Housing the Fairbairn Collection

The Fairbairn collection includes over 100 artefacts of various types; clothing, a sword,  hair ornaments made out of human hair, items used for sewing , just to name a few. All of these objects need to be stored in the best possible way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Housing is the process of making protective enclosures for objects to be stored in. By housing an object or group of objects we are creating a micro environment; temperature and humidity become more stable, direct light is deflected, materials are not damaged when handled or when placed on a shelf. Housing can be a box, folder or tray that has been custom made and fitted out to the exact requirements of the object. Inert materials and/or  acid free board are used.

Some of the objects in the Fairbairn collection required conservation treatment before they were housed. For example, the leather had detached from the front of this object but was reattached during treatment.

Some objects required individual housing (for example clothing items, sword and shoes) but the majority of the objects could be housed in groups. These groups were determined by object type and the material it was made of (for example all the coin purses made from similar materials are in a group).

purses

This was done not only for ease of locating a particular object but because different material types can need different storage conditions and some materials can affect other materials if stored together (for example the vapours released from wood can cause metals to corrode).

laying-out-objects

Each object was arranged to fit into a box in such a way so that its weight would be evenly supported and so that it can be retrieved without being damaged or damaging neighbouring objects. Then layers of board and/or foam were built up to support the items.

open-box-showing-contet-including-glasses-stamp

Labels were placed to give direction on safely removing the objects from there housing. Labels were also placed on the outside of the boxes to identify what each box holds  as well as the correct way to place each object inside the box.

lables-on-housing

Custom supports were made for some objects. For example the internal support for this hat.

 

Each item in the Fairbairn collection has now been housed and placed carefully into long term storage with the rest of the State Library of Western Australia’s collection.

School Magazines

avon_northam_june_1939_cover_2016-10-26_0936School magazines provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.

What was high school like from 1915 through to the 1950s? What issues interested teenagers? How did they react to current events including two world wars? In what ways did they express themselves differently from today’s teens? What sort of jokes did they find amusing? (Hint: there are many of what we would call “dad jokes”.)

The State Library holds an extensive collection of school magazines from both public and private schools. Most don’t start until after 1954 which, as with newspapers, is our cut-off date for digitising, but we have digitised some early issues from public schools.

 

In the first part of the 19th Century they were generally produced by the students, with minimal input from school staff – and it shows. The quality of individual issues varies widely, depending, most probably, on the level of talent, interest and time invested by the responsible students.

avon_sept_1930_p_11_2016-10-25_1641

Cricket cartoon Northam High School (The Avon) Sept. 1930

These magazines may include named photographs of prefects and staff, sporting teams and academic prize winners. Photographs from early editions tend to be of much higher quality, possibly because they were taken using glass negatives.

pgs-nov-1922

Essay competition. The subject: “A letter from Mr Collins congratulating Elizabeth on her engagement to Mr Darcy”  Phyllis Hand and Jean McIntyre were the prize winners.      Perth Girls’ School Magazine Nov. 1922

You will find poetry and essays, sketches by and of students, amateur cartooning, and many puns, jokes and limericks.

Some issues include ex-student notes with news about the careers, marriages and movements of past students. There is an occasional obituary.

avon_june_1943_ex_students_2016-10-25_1651

Northam High School (The Avon) June 1943

northam-high-school-the-avon-may-1925-twins_meckering_2016-10-24_1750

Does anyone know these twins from Meckering?  Northam High School (The Avon) May 1925

Issues from the war years are particularly interesting and touching. You may also find rolls of honour naming ex-students serving in the forces.

There is also often advertising for local businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

boronia_dec_1925_girls_a_hockey_team_2016-10-25_1657

Girls’ A Hockey Team Albany High School (Boronia) Dec. 1925

These magazines reflect the attitudes of their tight-knit local community of the time.  Expect to hear the same exhortations to strive for academic, moral and sporting excellence that we hear in schools today – while observing the (in retrospect) somewhat naïve patriotism and call to Empire and the occasional casual racism.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The following high school magazines for various dates are either available now online or will appear in the coming weeks: Perth Boys’ School MagazinePerth Girls’ School Magazine (later The Magpie); Fremantle Boys’ School; Northam High School (The Avon); Girdlestone High School (Coolibah); Eastern Goldfields Senior High School (The Golden Mile – later Pegasus); Bunbury High School (Kingia); Albany High School (Boronia) and Perth Modern (The Sphinx). None are complete and we would welcome donations of missing volumes to add to our Western Australian collections.

If you would like to browse our digitised high school magazines search the State Library catalogue using the term: SCHOOL MAGAZINES

*Some issues of The Magpie are too tightly bound for digitising so they are currently being disbound. They will then be digitised and rebound. Issues should appear in the catalogue in the near future.

Conservation

Welcome to the Conservation Lab!

We have been updating our space recently. We now have a redesigned space and new equipment to make our job easier and more efficient. Have a look at some before and after shoots below. As we use some of these fun new things we will post updates on this blog – so look out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before and after lab refurbishment

We haven’t posted here before so let me introduce the team…

The conservation team has the job of caring for the objects in the Library’s collection. We aim to minimise change to collection material and keep it in its best condition for people now and for generations to come. There are five full time staff; two conservators, a book binder and two conservation technicians.

We look after all sorts of objects from those you would usually see in a library to those that are more unexpected (e.g. trowels, shoes, paintings, giant sculptures, etc.)
DSC_0642
Cleaning Maintenance of Akio Makigawa’s Marble Sculpture “Gate to Coalescence”

The work we carry out can generally be divided into two categories; preventative work or a treatment.

Preventative conservation aims to avoid damage to items by looking after the environmental conditions, educating staff and clients about handling of heritage items, housing material appropriately and running an Integrated Pest Management program.  As part of this program we inspect all items coming into the collection for bugs, mould and assess how dirty they are.
Mould example for blog
Mould infested receipt book.

Treatments may range from something very minor such as erasing an accidental lead pencil mark to a major treatment like rebuilding an item without all the original pieces. In our treatments we aim to use minimal intervention and for every treatment to be reversible.

Ladder before   Ladder after
Panorama of Perth Water (Before and after treatment)  Panorama of Perth water taken from Jacob’s Ladder [BA689]

Rob before    Rob After
Crew of Rob Roy (Before and after treatment)  Crew of Rob Roy [5203B]

Maui and The Big Fish

Be amazed by original illustrations from Frané Lessac and Babara Ker Wilson’s story Maui and The Big Fish, on display now at the State Library of Western Australia.

PWC_137_Lessac

Frane Lessac, “Front cover illustration Maui and the big fish”, gouache on paper and acrylic, PWC/137, State Library of Western Australia

The illustrations in the exhibition form part of the State Library’s Peter Williams Collection of original artworks by leading Australian illustrators. 

Maui and The Big Fish tells the Polynesian folk tale of “Maui of the Thousand tricks”. Maui dreamed that one day he could go fishing with his brothers, each time he asked his brothers they would make excuses, “Maui is too small. He will never catch a fish”.

How Maui outwitted his brothers to catch the biggest fish in the ocean is part of a New Zealand creation story. Over many thousands of years the fish became part of the landscape and the islands of Maui, Molokai, Kuaii, Hawaii, Oahu and Lanai.

Lessac’s beautifully rendered gauche and acrylic paintings are full of colour and movement.  Words by Babara Ker Wilson introduce young readers to new vocabulary and concepts.

Frané Lessac is an award winning author, illustrator, and painter who lives and works in Western Australia. She has published and collaborated on over 35 books for children including: My Little Island, A is For Australia,  Magic Boomerang, Midnight and Simpson and his Donkey and many more.

PWC_132_Lessac

Frane Lessac, “Maui’s mother told her four big sons”, gouache on paper and acrylic, PWC/132 State Library of Western Australia

Maui and The Big Fish will be on display in The Place Gallery until February 29 2016. For more information visit our website.

  • Visit the exhibition during our Books From Your Backyard Family Day on Saturday 16 January to create an illustration with Frane Lessac.
  • Copies of Maui and The Big Fish (Published by Frances Lincoln, 2003) are available to purchase from the State Library shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The Lynley Dodd Story

On a scrap of notepaper of paper in 1979, Hairy Maclary was born.

The Lynley Dodd Story exhibition reveals the evolution of Dodd’s creative process and clues to her characters rise to international fame. More than 50 original illustrations including preliminary sketches, drafts and notes showcase the development of Dodd’s unique artistic style and her skillful marriage of words and illustration.

The first drawing of Hairy Maclary has been described as an “animated bottlebrush”. Loose lines give the appearance of movement as he bounces across the page. Hairy Maclary’s scruffy look is made up exclusively of directional lines. He is as much about the spaces between the lines as the lines themselves. The drawing is an unassuming work on a creased piece of scrap paper that captures in entirety Hairy Maclary’s appeal.

Hairy Maclary's Bone, (c) Lynley Dodd, 1984. Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Random House and the artist.

Hairy Maclary’s Bone (c) Lynley Dodd, 1984. Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Random House and the artist.

Lynley Dodd’s characters emerge in her illustrations like on stage performers. The backgrounds function as props for the action about to take place in the scene. Dodd’s use of truncation adds playfulness and encourages readers to turn the page.  Often part of Hairy Maclary disappears at the page edge, building anticipation as he moves off stage.

Dodd’s compositions are meticulously planned in a process which she describes as “Writing the pictures and painting the words”.

Much of her inspiration is drawn from real life. Many of Dodd’s characters are based on childhood pets, and plots are often inspired by almost unbelievable occurrences. The 1984 title Hairy Maclary’s Bone, was inspired by a routine trip to the butcher, where Dodd saw a large dog walking away from the butcher shop with a load of meat and bones hanging from his mouth. How that dog would get home without other dogs looting the lot unfolds in the story.

Each illustration is carefully composed with gouache and pen, Dodd’s medium of choice. Her technical skill is shown by her layering of gouache to create the  iridescent quality of the tiles on the meat shop front as seen in Hairy Maclary’s Bone. This technical skill has a sound foundation in her Fine Art training in sculpture.

A Dragon in a Wagon (c) Lynley Dodd, 1988, Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Random House and the artist.

A Dragon in a Wagon (c) Lynley Dodd, 1988, Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Random House and the artist.

The Lynley Dodd Story includes illustrations from many works set outside the Hairy Maclary series. A Dragon in a Wagon of 1988 showcases Dodd’s skillful painting and refining of words to create uncluttered verse.

The colour palette of A Dragon in a Wagon marks a departure from the shades of suburbia present in the Hairy Maclary series. The deep blues and cool yellows featured in the illustration ‘A Shark in the Dark’ exemplify this difference.  In the story imaginative scenes are tied to the bouncy rhyme and rhythm Dodd is well known for.

Other Ark

The Other Ark (c) Lynley Dodd, 2004, Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Random House and the Artist.

Illustrations from Find Me A Tiger (1991), The Dudgeon is Coming (2008) and The Other Ark (2004), highlight the breadth of Dodd’s practice as an illustrator.

Her clever use of scale reinforces meaning and adds humour to her stories.  Think about how big Hercules Morse is in comparison to Schnitzel von Krumm! In The Other Ark  Sam Jam Balu’s tiny size compared with the enormity of the ark, emphasises the large task ahead of him.

The Lynley Dodd Story is on display at the State Library of Western Australia until 27 January 2016. Presented with AWESOME Festival. For more information visit. www.slwa.wa.gov.au 

  • Guided Tour: The Art of Lynley Dodd (40 mins): Tuesday 3 November 3.30pm, free – bookings required 
  • Lynley Dodd books are available to purchase from The State Library Shop.
  • Families can pick up a free self guided tour booklet at the exhibition

Thank you WAGS!

WAGS volunteer Brian Stent assists a client

WAGS volunteer Brian Stent assists a client

In 1985 the State Library entered a partnership with the Western Australian Genealogical Society (Inc.) – affectionately known as WAGS – to provide ongoing assistance to family history researchers within the Library.

30 years later, the partnership is still going strong, with WAGS volunteers providing research assistance in the Genealogy Centre three days a week.

These dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers have worked quietly, efficiently, and patiently through all of the many changes the organisation has undergone over the years. They have put up with noise, disruption, changes in location of materials, staff restructures, all manner of clients and, sometimes, grumpy Subject Specialists. They have handled all with efficiency, humour and grace.

Each year The State Library and WAGS have also partnered in presenting talks tours and workshops for National Family History Month.

We have joined in hosting several successful family history fairs with support from other government agencies such as the National Archives and State Records Office, Local Studies Centres, and historical and family history societies.

Western Australian Genealogical Society volunteers have made a considerable contribution to the public of Western Australia through their commitment to providing information and research assistance to family historians.

WAGS volunteer Elizabeth Rummins in action

WAGS volunteer Elizabeth Rummins in action

On behalf of staff and patrons of the State Library of Western Australia we would like to congratulate and express our thanks to the volunteers of the Western Australian Genealogical Society (Inc.) for 30 years of volunteering in the Genealogy Centre.

Genealogy Centre

Genealogy Centre

WAGS volunteers continue to be available to assist you in the Genealogy Centre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am – 1:00pm.

Sailing great Jon Sanders visits State Library

Yachting legend Jon Sanders world record for sailing around the world three times solo is still unbroken.  His Perie Banou log book is on display now at State Library of Western Australia. 

In 1988 Sanders changed global yachting history when he broke the Guinness World Record for the longest distance ever sailed continuously by a vessel after travelling 658 days, 21 hours and 18 minutes at sea.

Evan Collins, Jon Sanders arrives at Fremantle on the Parry Endevour after his triple circumnavigation of the world, 13 March 1988, 135227PD – 125229PD, State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection.

Evan Collins, Jon Sanders arrives at Fremantle on the Parry Endevour after his triple circumnavigation of the world, 13 March 1988, 135227PD,  State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection.

Following his ninth circumnavigation of the world, the Perth born sailor has returned to Perth and recently visited Sailing on the Swan at the State Library.

The exhibition features original material including one of Sanders sailing log books from his double circumnavigation of the world aboard Perie Banou. The log records the ships position, current speeds, wind directions, and bearings. The page displayed shows notes from Perie Banou’s sail through the treacherous currents and hazardous winds in Southern Chile around Cape Horne.

Roger Garwood, Jon Sanders returns to Royal Perth Yacht Club on 31 October 1982 after his double circumnavigation of the world on Perie Banou, 1982, 296493PD, State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection

Roger Garwood, Jon Sanders returns to Royal Perth Yacht Club on 31 October 1982 after his double circumnavigation of the world on Perie Banou, 1982, 296493PD, State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection.

Exhibition highlights include a 1988 photograph of Sanders on Parry Endevour. The photograph was taken two days before he broke the world record for triple circumnavigation of the world.  Upon viewing the photo in the exhibition Sanders recalled that at the time strong winds forced a closure of Perth airport.

Jon Sanders pictured with photograph of Parry Endevour at Cape Leeuwin.

Jon Sanders pictured with photograph of Parry Endevour at Cape Leeuwin.

Interested in checking yacht log entries surrounding the Fauklands conflict in 1982,  Sanders reacquainted himself with the remainder of his 1979-1982 Perie Banou logbooks, held in the State Library heritage collections (ACC3229A). He recalled an entry where BBC Argentina “warned shipping to stay out of the 200 mile maritime zone around Fauklands”. The ten week war in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom was over two British territories in the South Atlantic.

Jon Sanders with the Perie Banou logbooks

Jon Sanders with the Perie Banou logbooks

Sailing on the Swan is presented by the Royal Perth Yacht Club. The exhibition is on display at the State Library of Western Australia Ground Floor Gallery until May 3. Open during library hours.

Five minutes with Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Kyle Hughes –Odgers is a Western Australian artist and author known for his innovative illustrative style and public art.  Dazzling original illustrations from his new book On a Small Island are on display now at the State Library of Western Australia.

We spent some time hearing from Kyle about the inspiration and ideas behind his work. Here’s what he had to say…

Kyle Hughes-Odgers: Photo by Chad Peacock

Kyle Hughes-Odgers in his studio: Photo by Chad Peacock

1. Describe your book making process. Which comes first for you, the narrative, illustration, or the idea?

I had the initial idea for On a Small Island and I could visualise the flow of the artwork and some ideas I wanted to explore. I sketched all the artwork as a story board, then wrote the narrative to work with the images. After this the painting process started. For my next book the narrative has been very clear from the start so I have focused on developing this before starting any artwork. So I don’t seem to have a consistent process when approaching books.

2. You are known for your picture book illustrations and public art. How do you switch between extremes of scale and medium?

I love working across many different scales. I like the challenge of painting buildings and getting to spend time outside but I also love when I have time to be in the studio and work on paintings, drawings and children’s books. The variety keeps me slightly sane and it’s great to change my head space!

3. Your illustrations for On a Small Island include a lot of repetition, geometric shapes, and a variety of textures. How did this style evolve?

Very naturally – I think because I am constantly driven to make new work, the time spent exploring ideas and techniques has helped develop and progress my work to what it is today. I’m sure in another 5 -10 years it will have evolved again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On a Small Island exhibition. Photo: State Library of Western Australia

4. You grew up in and currently reside in Perth. Is there anything unique or iconic about the Western Australian environment that influences your work? 

There are many unique and iconic aspects to the Western Australian environment, but I’m not sure it has had a direct influence on my artwork. I’m inspired by many different parts of life

5. Would you describe On a Small Island as more universal or more autobiographical?

I wrote it with a universal reach in mind, but I do connect with it personally. I think the idea of being positive and productive to change your situation is something that most people can connect with.

6. In 2012 you collaborated with author Meg McKinlay to produce the book Ten Tiny Things. What was it like to be both author and illustrator with On a Small Island? How was it different or similar to working on Ten Tiny Things?

The artwork process was fairly similar in terms of planning and creating, the writing process was challenging compared to making artwork for Ten Tiny Things. I’m a very visual person and have never thought of myself as a writer so it was something I was really excited about but also cautious because it is very new ground for me.

7. Where do you find your creativity? Which artists and authors inspire you?

I’m really inspired by nature, creativity, human behavior and life! I draw/paint every single day and I really love it. My favourite illustrator of all time (at the moment) is Charley Harper.

A number of original illustrations from On a Small Island have been included in the State Library of Western Australia’s Children’s Literature Collection. The exhibition is on display in The Place on the Mezzanine floor, State Library of Western Australia and is open until 28 February. For more information visit our website.

On a Small Island exhibition. Photo: State Library of Western Australia

Stimulate your little grey cells…

And now for something completely different…  The State Library is hosting a weekend of Disruption.

Disrupted Festival of Ideas

In association with writingWA, the State Library will host International, Australian and local creative thinkers as they explore democracy, game changers, languages and technology through discussion, debate, film and song.
And 90% of it is FREE
So if you are interested in stimulating your little grey cells have a look at the program.

Make a day of it. Spend Saturday and/or Sunday being entertained and inspired and follow up with a meal in the Northbridge restaurant precinct.

Special guests include:

Michael Mori

Michael Mori

Michael Mori (the military lawyer who represented David Hicks, the Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee).

Scott Ludlum

Scott Ludlam

Environmental and social justice campaigner (and former graphic designer) Greens Senator Scott Ludlam

Paul Barry

Paul Barry

Media Watch presenter, journalist and author Paul Barry

Paul Green-Armytage

Paul Green-Armytage

Author of Dimensions of colour and Colour, language and design (his thesis) Paul Green-Armytage

Neryl Joyce

Neryl Joyce

Neryl Joyce, former commissioned officer in the Australian army, manager of Christmas Island detention centre, and author of  Mercenary Mum; my journey from young mother to Baghdad bodyguard.

Free events you might like to attend:

Comedian Sami Shah presents I, Migrant – Watch Sami try to figure out what he is doing wrong – and how to keep doing it.

Dangerous Speech
This panel will reflect on the rise of dangerous speech in Australia and consider whether our politicians and media commentators are leading us towards an ugly nationalism.
Presented by Sophie Black, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sen. Scott Ludlam, Michael Mori, and Sami Shah.

Journalism is not terrorism
In a post 9/11 world, is freedom of the press still a possibility?
Speakers: Sophie Black, Paul Barry and Professor Sarah Joseph.

The Ownership of Colour
“Cadbury Purple”? “Telstra Yellow”?  How is it even possible – technically
or legally – to claim ownership of colour.
Presented by Mark Braddock, Paul Green-Armytage, David Stewart

Gene Patenting – is it good for our health? 
Should pharmaceutical companies be allowed to patent our genetic material?
Presented by Lucy Dougan, Hon Melissa Parke MP (TBC), David Stewart, Prof Nik Zeps

Fireballs in the Sky
Meteorites are the oldest rocks in existence: the only surviving physical record of the formation and evolution of the solar system. The Desert Fireball Network (DFN) is a network of digital cameras in the outback desert of Australia which capture photographs of the night sky. The DFN is supported by a citizen science initiative that allows the public to provide its own data and share the discoveries as they are made. Prof. Phil Bland explains how this program could help us to address some of the biggest questions in planetary science.
The Fireballs in the Sky exhibition will be on display for the duration of Disrupted.

Regional Australia in Transition
What types of disruption arise from transient and significantly increased populations?  How are individuals affected? What are the challenges for planners and designers?
Speakers: Jenni Collard, Kate Fielding and William M. Taylor.

Detention Centres – the graphic reality
In 2013 the Australian Department of Customs and Border Protection produced an 18-page graphic novel to inform “people in Afghanistan about the truth of people smuggling”. It painted a bleak picture of life inside Australia’s offshore detention centres. A valuable perspective to the discussion of Australia’s asylum seeker policies and programs and insight into the impact these programs have on both detainees and staff.
Presented by Neryl Joyce and Graeme McGregor.

Treat yourself to some challenging and thought-provoking discussions.

Select and book at www.disruptedfestivalofideas.com.au
Download the Program of Events

Disrupted Program

Is your city ‘walkable’?

Public Forum with Jeff Speck

In association with writingWA, Consult Australia and the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, the State Library of Western Australia presents:

The Walkability Mandate: A Public Forum with Jeff Speck

Renowned US author, city planner and architectural designer Jeff Speck will share his vision for smart growth, sustainable design, and walkability in a public forum on 16 October at the State Theatre Centre.

The evening will include the opportunity to get involved in an audience Q&A and to purchase copies of Jeff’s new book, Walkable City – How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time. For more information on Jeff Speck visit http://www.jeffspeck.com.

Jeff has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive and he has it down to one key factor – walkability.

If we have learned one thing from the suburban experiment, it is that you can’t grow a green economy on bitumen.” – Jeff Speck

Venue: State Theatre Centre of Western Australia
Tickets: $45 (not inclusive of ticketing fee)
Cost includes complimentary drink and finger food on arrival.
Date: Wednesday 16 October 2013
Doors open: 6.00pm
Light refreshments: 6.00pm – 6.45pm
Public Forum: 6.45pm – 8.00pm

Buy your ticket now via Ticketek.