Tag Archives: correspondence

“A library is a pleasure dome…”: Germaine Greer and libraries

Sarah Brown – Archivist, Germaine Greer Archive “Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world I am at home, unselfconscious, still […]

‘Salut Comarada’’ An Australian experience of the Spanish Civil War

The 17th of July marked the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Despite taking place on the other side of the world, a number of Australians left their homeland to join what many observers saw as a war of ideologies. War erupted after a failed military coup by Nationalist forces (later led […]

Secrets and Signatures

Rebekah J. Harris – PhD Candidate in History at the University of Melbourne School of Culture and Communications The most alluring aspect of an archival family collection is its honesty – its documentation of a family’s success and failures. Unless someone has deliberately removed something, personal papers hide very little. In this respect, the Bright Family […]

Business as usual: correspondence from the Bright Family Papers

Nell Ustundag (PhD Candidate in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne) Nothing is quite like handling and reading original hand-written correspondence. Letters, particularly those written by hand, are intimate, tangible evidence of relationships between and amongst people; autobiographical evidence of the perspectives and lives of their writers. Most people cherish and […]

Textual personalities: the letters of Mary and Dorothy Bright

Francesca Kavanagh (PhD Candidate in English and Literature in the University of Melbourne School of Culture and Communications) The Bright family papers comprise one of the most significant collections of artefacts pertaining to Jamaican and English trade in the mid- to late-eighteenth century held in Australia. Housed in the University of Melbourne Archives, this collection […]

“Single men from Scotland keenly sought”

“Single men from Scotland are keenly sought” writes James Butchart to his father on his arrival in Port Phillip, where he expects his exercise of the three virtues, “patience, prudence and perseverance”, will enable him to thrive. (James Butchart, Melbourne, to father, 15 February 1842, 1990.0083.00005). Recently digitised correspondence reveals the journey of one man from […]

“sheets and a bed – glorious”

“sheets and a bed – glorious.” So describes Wilberforce Newton’s delight in his hospital accommodations on 12th November 1915. Plagued by suspected bronchitis whilst serving with the Royal Medical Corps on the Western front, Newton’s simple joy illustrates the conditions that became the new ‘normal’ experienced by servicemen and women during World War One. Newton’s diary […]

Alice Anderson in her Kew garage workshop, c1922

A researcher visits our repository

Loretta Smith, Author Original posted on the Facebook page Alice Anderson Garage Girl. For those who have ever done research, have you experienced the wonder of discovering something unexpected in an unlikely place that stops your heart? I’ve had a few experiences like this through the course of discovering Alice’s story but what I’m about […]

Alfred Plumley Derham: soldier, medic, poet, ANZAC

Geoffrey Laurenson – Professional Library Cadet Georgina Ward – Assistant Archivist The story of Alfred Plumley Derham is one of a young medical student who showed great steadfastness in the face of the day-to-day realities of World War One: boredom, tough living conditions, separation from loved ones, crippling injury and illness. The letters and diaries of […]

Memory, poetry and a good buffet dinner

“I’ve always had a good memory…which is helpful for my poetry though it makes it rather like a buffet dinner with many small dishes all over the bench.”[i] Birthdays always prompt a level of reflection and earlier this month Melbourne poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe celebrated his 80th. His writing reveals that these years have not been […]