News

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Chair Jacqueline Kent observed: “Drawing on a huge body of hitherto unpublished research as well as Franklin’s voluminous letters and journals, Alexander has written a full and astute biography of a highly intelligent, vital and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.

30 July 2014

Planning continues to restore the Mitchell Library

The State Library’s planning team is currently working with the Government Architect’s Office on the designs and plans for the ground floor of the Mitchell building including the Mitchell Library Reading Room.

This work involves assessing important heritage considerations, as well as being mindful of the public’s feedback on the plans. While this is a lengthy process, it is central to safeguarding the heritage of this iconic building and must be completed before progressing with the Library’s plans to restore the Mitchell Building.

Throughout this planning phase the State Library continues its commitment to improving access to its rich collections.

Readers have welcomed the changes introduced earlier this year which provide the option to request and read books from both the Mitchell Library printed collection and the State Reference Library collection in either the Mitchell Library Reading Room or the State Reference Library Reading Room.

Our expert librarians continue to offer advice and assistance at the dedicated service desks in both Reading Rooms to a growing number of readers.

These improvements to services have been key elements of our plan to restore the Mitchell Library and enabling researchers and readers to continue to read and work with our rich collections in the Mitchell Library Reading Room.

Further details of the plan and schedule will be placed on the Library's website as they are ready.​​

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

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