works by artist Lynley Dodd.

To learn more about the Library’s plans to restore the Mitchell and to keep up to date with its progress, please visit our website.

2 September 2014

Work begins to restore the Mitchell Reading Room

Thanks to the generosity of our passionate supporters, close to $1 million has been raised to undertake the restoration of the Mitchell Library Reading Room.

Work is now underway to restore the heritage features of the Reading Room. Heritage furniture is being cleaned and repaired, and furnishings not in keeping with heritage style will be removed.

To ensure readers and visitors can continue to use the Reading Room, furniture will be worked on and returned to the room progressively. You may notice some changes to furniture layout in the Reading Room as this work is done.

Learn how you can support this project through the Mitchell Campaign.

8 August 2014

October long weekend opening hours

The Library will be open during the October long weekend:

Saturday 4 October 2014

State Reference Library 10 am – 5 pm*
Mitchell Library 10 am – 5 pm*
Exhibition Galleries 10 am – 5 pm
Library Shop 11 am – 5 pm
Café Trim 10.30 am – 4.30 pm

*All requests for items in storage must be made at least 1 hour before closing time.

Sunday 5 October 2014

State Reference Library 10 am – 5 pm*
Mitchell Library Closed
Exhibition Galleries 10 am – 5 pm
Library Shop 11 am – 5 pm
Café Trim 10.30 am – 4.30 pm

*All requests for items in storage must be made at least 1 hour before closing time.

Monday 6 October 2014

State Reference Library 10 am – 5 pm*
Mitchell Library 10 am – 5 pm*
Exhibition Galleries 10 am – 5 pm
Library Shop 11 am – 5 pm
Café Trim 10.30 am – 4.30 pm

*All requests for items in storage must be made at least 1 hour before closing time.

 

5 August 2014

Remarkable tale of intrepid 19th century female celebrity wins nation's richest biography award

An engrossing biography of Jane Franklin – indefatigable traveller and writer, formidable consort of Tasmanian governor and Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin – has won the $25,000 National Biography Award, Australia’s richest prize for life writing.

Tasmanian historian Alison Alexander won from a field of 61 entries for The Ambitions of Jane Franklin, Victorian Lady Adventurer, published by Allen & Unwin.

The judges – award-winning biographer Jacqueline Kent, critic and founding editor of the Sydney Review of Books, James Ley and Professor Melanie Nolan, General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography – praised Alexander’s research as well as the quality of her writing.
Chair Jacqueline Kent observed: “Drawing on a huge body of hitherto unpublished research as well as Franklin’s voluminous letters and journals, Alexander has written a full and astute biography of a highly intelligent, vital and strong-minded woman determined to transcend the limited expectations of her age and class.”

“The book is impressively light on its feet, and Alexander guides the reader through Franklin’s story with a great deal of writerly skill.”

NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne added: “Jane Franklin was probably the most widely travelled woman of her day, and her remarkable intellect and intense curiosity stamp her as an extraordinary governor’s wife. This is a wonderfully vibrant read.”

The other shortlisted authors, who each receive $1000, are:

  • Steve Bisley, Stillways, A Memoir (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Janet Butler, Kitty’s War (University of Queensland Press)
  • John Cantwell and Greg Bearup, Exit Wounds: One Australian’s War on Terror (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Sheila Fitzpatrick, A Spy in the Archives (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Gideon Haigh, On Warne (Penguin Books Australia).

The National Biography Award winner announcement marks the beginning of Biography Week (4 – 8 August), a public events program at the State Library of NSW.

Dr Linda Jaivin, novelist, translator and essayist, will talk about the truth in literature when she delivers the National Biography Award lecture on 6 August at 6pm.

The National Biography Award is administered and presented by the State Library on behalf of Dr Geoffrey Cains and Michael Crouch AO.

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Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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