View at Oldbury, c 1826, by Charlotte Atkinson

Scholar Talks online

Scholar Talks showcase the work of the Library's Fellows and other researchers.

Matt Devine sits on some marble stairs holding a print of a black and white photograph. He has a grey beard and black glasses, and is wearing a navy shirt with white spots. He smiles at the camera.

Ted Farmer: Architect, Facilitator, Bureaucrat

Matt Devine discusses Edward (Ted) Herbert Farmer, Government Architect from 1958-73, during possibly the last Golden Age for public architecture in NSW.

Dr Lisa Murray - wearing a red, white and blue dress - is sitting on the marble steps of the Mitchell Vestibule.

"Here's To'ee": Tapping the Tooheys Collection

The Tooheys Limited collection has been an untapped resource, in the Mitchell stack, unnoticed by historians. Dr Lisa Murray – 2021 Hertzberg Fellow – has been exploring this special collection of business and industry records.

Headshot Dr David Hansen

George Lambert’s 'The Convex Mirror'

Art historian David Hansen makes a deep dive into a single (and singular) painting: George Lambert’s The Convex Mirror.

George Ernest Morrison

Australian Journalists in the 1911 Chinese Revolution

Tess Gardner tells the story of the Australian journalists who played a part in the end of the Qing Dynasty.

Lesbian Sydney in the 1990s

This talk explores the important role of Wicked Women and LOTL magazines in connecting and building lesbian communities in Sydney during the 1990s.

Working and Not: Life in an Economic Crisis

Dr Elizabeth Humphrys explores life for blue-collar workers in the economic crises from the 1970s to 1990s.

The spiritual is political: Magdalene Journal and Christian feminism

Associate Professor Clare Monagle — Australian Religious History Fellow, 2020 — explores the history of Christian feminism in Australia in the 1970s and 80s.

Doctored Uniforms

This talk and paper employs soldiers’ voices not only to highlight their reliance on vernacular medicine, but also to reformulate the boundaries of medical practice, and ask who can be considered a medical practitioner?

Natural curiosity: Unseen art of the First Fleet

Natural curiosity: Unseen art of the First Fleet

Louise Anemaat – Executive Director, Library & Information Services and Dixson Librarian – talks about some of the extraordinary unseen art of the First Fleet.

Making Theatre that Matters

Making Theatre that Matters

Dr Isobelle Barrett Meyering, the 2019 David Mitchell Memorial Fellow, discusses the background of Children’s Rights Activism in the 1970s and 1980s.

Landscaping Eastern Australia through the Colonial Survey

Landscaping Eastern Australia through the Colonial Survey

2020 Mitchell Fellow, Dr Jarrod Hore, re-grounds colonial surveying and explores the environmental prehistories of our settler colonial landscapes.

Self-portrait of Charlotte Waring Atkinson, c 1842–46

Searching for Charlotte: Australia’s First Children’s Writer

Australian writer Kate Forsyth, a descendant of Charlotte Waring Atkinson, has spent the past year investigating her ancestor’s astonishing true story of love, grief, and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

Visiting Mother: Australian soldiers in London during WWI

This talk explores London through the eyes of Australian soldiers and nurses on leave during the First World War. 

Reimagining the Pacific, 1870 to 1970

This Scholar Talk looks at representations of the south and north-west Pacific in the writing of European Australians during the century that followed.

Caretakers Cottage, "Busby Bore" Lachlan Swamp. 1844

Sydney’s misremembered swamplands

This Scholar Talk presents an environmental history of Sydney’s freshwater swamplands. 

Bungaree, Burigon and Aboriginal Newcastle

This talk takes a closer look at some of the more familiar Aboriginal residents and visitors to Newcastle, including Bungaree and Burigon.

Tracing Religious Education Across an Empire

Drawing on research undertaken at the Library, this talk explores parallels between religious education policy in Canada, Australia and New Zealand from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. 


J.W. Lewin: Australia’s first free professional artist

Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian discusses the incredible career of John William Lewin (1770–1819) who arrived in Sydney in 1800.