The History of the John Oxley Library - Part Four

Continuing our series on the history of the John Oxley Library, in this, our 75th year.

The first tangible State Government support came in 1933, with provision being made for housing the collection in the Public Library of Queensland’s building in William Street, Brisbane.  In that year the first Advisory Committee was appointed by the Trustees and comprised Mr. G.W. Watson (Under Secretary to the Chief Secretary), Professor H.S. Alcock, Professor J.J. Stable, Hon. W.A. MacNaughton, Miss N. McIver (University Librarian), Mr. W.H. Brown (Public Librarian), Mr. Firmin McKinnon (Associate Editor of The Courier Mail), Mr. R.K. Wetherell, Mr. J.H. Hornibrook and Mr. A. W. Jose.  Mr. H.J.J. Sparkes was appointed the Library’s first secretary and honorary librarian.

J.H. Hornibrook, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Image No: 173637

At the time of opening to the public, on 5 April 1934, the collection comprised approximately 6,000 books and documents.  Careful collecting continued with early notable successes including the J.H. Hornibrook collection of published Queensland verse and the Forrest Collection of Australiana, comprising some 7,000 items.  This collection included many  treasures including a complete set of John Gould’s Birds of Australia.

Part Five of the history of the John Oxley Library will be posted next month.


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