Friends of the Allport seasonal talks: Gardeners, plant collectors, friends – Hobart Town and beyond

Ann Cripps, a garden lover and historian who has lectured and written for many years on all aspects of Tasmanian garden history, has published a book, Gardeners, plant collectors, friends: Hobart Town and beyond.

The book is the result of many years of research in libraries and other institutions in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In her talk on Tuesday 18 October from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Ann will focus on the fascinating network of gardeners and plant collectors with links to the Allport collection who have contributed to the horticultural history of Van Diemen’s Land.

Book a seat on Eventbrite. Can’t make it? Register online for the webinar.

Image: Allport, Mary Morton, Evett & Grouse / M.M.A., drawing Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania. https://stors.tas.gov.au/AUTAS001124060526w800

91 Stories: Cabinet of Curiosities

“I shall never open your drawers without fear of snakes and creeping things” – Mary Morton Allport.


Even the smallest of objects can spark the most significant of memories; a glinting object shining between particles of sand, dusting off the grains and revealing the smooth shell of a mollusc, once housing sea life.

Those seemingly everyday moments in childhood, are brought to life by the carefully stored collection of Morton Allport’s curiosities.

How could you say no to the temptation of opening a mysterious antique cabinet?

Recognising the need to conserve the cabinet and its contents, curator Ruth sought the help of an objects conservator to open Morton Allport’s shell cabinet.

As the cabinet was opened and the contents revealed, it brought with it not only the well-preserved and ordered collections of an avid Tasmanian naturalist, but a glimpse into Ruth’s own past.

A story that starts with a locked cabinet, a self-confessed arachnophobe and an expert in Tasmanian land snails, becomes one curator’s tale of discovery.


Follow intricacies of fossicking, shell collecting and the skills passed on from father to daughter, in the latest 91 STORIES: Cabinet of Curiosities. View the cabinet in the 91 Stories online exhibition.


Image: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ALLPORT_AQN_F041 Morton Allport’s shell cabinet, digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

Step into your community this Seniors Week!

Seniors Week, from 17 to 23 October, is jam-packed with interesting activities. The program usually flies out the door at our libraries – why not try viewing the official Seniors Week program online this month and make your bookings for events at our libraries on Eventbrite?

Join the celebrations at your local library:

Don’t miss out! Register through Eventbrite, or contact your local library.

What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in October

Be dazzled by the array of exciting literacy events this month! Take a step towards changing your life with our learning opportunities.

Spend quality creative time together with your kids or grandchildren at the spring school holiday program sessions – enjoy some spooky craft activities in time for Halloween or pick up some great ideas from the collections – all online, for free. Discover our Halloween eBooks and eAudiobooks for kids and teens on Overdrive.

Jump into Get Online Week and take part in free digital classes for everyone at your local library.

Step out the door and try something interesting in the Seniors Week events at libraries around lutruwita/Tasmania.

In 26TEN Week from 24 to 28 October, 26TEN is celebrating ten years of making a difference by helping people improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills! Find out more about events here.


Book cover of The Midnight Library by Matthew Haig. One library, infinite lives. Number one bestselling author.

Staff book review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“I almost didn’t read this book! The premise is bleak – Nora Seed attempts to take her own life! While Nora can be an irritating soggy blanket about most things, the hook of the infinite library standing between life and death convinced me to cross the threshold.

Nora is a beige character who funnily enough seems to have inspired reviewers to sour this book. Her blandness actually makes the hundreds of ‘what ifs’ more tangible and the wonders of this magical library more inviting.

Imagine being able to rid your guilt card and take those hindsight turns, different variants of your life, interests and relationships without inherent risk. Elicited thoughts of Midnight Libraries, and the potential within, linger well beyond the last page.” – Anita, Libraries Tasmania staff member


Be part of the conversation

History talks and exhibitions happening this month:

Register for activities at your local library on Eventbrite:

For more events or to register visit Eventbrite or contact your local library directly. If you need help with finding a class, program or doing research, ask our friendly staff.


From Between the Pages – Rosny Library’s first community art exhibition

Are you a budding artist on Hobart’s Eastern Shore? Rosny Library wants to celebrate your creativity in their first community art exhibition, showing from 7 to 30 November 2022. For details and to enter see the exhibition info sheet.


Connect with us

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we keep you up to date with online book clubs, events, exhibitions, and more.

Get Online Week – 17 to 22 October

Do you or does someone you know struggle with using technology and connecting online?

We are here to help!

Libraries Tasmania is a leader in helping Tasmanians to develop their digital literacy skills and make full use of digital technologies and the benefits they bring.

We help people get online in our 45 locations around the state, by providing access to free WiFi and computers.

Digital skills vary widely in our community, and Libraries Tasmania assists clients to develop skills from the very basic, to the more complex.

All our support is free and our experienced staff in public libraries support people to develop the skills to access everyday services such as email, banking or their My Health Record, as well as to become producers of digital content themselves.

At the State Library of Tasmania Reading Room, and through our online chat service, we assist clients who already have good digital literacy skills to successfully use research databases to find the best results for their research project.

Our expertise in information management and technology makes us the perfect organisation to support Tasmanians to develop their own digital literacy skills.

Libraries Tasmania runs regular classes for free to support everyone to get online. Get Online Week is the perfect time to get free access to digital support that is always available at your library, giving everyone the digital skills for everyday life.

Our friendly staff are always at hand to help you troubleshoot something or give you advice.

Try an activity or class at your local library or search on Eventbrite:

Register through Eventbrite, or contact your local library.

Celebrating a decade of making a difference in 26TEN Week – 24 to 28 October

Since October 2012, 26TEN has been bringing together communities, businesses, government services and individuals to lift reading, writing and numeracy skills in Tasmania. This statewide collective impact approach is underpinned by strong commitment from the Tasmanian Government and has tri-partisan political support.

26TEN is also supported by a growing network of over 1135 organisations and individuals determined to make a difference.

Thousands of adults across the state have changed their lives by getting support to improve their skills. Libraries Tasmania’s literacy service has helped over 4650 adults as part of 26TEN. For all of us, learners, people who have supported someone to learn, and those whose families, businesses and communities have benefited from better literacy, this is worth celebrating.

Prize draw – How has 26TEN made a difference for you?

Enter our prize draw by sharing how 26TEN has made a difference for you, in a photo, video drawing or story. Every entry goes into the draw to win one of 26 Woolworths vouchers valued at $50. Find out more here – entries close 5:00 pm on 31 October.

Keep an eye out on the 26TEN Facebook page for events near you.

Find out about adult literacy and numeracy support in Tasmania!

  • Visit the 26TEN Facebook page.
  • See what’s on at your local library.
  • Watch the 2-minute inspiring video about learner Liz who gained confidence from the 26TEN program, learning to read.
  • Call the 26TEN helpline – 1300 00 2610 to find help near you.

At Libraries Tasmania our literacy service provides free confidential help in 20 locations around Tasmania. Support can be tailored to individuals one-to-one or in small groups.

Take a step to make a difference in your life.

Ann Larkins and the Spaces of the King’s Female Orphan School – PHA (Vic &Tas) talk at the Allport

Do you have an interest in Tasmanian history and want to hear from researchers about their discoveries?

The next Professional Historians Association (Vic & Tas) talk at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is on Thursday 6 October from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Listen to Ann-Marie Ezzy explore the spaces of an orphanage, the King’s Female Orphan School, which opened in Hobart Town in 1828, and discover how its operation incarcerated the children of convicts like Ann Larkins.

Book a seat on Eventbrite. Can’t make it? Register online for the webinar.

Image: Digitised item from: Tasmanian Archives: Public Works Department – Plans – Male and Female Orphan Schools – former to be built at New Town, latter at Hobart Town and Plan of the Orphan Schools. https://stors.tas.gov.au/AI/PWD266-1-1458

Spring school holidays at Libraries Tasmania

It’s spring, the perfect time to get the kids active and excited! School holiday sessions at your local library are free and open to all children.

Try something new together!

Find activities at your local library on Eventbrite.

A few exciting highlights in Northern and North-West Tasmania:

If you’re in southern Tasmania, download or view the Southern Libraries School Holiday program. Some activities for kids on Eventbrite:

Please make sure to book on Eventbrite as demand for activities is high.

Did you know that children can have their own library card? A library membership helps you to support your child’s literacy and learning needs plus a love of reading.

Your child has access to books, eBooks and eAudiobooks as well as great homework resources like the Britannica Library. Discover more than you ever expected!

Visit your local library to sign up today.