|Main: Mitchell Reading Room; Left: Exhibition in the walkway between the two buildings; Right: Exhibition in the grand foyer|
If you are in Sydney, GO SEE THIS EXHIBITION!!
In 1907 David Mitchell died and bequeathed his book collection to the state if they would house it well. Joseph Banks' journal was part of his collection. Took 'em three years, but they built a grand book house. And now there is the adjoining State Reference Library which is 13 floors below ground as well as the delightfully bright bit above ground.
|Main: Marble version of Tasman's map in main foyer; Left: Joseph Banks' journal, 1770; Right: Letter from Mary Reiby, 1792|
Paul Brunton, the Curator must have gone bonkers trying to choose just 100 items from their vaults for this exhibition. And great stuff it is too, ranging from the 1600s to last year. And they have some excellent audio/visual offerings. There is one screen that displays the Mary Reiby letter a word at a time, as though she is penning it in front of you. She had just arrived in Sydney, convicted of stealing a horse. She was 15 and wrote this letter back to her aunt. By the time she was 32 she was a widow with 7 children. She died in 1855, a VERY prosperous businesswoman.
|Main: Vietnam Moritorium poster, 1970; Left: upstairs corridor with panoramic 1907 photographs of Sydney by Melvin Vaniman; Right: Henry Lawson's journal|
This exhibition was a bit confoosing for moi, 'cause a curator showed me where to go to get good photographs, yet a security guy rapped me over the knuckles and told me to put it away. It's not as though I was using flash or anything, just that my camera is a bit on the obvious side.
So much to read and think about. I shall have to go back lots of times. I can only do about a dozen at a time. Great fun for this little history-holic. Thank you, Mr Mitchell.
|Gallery space upstairs for "One Hundred" which is 100 items from their vaults in an exhibition that is open for 100 days|