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

10 December 2014

State Library of NSW Accessibility Survey

The State Library aims to become more inclusive and welcoming and is consequently seeking your ideas and feedback about how to improve accessibility and disability support at the Library.

Your responses to the recently launched survey will inform the Library's new disability action plan and help make it the Library you need it to be.

One survey has been designed for those who are Library users or visitors, and the other is for those who have never used or visited the State Library before.

Please complete the relevant survey and encourage your friends, colleagues and family to also respond before 5 January 2015.

If you have any questions about the​ survey or the Library's accessibility​ work, please contact:

8 December 2014

Digitisation & Imaging: Christmas and New Year 2014-15 opening hours

The last day on which photographic and digital orders may be placed for the standard 3 week turnaround will be Monday 8 December 2014. These orders will be completed on or before Monday 22 December 2014

Over the Christmas/New Year period, the following turnaround time will apply:

For orders placed:
From: Monday 8 December, 2014
Until: Monday 5 January, 2015
Allow: 4 weeks turnaround (i.e. add 1 calendar week to the standard turnaround time)

Turnaround times will be calculated from the date of the cash register imprint on the client’s order form.

Express orders must be approved with photographic staff before the client is given approval. Express orders that have not been discussed with Imaging Services will not be possible.

Please Note: Digitisation & Imaging will be closed for the Christmas period as follows:

From: Wednesday 24 December 2014 at 12:30pm
Until:  Monday 5 January 2015 at 9:00 am

No Digitisation & Imaging staff will be present during this period.

Standard service (3 weeks) delivery will resume from Monday 5 January, 2015.

Bruce York (9273 1482)
Digitisation and Imaging Coordinator

4 December 2014

The State Library of NSW selects Ex Libris and Axiell Solutions

An integrated platform for library and archive management, digital preservation, and user discovery for the State Library’s future.

The State Library of NSW has announced it will adopt a suite of Ex Libris solutions—comprised of the Alma® library management solution, the Primo® discovery and delivery solution, and the Rosetta digital asset management and preservation system—and Axiell Group’s Adlib Archive to manage its archival collections. These solutions replace multiple legacy systems used by the Library. Together, these integrated systems will enable the State Library to offer a world-class discovery experience to its large user community.

See the full media release here.

4 December 2014

Download your very own State Library of NSW animated holiday ecards

We're celebrating the silly season with these great animated holiday ecards.

Inspired by our upcoming exhibition Pulp Confidential (opening February 2015) and our gorgeous Mitchell Library - they are free for you to download now!

Send them to your friends and family or post them on social media.

Don't forget to tag us using @statelibrarynsw or #statelibrarynsw.

To download your ecards just right-click and save.

Animated gif of Mitchell Library

Animated gif of our pulp confidental exhibition

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.