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Each year, Library Fellows help uncover new stories and offer fresh insight into our extensive collection of original and published materials. Our Fellows research activities this year demonstrate the breadth and depth of the Library's collections and the research interests that we are able to support.
Our Fellowship program is generously supported by a number of significant private benefactors, and we gratefully acknowledge their support.
Our 2020 Fellows are (from left to right):
Ross Steele Fellow – Dr David Hansen: Pictures in the Collections of the State Library of New South Wales. This project will focus on researching some of the individual histories of items in the Library’s vast pictorial collections, by focusing on the acquisition and/or exhibition of 50 to 100 representative works.
DX Lab Fellow – Mauricio Giraldo: This project will utilise computer-generated metadata to create new pathways for exploring the Library’s manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue. By focusing on the 300,000+ digitised image set that is currently available and adapting existing tools for object recognition, clustering and colour identification, this project aims to improve accessibility and findability of materials.
Dr AM Hertzberg Fellow – Dr Ben Huf: Colonial Liquidity: Making money in early New South Wales. This project will explore how Australia’s monetary system – the foundation of the colony’s economy – evolved over time, and eventually integrated Australia into the financial embrace of the English economy. He will draw on the Library’s extensive collection of early promissory notes and currency.
Nancy Keesing Fellow – Dr Sophie Robinson: Lesbian Sydney in the 1990s. This project will explore Sydney’s emerging lesbian sub-culture as it became increasingly politically active and organised, drawing on the Library’s Lesbian and Gay archives and two key publications of the time, Lesbians on the Loose and Wicked Women.
Merewether Fellow – Dr James Boyce: The Macquarie Years: the context for colonial Australia. This project will look at competing visions of what the colony could be: Macquarie’s peasant farmers or the free settlers’ pastoral vision, overlaid with the conflict around the subsuming of Aboriginal land. This will be explored in the context of recent contention over the Appin massacre in 1816.
Australian Religious History Fellow – Associate Professor Clare Monagle: Christian Consciousness Raising: Magdalene Journal and Australian feminism. This project will investigate how the Magdalene Journal served as an incubator of an emerging Christian feminism, and how it reflects upon the push by many women to be allowed to participate in the highest offices, and positions of authority, within their various faith communities.
CH Currey Fellow – Dr Rebecca Jones: Drought, Flood, Heat and Dust: Living with Extreme Weather in Arid Australia. This project will look at a variety of collections including papers of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Inland Mission, to understand the way people have encountered, and adapted to, extreme weather events in Australia.
Coral Thomas Fellow – Professor Sally Young: Sworn to No Masters: a corporate and political history of Australian newspapers 1941–2021. This project follows on from her recent major work, Paper Emperors: the rise of Australia’s newspaper empires (2019). Drawing on the Library’s recently acquired Fairfax Media Business Archive, Prof. Young will write a history of the political and corporate power of Australia’s various newspaper dynasties.
David Scott Mitchell Memorial Fellow - Dr Jarrod Hore: Grounding Colonial Science: William Branwhite Clarke in the field 1839–78. This project will explore the vast archive of a leading colonial geologist, and reflect on how he saw, and wrote about, the Australian landscape, and the impact those responses generated in his thinking about science.
The Library’s Fellowship program has been providing research funding since 1974. Over one million dollars in scholarship support has been provided through the Fellowship program, providing an invaluable contribution to Australian culture, history and society.