Coming soon: 91 Stories exhibition

Earlier this year, Libraries Tasmania did a call-out for the community’s favourite items in our cultural collections.

We wanted you to help us curate our major 91 Stories* exhibition.

We had countless fantastic responses from people all over Tasmania. The final 91 submissions have now been collated to form the exhibition, which opens in early August in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and online at a dedicated Flickr gallery (set to become a permanent feature in our collections).

This community led exhibition has been designed to showcase well-loved favourites and uncover some of the untold stories hiding in the collections housed in the Allport, the Tasmanian Archives and the State Library of Tasmania.

We can’t wait to show you what Tasmania loves!

*Named in recognition of our heritage-listed 91 Murray Street building in Hobart.


Buried in the collection!

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

July school holidays at your local library

The school holidays are just around the corner, and Libraries Tasmania has plenty planned to keep the kids busy!

Ideas to get you started:

Check out the full Libraries Tasmania Southern July School Holidays Program.

To find out more about what’s on during the July school holidays at Libraries Tasmania, including in the north and north-west of the state, get in touch directly with your local library via phone or Facebook, or search Libraries Tasmania on Eventbrite

What a night!

The Stories After Dark event that lit up the Libraries Tasmania 91 Murray Street building in Hobart was a sight to behold, with the experience enjoyed by thousands of people, young and old.

Held on Saturday 19 June, the inside and outside of our heritage-listed building was – for the very first time – activated through a digital canvas, with audio and visual technology showcasing the archival treasures that lie within our cultural collections.

Curated as a new way for the community to explore the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, locals and visitors alike loved the chance to get up close with convicts and prisoners, the Tasmanian railways, Gould’s fishes, botanical blooms, costumed dancers from days gone by… and much, much more!

The exhibited images (and photographs from the night) can be viewed at the Stories After Dark Flickr gallery

Images: photos from the inaugural Libraries Tasmania Stories After Dark event.

We all have a story to tell… Tasmania’s stories, your stories

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.

Some of our recent favourites include:

Showcasing a year of Covid-19 memories

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.”

More information about the COVID-19 Stories Project can be found on the websites of Libraries Tasmania and TMAG: www.libraries.tas.gov.au and www.tmag.tas.gov.au, or by contacting the project team at COVID19stories@education.tas.gov.au.

Submissions will be accepted until the end of 2021.

Event: STORIES AFTER DARK

What happens inside Hobart’s iconic 91 Murray Street building when the doors close at the end of the day and the lights go out?

On the shelves sit thousands of books. In the archives sit thousands of artefacts, images and priceless documents.

Are they sleeping peacefully… or are they sharing their stories?

For one exciting night you will have the chance to find out, as the doors to 91 Murray Street stay open after dark… and the walls, ceilings, floors and stairwells light up to become a mesmerising digital canvas.

What stories will YOU uncover as you wander through this iconic building?

We invite you to join us for this exciting event!

DETAILS
Saturday 18 June; 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Libraries Tasmania, 91 Murray Street, Hobart

This is a free event, open to the public.

Registration is not required; entry on the night will be based on capacity limits.

Find out more about attending this special event by following on Facebook or Eventbrite.

Family friendly drug- and alcohol-free event.

Storytime… from space!

Libraries Tasmania invites kids and families to join in a truly intergalactic reading adventure, as this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime is live-streamed from space!

At 11:00 AM on Wednesday 19 May, Dr Shannon Walker – a real astronaut located in the International Space Station – will be reading the book ‘Give Me Some Space!’, written and illustrated by Philip Bunting.

Dr Walker is a NASA astronaut and has spent more than 163 days in space. She is currently serving as a mission specialist on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched on 15 November 2020.

National Simultaneous Storytime is held every year across the country. It’s a free event that encourages families to read with their children and encourage a lifelong love of reading. Last year, more than 1,297,000 participants at more than 14,469 locations joined the fun!

For more information, contact your local library.

Our libraries… A place for everyone!

This May we’re featuring what Libraries Tasmania offers to Tasmanians of all ages. Whether you were born in 1920 or 2020, we have something for you!

Did you know that any Tasmanian resident can become a member of Libraries Tasmania, and that membership is free? You can join online or in person to access services for all ages, and enjoy a growing range of physical and digital collections.

FOR THE KIDS

After some great activities for your baby, toddler or pre-schooler? We offer our much-loved Rock & Rhyme and Storytime sessions, early learning resources for parents and carers, and online resources such as StoryBox Library, to excite little minds with the joy of stories. And what better way to begin your child’s reading and learning journey than with their very own library card?

Connect with your local library to explore the latest children’s books, DVDs and music, and find out what’s on offer for our youngest users. Your local library’s Facebook page and Eventbrite page are excellent resources for staying up to date on events and activities.

Tweens and teens don’t miss out, with access to PlayStation and Xbox, digital comics and other eResources, events such as National Simultaneous Storytime (19 May), our online language learning resources, and – of course – free WiFi in libraries.

FOR THE GROWN-UPS

We invite everyone to discover our book groups, take part in a digital literacy session, book a personal computer, come along to an Allport talk, and get involved with our vibrant volunteering opportunities (including the popular DigiVol activity).

Explore your family history through the Tasmanian Names Index, take advantage of the extended access to Ancestry and get expert help with your research, in person and online.

Become a member to access our full range of services, or just drop in and enjoy some quiet time during your busy day!

Our cultural collections are on show!

This April we’re excited to be showcasing our cultural collections – from rare books and manuscripts, to exquisite art exhibitions, to a living collection of nationally significant Tasmanian colonial paintings, photographs, English and European decorative arts and furniture.

Did you know that Libraries Tasmania includes the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archives and The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts? These three cultural institutions (housed within the heritage-listed 91 Murray Street building) come together to tell the fascinating stories of Tasmanian – and we are inviting you to explore these stories, both in-person and online!

The State Library of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Archives provide access to the unique stories from our past. Explore our many historic Tasmanian images, including photos, paintings, drawings and more. There are currently more than 50,000 images online and we regularly add to them. Browse the images online or find more information about accessing and using images. Also check out our newly digitised items, ranging from convict and gaol records, employment and hospital records, letters, manuscripts, maps and plans to glass plate negatives, colonial artworks, historical artefacts and photographs.

We also have a rich collection of colonial paintings, furniture, books and decorative art, a re-created ‘house’ museum and a vibrant annual exhibition series (featuring works from the collection and contemporary Tasmanian artists) at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Hobart’s hidden treasure that is housed on the foyer level of the 91 Murray Street building. Our current exhibition is the intriguing Banks’ Florilegium – Society Islands, 1769 – and you can ‘tour’ past exhibitons at the Allport through our Flickr page.

Explore more cultural stories