This year 2010 is the centenary of the Mitchell Library. As part of the celebrations, for 100 days from 9 March a major exhibition, ONE hundred, will display 100 of the Mitchell’s most intriguing items. The exhibition is a rollcall of the famous and the notorious from Australian’s past, the quiet achievers and the noisy larrikins, the conventional and the rebellious, the remembered and the forgotten; all with a fascinating story to tell.
When Paul Brunton, curator for the ONE hundred show, was asked, how do you circumscribe the Mitchell Library to just 100 items , he replied that he was inspired and guided by Lytton Strachey’s memorable preface to his Eminent Victorians (1918)
Strachey, faced with the vast documentation of the Victorian era wrote ‘The history of the Victorian Age will never be written: we know too much about it’ Strachey’s method, which became Paul Brunton’s method, was to:
....row out over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up to the light of day some characteristic specimen, from those far depths, to be examined with a careful curiosity’ and to ‘shoot a sudden, revealing searchlight into obscure recesses, hitherto undivined.
ONE hundred exhibition has items ranging in date from the late 1400s to the present day. It includes manuscripts, pictures, maps, books, oral histories and objects. Who’s in and who’s out. Come and see from 9th March to 16th June 2010.