Talks

Join us for an exciting program of talks and seminars on literary, historical and contemporary issues, together with presentations about, and showings of, the Library's rich collections.

You can also listen to selected talks online.

David Hill

Thursday 30 October, 12.30 PM

Talk: The Making of Australia: From a Corrupt Convict Settlement to the Remarkable Nation it is Today with David Hill

Join David Hill as he talks about his latest book, The Making of Australia: From a Corrupt Convict Settlement to the Remarkable Nation it is Today, the story of how a struggling convict settlement grew into six dynamic colonies and then the remarkable nation of Australia. Told through the key figures who helped build it into the thriving nation it is today.

Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 3 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
Mr Howard Vernon

Tuesday 4 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings - Dr Kevin Hewitt: Howard Vernon (1848-1921)

Howard Vernon (1848-1921), the stage name of John Lett, was a major star of the Australasian musical stage. His professional career took him overseas in the late 1870s, primarily to Asia, while garnering some experience with companies in the United Kingdom and California before he returned to Australia and was contracted to JC Williamson, with whom he would be associated mainly in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas for most of the next twenty-five years.
Vernon's career offers a prime example of the energy and adaptability required to survive in the colonial theatre. Kevin Hewitt has been retired for some 12 years in which time he has been able to indulge his passion for Gilbert and Sullivan which culminated in the conferring of a PhD in 2012 through Sydney University on the life of Vernon. He has been a volunteer at the State Library since his retirement.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

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Thursday 6 November, 6.00 PM

Talk: The Beach They Called Gallipoli: Jackie French and Bruce Whatley in conversation

Hear the team behind the best-selling and most popular books of a generation talk about their latest collaboration and the personal stories that inspired it. Many books have been written about the battles of Gallipoli; the men who went to war and what they faced, the letters, and the tears of those left behind. But this is a book about Gallipoli, the place, and what happened on Gallipoli Beach from April to December 1915. With beautiful illustrations by Bruce Whatley, this book explores the beach where the battles took place. This is more than a book about ANZACS; this is a book about the people of all nationalities who fought at that cove.

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Saturday 8 November, 2.00 PM

Talk: The Lost Diggers with Ross Coulthart

During the First World War, thousands of Aussie diggers and other Allied troops passed through the French town of Vignacourt, two hours north of Paris. Many had their photographs taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier as souvenirs while they enjoyed a brief respite from the carnage of the Western Front. For all too many, this was their last moment away from the lines before being sent to their deaths in battles that are now part of the mythology of Australian nationhood. The weariness and horror of battle is reflected in their eyes, but the photos also capture a sense of camaraderie, high spirits and even a soupcon of romance.
Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 10 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
We will remember them

Tuesday 11 November, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: ‘We will remember them ...’

As we continue our commemoration of the centenary of World War I and Australia’s role in it, we invite you to come and see part of the Library’s rich collection of servicemen and women’s precious albums, letter collections and keepsakes sent back from the war.

This event is part of the Out of the Vaults series.

Hakylut

Wednesday 12 November, 6.00 PM

Talk: Hakluyt Society

2014 marks the bicentenary of the death of Captain Matthew Flinders RN who in 1801 to 1803 commanded the first ship to circumnavigate Australia. The Hakluyt Society will mark the bicentenary with the publication of the two-volume Australia Circumnavigated: The Journal of HMS Investigator, 1801–1803, edited by Kenneth Morgan.

The President of the Hakluyt Society, Michael Barritt, and the editor of Australia Circumnavigated, Kenneth Morgan, will be speaking and material from the Library’s collections will be on display at the event.

Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 17 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
Celebrating 75 Years

Tuesday 18 November, 9.00 AM

Seminar: Libraries for the People: the 11th Australian Library History Forum 18 - 19 November

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act 1939. The Library Act 1939 was passed by State Parliament on 3 November 1939 and led to the provision of free public library services for the people of NSW.

In recognition of the anniversary of the passing of this landmark legislation, this year’s forum will focus on the development of public libraries in Australia. Topics will include governance and legislation, personalities, services to indigenous communities, library referenda and public library predecessors and competitors.

Please note this seminar runs over two days.

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Thursday 20 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 21 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 21 November, 1.00 PM

Talk: Redfern Now Conversations

Join the stars of the ground-breaking television series Redfern Now at the State Library of NSW. Speak to the cast and crew about what it was like behind the scenes and learn how the series came to be created.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

Simon Winchester

Sunday 23 November, 3.00 PM

Talk: The Pedant, the Precise and the Pacific with Simon Winchester

We seek the precise in the use of language — the selection of the mot juste is the mark of good writing, they say. But in writing about so vast a topic as the Pacific Ocean — is the precise really the best way to get the message across? Or is the pointilliste approach more suited? And anyway, is precision generally such a good thing — in making things, isn’t bamboo sometimes better than titanium? Simon Winchester, writing about these three ideas, investigates how to get it Just Right, without becoming slaves to exactitude. Simon Winchester OBE established his writing career as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian and the BBC, before becoming an independent writer/researcher of bestselling books in multiple fields of academic and international interest.
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Monday 24 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Monday 24 November, 1.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Corroboree

Join the State Library’s Aboriginal librarians for an hour long, up-close look at some of the Indigenous treasures from the collection.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Tuesday 25 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Tuesday 25 November, 1.00 PM

Talk: Redfern Now Conversations

Join the stars of the ground-breaking television series Redfern Now at the State Library of NSW. Speak to the cast and crew about what it was like behind the scenes and learn how the series came to be created.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Wednesday 26 November, 9.30 AM

Workshop: My Sydney Writer’s Workshops

Aspiring young writers will step back in time and be inspired by Sydney’s past during the Sydney Stories Writer’s Workshops for high school students.
Led by writer Cathy Craigie with the Sydney Story Factory and the State Library, participants will explore Sydney city landscape through memory and imagination and draw inspiration from colonial objects in the State Library’s collection such as Cora Gooseberry’s breastplate and rum mug, historic sexton. The stories crafted during the workshop will be digitised and added to the State Library’s collections.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Wednesday 26 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Thursday 27 November, 9.30 AM

Workshop: My Sydney Writer’s Workshops

Aspiring young writers will step back in time and be inspired by Sydney’s past during the Sydney Stories Writer’s Workshops for high school students.
Led by writer Cathy Craigie with the Sydney Story Factory and the State Library, participants will explore Sydney city landscape through memory and imagination and draw inspiration from colonial objects in the State Library’s collection such as Cora Gooseberry’s breastplate and rum mug, historic sexton. The stories crafted during the workshop will be digitised and added to the State Library’s collections.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Thursday 27 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 28 November, 10.00 AM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Corroboree

Join the State Library’s Aboriginal librarians for an hour long, up-close look at some of the Indigenous treasures from the collection.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 28 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

Thursday 4 December, 5.30 PM

Talk: The Calligrapher's Stage with Massimo Polello

The Library in association with the Australian Calligraphers Association present internationally renowned calligrapher Massimo Polello. Massimo is President of the Turin Calligraphers’ Guild Dal Segno alla Scrittura and owner of Gallery ABC Atelier Studio. He also works with the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence. Join Massimo as he talks about his works and passion for calligraphy.

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