Musgrave NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day of Celebration)

This year NAIDOC was celebrating its twenty-four years at Musgrave Park.  As a long-term Indigenous staff member of the State Library, I have now attended twenty-one years of these Fridays (minus 2014 due to a motorbike accident).

In 1994 three State Library staff members, Loris Williams, Kathy Frankland and I participated with a stall on the family Friday Fun day at Musgrave Park.  In those days it was a case of finding a space, sitting down under my umbrella, and setting up a display board with copy-prints of photographs from the collection.

NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park, 1995. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park, 1995. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

In 1995 I added a tarpaulin with a display of various hand-made, photocopied, Indigenous information guides and relevant State Library of Queensland ephemera.

By 2005 we were sharing an umbrella and tent with Queensland Museum and had progressed to collecting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content from neighbouring stalls to add to the State Library’s John Oxley Library collection, such as posters, handouts, maps, trinkets and bags.

Posters, handouts, maps, trinkets and bags handed out at the 2005 NAIDOC Day at Musgrave Park. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

Posters, handouts, maps, trinkets and bags handed out at the 2005 NAIDOC Day at Musgrave Park. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

Posters, handouts, maps, trinkets and bags handed out at the 2005 NAIDOC Day at Musgrave Park. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

Posters, handouts, maps, trinkets and bags handed out at the 2005 NAIDOC Day at Musgrave Park. Photo courtesy of Tania Schafer

After more than twenty years of collecting it is fascinating to view this material now. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander poster collection, for instance, has increased from one drawer to a three drawer collection exceeding over two hundred posters.

In 2015 State Library’s tent has changed in terms of size, staff and the variety of resources offered to visitors, from a family history desk to answer queries, to a children’s corner and highlights on our Indigenous Writing Fellowship.

SLQ stall at 2015 NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park. Photos courtesy of Tania Schafer

SLQ stall at 2015 NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park. Photos courtesy of Tania Schafer

Today the NAIDOC Musgrave Park Family Fun Day has increased in size with clothes, merchandise and food stalls, performances, and rides for children available. At the State Library we are capturing this growth through the contemporary collection of photographs and by adding material to our collection.

2015 NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park. Photos courtesy of Tania Schafer

2015 NAIDOC Day, Musgrave Park. Photos courtesy of Tania Schafer

If you have material showing current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander historical events relating to Queensland, please consider donating to the State Library. More information is available at /about-us/collections/donations-to-the-collection.

Tania Schafer - Contemporary Collecting, State Library of Queensland

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I am currently studying a Diploma of Library and Information Services and am intrigued by the opportunities to help facilitate and become involved within community activities outside a library setting. Does the library set out to become part of these events or are you first invited? What processes does the library take on to gain archival information. Do people in the community respond to these call outs for archival information well? How does the library deal with growing archives and appropriate and interesting ways of displaying this information to the community?

Hi CatherineI'm passing your enquiry on to our Original Content team and they will get back to you shortly.RegardsMyles Sinnamon - blog editor

Hi Catherine. Thanks for your enquiry. We would respond by saying that sometimes the State Library is invited to participate, while with other events such as the NAIDOC Day event, we ask to be involved, where we feel we have something to offer the community. In terms of how we acquire archives, manuscripts and other original material, we rely on various methods, including media releases, our web pages such as http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/about-us/collections/donations-to-the-collect…, and of course there’s word of mouth. We have a steady stream of new materials being donated, purchased or otherwise acquired – from association meeting minutes and engineering records through to personal correspondence and original photographs. As for dealing with the ever-growing original content collections, and indeed all our physical collections, we continue to face issues such as staffing and storage space constraints, like any other large collecting institution, but so far we have managed somehow! We promote the collections to Queenslanders via media stories and interviews, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter, and recently we’ve also set up an Instagram account. It’s important that we get the story out there, in every way that works.