To celebrate 150 years of Tasmanian Railways, Libraries Tasmania is showcasing favourite photographs and plans that document the history of our state’s railways.
From staggering feats of engineering and the enabling of complex mining operations, to employment for men and women and family social outings, railways have played an important role in the economic and social history of Tasmania for 150 years.
The story of the Tasmanian Railways is one of great successes, but also of hardships, economic failures, and disasters. It is a colourful and dynamic history.
The 150 Years of Tasmanian Railways photography exhibition is now open in libraries around Tasmania and online. Get in touch with your local library to find out more.
For those who want to delve into those intricate technical drawings, expansive line plans and registers of rolling stock, we have also released a new and expansive Tasmanian Railway Guide to our railway records. Learn how to research Tasmanian rail records with Librarian, Ali Marchant, by watching her video below.
We’re passionate about lifelong learning, and our focus in September is all about supporting you to learn something new. From reading to researching, we have the experts and resources to get you started.
September is… Adult Learners’ Week
Libraries Tasmania is holding a series of engaging events across Tasmania to connect adults with learning and support their learning journeys during Adult Learners’ Week 2021.
Adult Learners’ Week is celebrated annually across Australia from 1 – 8 September. It is a great introduction to the learning support available in libraries for adults all year round.
Whether you are returning to learning after a long break or are wanting to develop a new skill, Libraries Tasmania is here to support you.
To find out what your local library is doing for Adult Learners’ Week, search for Libraries Tasmania on Eventbrite, or check directly with your local library.
September is… reading, writing, and research
Keen minds and lifelong learners are welcomed with open arms at Libraries Tasmania, with a range of creative and research-based activities on offer for those who want to extend their own writing skills, explore the writing of others – or refine their search for information.
Below is just a sample of what is on at your local library.
For your local library’s full list of events, don’t forget to check the What’s On link in our monthly newsletter.
September is… Rock & Rhyme and Storytime!
Learning something new is fun for the young ones, especially when it’s accompanied by music, narrative and movement! Our Rock & Rhyme and Storytime sessions are very popular with babies, pre-schoolers… and their parents and carers! Sessions are run regularly throughout the year at many of our libraries.
To find and book a session, search for Libraries Tasmania on Eventbrite, or check directly with your local library.
What will you discover in our collections this month?
Libraries Tasmania is home to a wealth of Tasmanian stories – whether in our 22 linear kilometres of shelving devoted to archives, or on our lending shelves in our 46 libraries across the state.
We invite you to be a detective and look a little deeper at what we have to offer in our cultural collections…
Dive into our Archives and Heritage blog, where you’ll uncover the hidden story behind some of our most important items, such as this donated letterpress
Assist with our DigiVol projects and help turn historical Tasmanian information into digitised data.
Visit the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (91 Murray Street, Hobart) to wander through its many ‘house’ rooms, where you’ll uncover exquisite objects, paintings and books that tell the story of Tasmania’s journey from yesterday to today.
Explore our two Flickr accounts… The Tasmanian Archives and State Library (Commons) account makes publicly available more than one thousand of our most-loved creative commons images; while our private exhibitions and collections can be accessed on this Libraries Tasmania Flickr account, where our team has curated albums for you to explore – including previous Allport exhibitions, Tasmanian convict and prisoner photos, Queen Elizabeth II in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain, early Hobart and so much more.
In addition to our cultural treasures, did you know we offer these lending library services?
Home Library Service: This is a free service for people who can’t visit a library due to incapacity. You tell us what you would like to receive, we pick it for you and then our volunteer couriers deliver these library items to you, either to your home or residential facility. To find out more, visit Home Library Service (libraries.tas.gov.au)
Bilingual Books: Is English your second language or does your family speak more than one language at home? We are proud to offer some beloved and classic children’s picture books told in both English and other languages. Titles include books by Eric Carle as well as David McKee’s ‘Elmer’ series. Available languages include Farsi, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese, Japanese, Nepali, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali. You can find these books at Burnie, Devonport, Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingston, Launceston and Rosny Libraries – you can place a hold now or contact our staff for assistance.
New Release Express Service: This service offers a selection of our most popular new books for immediate borrowing. You can take home a bestseller without having to wait! In addition to Hobart, Kingston, Rosny, Launceston, Devonport, Glenorchy and Burnie, the New Release Express Service has now expanded to St Helens, Ulverstone, Huonville and Sorell Libraries. For more information visit https://www.libraries.tas.gov.au/…/express-service.aspx
Stories aren’t just words on a page. They can be represented by artefacts, records, and photographs. They can be oral accounts that are stored as recordings.
At Libraries Tasmania we are the custodians of millions of fragments of Tasmania’s history – locally told memories just waiting for discovery. Each of these items brings its own unique account of the ordinary and extraordinary people who have lived Tasmania’s stories.
Your favourite stories from our collections
Our community is the curator of the 91 Stories exhibition. This digital and physical exhibition will bring together local objects, images, artefacts and artworks – all from within our cultural collections and chosen by you.
Uncover your own hidden stories in our archives and collections
Did you know that we have a searchable Names Index? The Tasmanian Names Index holds information recorded about people in Tasmania, including immigration, births, deaths, marriage and divorce, over specific periods of time. The knowledge held in these records could help you reassemble the stories of your own Tasmanian ancestors.
Learn to write your story
Our libraries hold activities to help budding storytellers write their own tales. For example, Devonport Library currently holds a fortnightly Young Writers session, for ages 7+ to help young writers strengthen their creative writing skills. Check with your local library to see if they hold similar events.
Local stories at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
As part of the Professional Historians Associations (Tas.) Lecture Series, Dean Greeno will discuss the threat of climate change on traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace making practices.
Join us for this special event: Effects of climate change on traditional Aboriginal shell necklace making practice, on 3 June 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Register via Eventbrite.
Tasmanian stories, fact and fiction
Whether it be a retelling of an old story, or an account of a new one, our local libraries hold many Tasmanian stories that are available for our community to borrow as physical or digital books.
Libraries Tasmania has launched an online gallery to showcase Tasmania’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One year ago, in collaboration with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, we began inviting Tasmanians to contribute writing, photographs, video and objects telling their ‘COVID-19 Story’.
Tasmanians from Strahan to Ravenswood, and Smithton to Kingston responded with wide-ranging submissions, such as photographs of closed businesses, personal accounts of isolation, fear and boredom, poems, and stories of projects aimed at bringing happiness to the community.
A range of submissions is now available to view online via Libraries Tasmania’s online gallery. Some gems include:
Lesliee Whittet of Devonport sharing the joy of seeing his granddaughter race out of the airport after arriving from lockdown-restricted Victoria (NS6935).
Six-year-old Freddy Farrington of Margate recounting taking his COVID-19 test (NS6971).
Hobart based artist Michelle Dracoulis’s photographic explorations of toilet paper hoarding (NS6972).
Launceston teacher Jayne Hill and illustrator Courtney Greatbatch’s beautiful booklet ‘But why cant I go to school?’, created to help kinder and pre students understand and cope with the pandemic (NS6953).
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian branches’ videos, photographs and media releases from 2020 (NS6980, NS6981).
Images from Westbury pharmacist Kelli Houlahan of the measures taken instore to provide services while protecting clients and staff.
Project coordinator, Libraries Tasmania archivist Jen Jerome, has welcomed the community’s enthusiastic response.
“Thanks to the generosity and creativity of our community, this collection will provide an invaluable record of the journey taken by Tasmanians through 2020 and the ongoing pandemic.”
Jen encourages people to continue to contribute, saying “each submission is like a piece of a puzzle – the more stories, images and items we receive, the more coherent the story will be.”