2022 Fellows announced

Each year, Library Fellows help uncover new stories and offer fresh insights into our extensive collections. Our Fellows’ research projects this year demonstrate the breadth and depth of the Library’s collections and the research interests we can support.

Our Fellowship program is generously supported by significant private benefactors, and we gratefully acknowledge their support.

2022 State Library Fellows

First Row: Professor Sean Scalmer (Coral Thomas Fellow); Johanna Ellersdorfer (Ross Steele Fellow); Dr Molly Duggins (Merewether Fellow); Dr Alexandra Dellios (CH Currey Fellow)

Second Row: Dr Sarah Kirby (Nancy Keesing Fellow); Damian Gleeson (Australian Religious History Fellow); Paolo Stracchi (AM Hertzberg Fellow); Shuxia Chen (DS Mitchell Fellow)

Coral Thomas Fellow ­– Professor Sean Scalmer: A History of the Eight Hours Movement. This project will offer the first history of the movement for the eight-hour day in Australia, from its origins until its recognition as a general industrial standard. It considers the movement's genesis, traces its mobilisation and outcomes, and ponders its memory and significance. It also critically examines the changing tactics adopted by the proponents of the eight-hour day.

Australian Religious History Fellow – Dr Damian Gleeson: Irish-Australian Catholicism in the Penal Colony of New South Wales: evidence from the Therry collection. This project will explore the Irish Catholic community in New South Wales between 1820 and 1860, through the lens of their experiences. The Irish Catholic community comprised involuntary and voluntary migrants, as well as those first-generation Australian Catholics born in the colony.

Dr AM Hertzberg AO Fellow – Dr Paolo Stracchi: Building Knowledge: The role of modern architecture in the development of the construction industry in New South Wales (1950–1980). The project will uncover how architects’ design approaches were affected by a maturing construction industry; an industry that constitutes a vital part of the country’s economy, political life, heritage, and culture.

CH Currey Fellow – Dr Alexandra Dellios: Greek-Australian Women and Building Alternative Multiculturalisms: Grassroots histories of migrant welfare in New South Wales, 1960s–1980s. A grassroots history of early multiculturalism from the perspective of ethnic minority communities (especially women) who worked at the ‘front-lines’ of migrant welfare and service provision from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Nancy Keesing Fellow – Dr Sarah Kirby: The British (and International?) Music Society: Cultural renewal and musical cosmopolitanism in inter-war Sydney. This project will look at the political and administrative separation of Britain and Australia that officially occurred with Federation in 1901, and it will also explore how the social and cultural separation was a more prolonged process.

David Scott Mitchell Memorial Fellow – Dr Shuxia Chen: Women and 1930s–1940s Sino-Australian Relations. Drawing from the Chinese Women’s Relief Fund records as well as ACP Magazines Ltd photographic archive at the State Library of New South Wales, this project investigates the role women played in Sino-Australia relations during the Sino-Japanese war, from the 1930s to the 1940s.

Merewether Fellow – Dr Molly Duggins: Cut-and-Paste Empire: Nineteenth-century colonial albums and scrapbooks. This project will look at how far more than drawing-room decorations, the ubiquitous nineteenth-century album and scrapbook were significant vehicles for a globalising visual and material culture shaped by colonial expansion, scientific exploration, increasing industrialisation, and commodity capitalism.

Ross Steele Fellow – Ms Johanna Ellersdorfer: The paintings of Maurice Felton: A technical study of paintings and artistic networks in early colonial Sydney. This project will, while focusing on Maurice Felton, also contribute to broader fields of research into Australian colonial art materials, the history of conservation in Australia, while exploring a short, but understudied period in Sydney’s history.

The Library’s Fellowship program has been providing research funding since 1974. Well over one million dollars in scholarship support has been provided through the Fellowship program, providing an invaluable contribution to Australian culture, history and society. 

Applications for our 2023 Fellowships will open on 16 May 2022.

Read about the Library's Fellows and Residents program.