Ned Kelly Goes Online

A new collection item at University of Melbourne Archives, a letter by Superintendant Francis Augusts Hare, reflects on the demise of the Kelly gang. The letter was penned by Hare on 21 July 1880 from Rupertswood, Sunbury where he recuperated from a shot to the arm inflicted less than a month earlier during the capture of Ned Kelly and the destruction of the Kelly gang at Glenrowan. This letter joins the remarkable correspondence associated with Hare which is now available online, along with other digital collections from the UMA:

http://library.unimelb.edu.au/digitalcollections/cultural_and_special_collections.

This new acquisition was made possible by the University Library Endowment Fund.


Edna Walling Designs

A garden design within the Bates Smart Collection of architectural materials has been confirmed as being by renowned designer, Edna Walling.

The watercolour sheet shows the final design for a garden to complement a residence built in Upper Heidelberg Road, Heidelberg in 1927 for Mrs J.J. Woolcock, however the designer of the garden is not identified on any of the plans or drawings. Comparison with several preliminary drawings held at the State Library of Victoria for a garden at this address confirms that the design held at University of Melbourne Archives is by Walling. The final garden plan, with some pencil annotations (possibly by the builder) varies from the drawings at SLV, in that a proposed pool is not shown on the final plan.

University of Melbourne Archives holds another watercolour final design by Walling, for a residence built for Mrs. M.A. Cuming, in Kooyong Rd, Toorak in 1938. This design came from the Cuming family along with business records deposited at UMA. Both designs demonstrate Walling’s characteristic colour palette, and feature favoured plantings and garden elements.

University of Melbourne Archives, Bates Smart McCutcheon collection, 1968.0013 and Cuming Smith & Company Limited 1996.0073
State Library of Victoria, H97.270/102; H97.270/62; H40612/1


A.G.M. Michell

Above: A.G.M. Michell, Ronald East collection 1975.0084, box 2, University of Melbourne Archives.

In the 150th year of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, the University of Melbourne Archives has received a significant donation of papers relating to one of the School’s most distinguished graduates, A.G.M. Michell.

Anthony George Michell (1870-1959) studied civil and mining engineering at the University, graduating with first-class honours (BCE 1895, MCE 1899). He is most renowned for his brilliant invention of the tilting pad thrust bearing, which allowed for the development of larger, faster and more powerful ships and is still the standard used in shipping today, over one hundred years later.

The Victoria Branch of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) made the recent donation in recognition of the importance of Michell’s contribution to their profession. The material was in the possession of their member Alan H Taylor OAM, a pre-eminent Australian marine engineer and the first non-British President of the international body since it was established in 1889.

The University of Melbourne Archives was selected as the place of deposit because of the existing Michell collections and because of Michell’s lasting association with the University and Melbourne. This association extends to the creation of the Michell Hydraulic Laboratory and permanent exhibition in the School of Engineering and the awarding of the Michell Prize in Engineering.

The donation consists of a box of correspondence, technical data and original blueprints of thrust and journal bearings. The blueprints are of obvious significance, but the correspondence is the first cache of correspondence from Michell that has been donated to a public archive anywhere in the world, as his papers are widely thought to have been destroyed.

(This extract is from an article first published on the University’s Melbourne School of Engineering 150th anniversary blog and was written by Katie Wood from the Unviersity of Melbourne Archives.)


Free Public Lecture

‘Recasting Resource Investments in the New Normal: The rise of Special
Collections’ – a free public lecture by Richard E. Luce, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, Emory University, USA.

In an era when access to a large canon of scholarly resources is commonly available, how can an academic library demonstrate its value to the parent institution? This Information Futures Forum hosted by the University Library will interest collection managers, archivists, library directors, finance managers, trustees and those involved in developing and preserving cultural and library collections.

Wednesday 21 March, 1.00 pm
Coles Theatre, Melbourne Business School, Bldg no. 202, Leicester Street, Carlton
Details and bookings: www.informationfutures.unimelb.edu.au/forums/list/rick_luce


A Cambridge Binding

Above: Origen, Origenis Adamantii Operum tomi duo priores cum tabulis & indice generali proxime sequetibus, Parisiis: Venundatur cum reliquis Ioanni Paruo: Jodoco Badio: et Conrado Resch, 1512. Binding by Nicholas Spierinck, c.1520. Special Collections, Baillieu Library.

This signed Cambridge binding by Nicholas Spierinck was purchased by the Library’s Special Collections in 2008. The book itself is an early printing of the two (of four) of Origen’s Works, titled Origenis Adamantii Operum tomi duo priores cum tabulis & indice generali proxime sequetibus, published in 1512. Spierinck’s binding is full calf over wooden boards, with blind-stamped patterns of dragon, wyverns and griffins, and includes his monogram NS. There are remnants on the back cover of the hand–decorated brass clasps that Spierinck used on his bindings.

Nicholas Spierinck went to England from Belgium in the early 1500s and was binding important works by 1515. In 1534, Spierinck and two other bookbinders became the first official University Printers and Stationers at Cambridge. Spierinck’s bindings were the last in the medieval style at Cambridge, and our binding is one of the finest known examples of his bindings and the only known one in Australia. The Ivy May Pendlebury Bequest made the purchase possible.


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