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.

BILLBOARD POSTER (DETAIL), ANZAC COVES 1ST AUSTRALIAN

Tuesday 7 April 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings: The Anzac Coves

Described by General Birdwood as a vital weapon in the war, and by war correspondent Charles Bean as ‘essential as the dry socks or the duck boards’, the Anzac Coves were first introduced on the Western Front in December 1916 to entertain the troops, eventually travelling to Buckingham Palace to entertain royalty. While it was their primary duty to raise morale, the Coves’ highly professional stagings also encouraged the formation of other official (and unofficial) groups throughout the AIF.

In this illustrated talk Robert Holden presents a new image of the Aussie Digger — those who exchanged their khakis for more fanciful attire — expanding stories told in his 32nd book, And The Band Played On.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

Candice Fox image

Thursday 9 April 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Women in Crime

Crime fiction has been popular in Australia since colonial times and the roles women play in the genre have changed over time. More recently, crime fiction writers have worked to break the stereotypes, shifting from the traditional female role of victim to protagonist, from the seductress lawbreaker to law enforcer. Join our esteemed panel Candice Fox, P.M.Newton, Rachel Franks and Fenella Kernebone as they discuss the history of women in crime fiction.

In association with the Pulp Confidential exhibition.

Alasdair-McGregor-Book-Cover

Tuesday 14 April 2015, 12.30 PM

Talk: A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway

Australia’s first government architect, Francis Greenway, was well trained and confident in his own abilities and worth. He was also hot-headed and tactless. Sentenced to death for forgery, then granted a last-minute reprieve, Francis Greenway was transported to NSW in 1814. Within a single eventful decade, Greenway and Governor Lachlan Macquarie transformed Sydney from a ramshackle convict garrison into an elegant city. Award-winning author Alasdair McGregor will discuss Greenway’s landmark buildings, his meteoric rise and his complex and fraught relationship with Governor Macquarie.
Death of a fan dancer - cover

Friday 17 April 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Murder at the Library

There’s been a murder in the Library and we need your help to solve the crime! To celebrate our current exhibition, Pulp Confidential, we are hosting evenings of fun, food, mystery and murder! A cocktail party will be followed by an interactive murder mystery in the Mitchell Library and we need you to help us solve the crime.

In association with the Pulp Confidential exhibition.

A time for songs and poems poster image

Sunday 19 April 2015, 4.30 PM

Special event: Testament - Anthology of Romanian Verse

A TIME FOR SONGS AND POEMS - a musical literary-event,  celebrating the launch of Testament - Anthology of Romanian Verse (bilingual edition English & Romania)
Shakespeare Bust

Thursday 23 April 2015, 12.00 PM

Special event: Celebrating Shakespeare

We’re celebrating the birth of William Shakespeare 451 years ago by showcasing our rare First Folio titled Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies. Holding 36 of the Bard’s original plays, this valuable volume is the only known copy in Australia and will be on display alongside the Library’s copies of the Second, Third and Fourth Folios. Visitors can also speak to the Library’s rare books expert, Maggie Patton, who will share fascinating stories including the near loss of 18 of Shakespeare’s original plays and how the Library came to possess the First Folio.
Books

Thursday 23 April 2015, 12.00 PM

Special event: ANZAAB Pop Up Book Fair

In 1995, 23 April was chosen by UNESCO to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors by creating World Book and Copyright Day. On 23 April 2015, antiquarian booksellers from around the world who are affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will put the ‘Rare’ into World Book Day and promote the antiquarian book trade’s great contribution to promoting and preserving a significant part of the world’s culture — rare books and print on paper. Member nations of ILAB will hold Pop Up Book Fairs in countries including Australia, Japan, Hungary, Germany, the UK and the USA. The fairs will also raise money to fight illiteracy throughout the world. The UNESCO program to fight illiteracy is the most powerful worldwide partner we could have.

World War 1 soldiers being fed by women prior to embarkation - Henty, NSW c.1916

Saturday 25 April 2015, 1.00 PM

Special event: Anzac Day Buffet

Drop in for a cup of tea and view items from the Library’s extensive First World War collections including accounts of the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. Library curators will be available for informal chats and will demonstrate the Library’s new transcription tool.
Photo of David Wood

Monday 27 April 2015, 5.30 PM

Talk: Thinking Out Loud Lecture Series: Responsibility in the Age of Climate Change.

Climate change brings new significance to traditional philosophical questions – about reason, agency, responsibility, community, man’s place in Nature, and so on. The focus is shifting from imagining and promoting the Good Life (with business as usual the default position), to the survival of the species. The Thinking Out Loud lectures are co-organized by Philosophy@UWS, ABC Radio National, the State Library of NSW and Fordham University Press.
Photo of David Wood

Wednesday 29 April 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Thinking Out Loud: Responsibility in the Age of Climate Change.

Climate change brings new significance to traditional philosophical questions – about reason, agency, responsibility, community, man’s place in Nature, and so on. The focus is shifting from imagining and promoting the Good Life (with business as usual the default position), to the survival of the species. The Thinking Out Loud lectures are co-organized by Philosophy@UWS, ABC Radio National, the State Library of NSW and Fordham University Press. 
Program Image

Wednesday 29 April 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy (Preview Performance)

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Lachlan Macquarie - portrait, ca.1805-1824

Thursday 30 April 2015, 12.30 PM

Talk: 'The Governor’s Travels' - Crossing the Blue Mountains with Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie

In May this year we celebrate the 200th Macquarie crossing the Blue Mountains to proclaim the town of Bathurst. The Governor was constantly on the move – to the Cowpastures, the Illawarra, Lake George, Port Macquarie, Tasmania and Bathurst. Join Patrick Dodd, the Founder and President of The Macquarie Society, as he walks the original Cox’s Road from Mount York and across country to Glenroy Crossing where the first church service west of the mountains was held by The Governor on Sunday, 30th Anniversary of Governor and Mrs April 1815.
Pulp-The-Dolls-of-Death

Thursday 30 April 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Collecting Pulp

Published in vast numbers, provocatively titled, luridly illustrated and available everywhere, pulps were literally throwaway literature — accessible to anyone with a sixpence. Traditionally linked to romance, crime and science fiction, these cheap reads covered every genre and subject for a mass audience. Due to NSW legal deposit legislation, there is a surprising array of local pulp publications in our collections. Come and hear the story behind their mid-century golden age.

In association with the Pulp Confidential exhibition.

Performance Image

Thursday 30 April 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy (Preview Performance)

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Captain Cook

Friday 1 May 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific — Part 1

A three-part lecture series
Paul Brunton presents a three-part specialist lecture series about Cook's exploration of the Pacific. In three perilous voyages from 1768 to 1780 Cook opened up to the west the geography of the Pacific. An exotic world was revealed which excited the European imagination and Cook became an international superstar.

Photo of David Wood

Friday 1 May 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Thinking Out Loud Lecture Series: Responsibility in the Age of Climate Change.

Climate change brings new significance to traditional philosophical questions – about reason, agency, responsibility, community, man’s place in Nature, and so on. The focus is shifting from imagining and promoting the Good Life (with business as usual the default position), to the survival of the species. The Thinking Out Loud lectures are co-organized by Philosophy@UWS, ABC Radio National, the State Library of NSW and Fordham University Press. 
Performance Image

Friday 1 May 2015, 6.30 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy - exclusive Friends opening night and cocktail reception

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Performance Image

Saturday 2 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Performance Image

Monday 4 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
EASTERN ‘ABORIGINAL DOORS’ (DETAIL), PUBLIC LIBRARY

Tuesday 5 May 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings: Architecture, Decorations and Symbolism of the Mitchell Library

The completion of the Mitchell Library building and its many adornments was largely due to the drive and passion of William Ifould, Principal Librarian of the Public Library of NSW (1912–1942). Join art historian Graham Southwell on a glorious tour of the bronze doors — commissioned for the northern and southern facades of the Mitchell Wing to celebrate 40,000 years of Indigenous presence in Australia and 400 years of European discovery and settlement. An array of 15th and 16th century printers’ marks symbolise the invention of printing in Europe.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

Performance Image

Wednesday 6 May 2015, 11.30 AM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Books

Wednesday 6 May 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: The Book Stack: People’s Choice 2015

The evening will feature readings from the six titles shortlisted for the 2015 Christina Stead Prize for fiction. Whether you have read the books or not, this relaxed and convivial evening will explore and celebrate beautifully crafted works by some of Australia’s best writers.

This event is part of the The Book Stack series.

Performance Image

Wednesday 6 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Magna Carta

Thursday 7 May 2015, 10.00 AM

Seminar: History’s Most Important Document?

Magna Carta Symposium

In 1215 the world’s most famous legal document was signed by King John on the banks of the Thames. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing, the Library — in partnership with the NSW History Council — is holding a one-day symposium. A panel of respected speakers will discuss the Magna Carta with a focus on the historical and contemporary significance of this ground-breaking document.
The Library’s copy of the 1297 Magna Carta statute will be on display.

State Library

Thursday 7 May 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Where do I start? Discover the State Library

For the first-time user, this talk introduces the fantastic services and collections available at the State Library and provides a good idea of where to begin research.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Performance Image

Thursday 7 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Captain Cook

Friday 8 May 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific — Part 2

A three-part lecture series
Paul Brunton presents a three-part specialist lecture series about Cook's exploration of the Pacific. In three perilous voyages from 1768 to 1780 Cook opened up to the west the geography of the Pacific. An exotic world was revealed which excited the European imagination and Cook became an international superstar.

Performance Image

Friday 8 May 2015, 11.30 AM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Performance Image

Friday 8 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Performance Image

Saturday 9 May 2015, 7.00 PM

Special event: A Town Named War Boy

Based on the State Library’s jaw-dropping collection of First World War diaries, photographs and letters, A Town Named War Boy brings to life the personal accounts of the young men and women who set sail for the far side of the world. Their exploits are our history. Their sacrifices are the stories we grow up with: the Anzac legend. Some of these diaries and letters are finished, others just stop. When you read them you meet the person, see the changes in their handwriting, the indentation of the pen, the smudges of changed thoughts — and our recent past comes alive. Award-winning playwright Ross Mueller shows his extraordinary talent in this new Australian play that connects young men three generations apart.
Captain Cook

Friday 15 May 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific — Part 3

A three-part lecture series
Paul Brunton presents a three-part specialist lecture series about Cook's exploration of the Pacific. In three perilous voyages from 1768 to 1780 Cook opened up to the west the geography of the Pacific. An exotic world was revealed which excited the European imagination and Cook became an international superstar.

2015 NSW PLA

Monday 18 May 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: Presentation And Cocktail Reception

A glittering presentation and cocktail reception, to celebrate excellence in Australian writing, will be held on the first night of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Caroline Overington image

Tuesday 19 May 2015, 12.30 PM

Talk: Last Woman Hanged

Sydney, 1889: Louisa Collins is hanged for her crimes after an extraordinary four trials. Was she a callous killer or the victim of a perfect colonial-age storm of political pressure, men's fear and the push for greater women’s equality? Louisa’s sensational story is brought to life in Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington.

This event is part of the Sydney Writers' Festival series.

A COO-EE FROM AUSTRALIA

Wednesday 20 May 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Letters from Home

Come and hear some of Australia’s leading writers as they read their responses to our amazing collection of First World War letters
Tom Keneally image

Friday 22 May 2015, 12.30 PM

Talk: Australians: Flappers to Vietnam

Tom Keneally discusses the third volume of his historical series, in which he shines a light on the lives and deeds of our countrymen and women, from the end of the Great War to our development as a nation during the tumultuous 20th century. Australians: Flappers to Vietnam brings our more recent history to vibrant and robust life through masterly writing and exhaustive research.

This event is part of the Sydney Writers' Festival series.

HAIR BROOCH OF HENRY GILBERT SMITH (DETAIL)

Wednesday 27 May 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Hair

A token of love, devotion and remembrance, hair was used to fashion necklaces, bracelets and brooches. Woven hair was incorporated into the back of miniature portraits, or miniatures were hung from strings of plaited hair. Popular from the 17th until the turn of the 20th century, the Library’s hair tokens tell intimate stories of love and loss. A lock of James Cook’s hair, preserved after his death in a miniature coffin made by the sailors of the Resolution, was given to his wife Elizabeth in England. Ann Flinders treasured a lock of Matthew’s hair. Blaxland family tokens include plaited hair bracelets fastened to miniature portraits.

Friday 19 June 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Reliving the 60s

Remember miniskirts, flower children, anti-Vietnam War protests and the day of the moon landing? The swinging sixties heralded the start of women’s liberation, the conservation movement and a popular culture increasingly influenced by international trends. Come to reminisce or discover an era you missed out on!

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

State Library

Wednesday 12 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Where do I start? Discover the State Library

For the first-time user, this talk introduces the fantastic services and collections available at the State Library and provides a good idea of where to begin research.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

sandstone building image

Wednesday 16 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Exploring Colonial Sydney

Join State Library staff to discover the story of Sydney from 1788 to 1900. We will look at manuscripts, maps, paintings and art works that tell stories of early Sydney. Practise using the Library's catalogues and other search tools, and discover the many formats that can be researched to discover old Sydney.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

70s women

Tuesday 10 November 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Reliving the 70s

The 1970s was a decade of great change in Australia with developments in women’s rights, Indigenous rights, politics, music and fashion. Dig out those flares and platform shoes and come along to see and hear about some of the highlights from our collections.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

State Library

Thursday 12 November 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Where do I start? Discover the State Library

For the first-time user, this talk introduces the fantastic services and collections available at the State Library and provides a good idea of where to begin research.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Tuesday 8 December 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Christmas in the Colony

Join us for a festive show and tell and discover how Christmas was celebrated in the colonies. Which traditions linger and which have faded away? Examples from the collections tell their own story of the time with references to the warm weather and local flora and fauna. See original newspapers, pictures and Christmas cards held in the Library’s rich collections.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Quick Links

The State Library provides a free Information Request Service.

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

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