John Oxley Library celebrates 75 years

The 75th anniversary of the opening of the John Oxley Library on 5 April 1934 was celebrated on Sunday 5 April 2009.

750 people came along to see a huge array of collection items on display and listen to expert talks:

  • Professor Peter Spearritt shared his expertise in a fascinating talk about Queensland’s tourism industry.
  • Dr Raymond Evans delved in to the newspapers produced on the 5th of April 1934 to give us an insight into the happenings of that day and to explain just how important newspapers are as a primary resource.
  • Kate Eltham, CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre, shared her passion for literature as she talked about the importance of giving Queenslanders a glimpse of themselves and their own heritage through the works of Queensland authors.

Historian-in-Residence, Professor Anna Haebich, shared her enthusiasm for research and history with the many visitors who took the opportunity to spend some time talking to her.  A new virtual exhibition curated by Professor Haebich, Becoming Queensland, which looks at our state’s first 50 years as a dynamic 'work in progress', was also launched as part of the celebrations.

Curators' talks about the exhibitions Panoramic Queensland and Bold but Faithful: John Oxley Library at work were filled to capacity.  Behind the scenes tours of the repository areas, the Resource Discovery Unit and the Conservation lab were also very popular and fully booked.

It was fantastic to see so many people engaged with the collection.  There were lots of new faces as well as some of our regular clients.

Queensland author David Malouf, who is also celebrating his 75th birthday this year, spoke in conversation with writer Ashley Hay before a crowd of passionate readers.  After his talk many people took the opportunity to see William Robinson’s wonderful and witty pencil sketches of the Ekka which adorned the walls of the slq Gallery.  These drawings have been acquired through funding from the Queensland Library Foundation to commemorate this important 75th anniversary.

Thank you to all the people who came along to share the John Oxley Library’s 75th birthday with us.

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