150 Years of Tasmanian Railways

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.

Click to access the full digital exhibition

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.

For more archives and heritage resources, head to the Libraries Tasmania website.

To read more about the history of Tasmanian Railways, and for more exciting articles, sign up to the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage blog.

Celebrate CBCA Book Week

Every year since 1945, schools, public libraries and children across Australia have celebrated their favourite books, Australian children’s authors, and illustrators during Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week.

This year’s theme for CBCA Book Week is ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’. Children are invited to celebrate through activities, dressing up, competitions and storytelling.

The CBCA Book Week Book of the Year winners for 2021 were announced on Friday 20 August, and we are thrilled to congratulate Tasmanian author Kate Gordon! Her book ‘Aster’s good, right things’ won the Younger Readers category for 2021.

Do you want to read the shortlisted and winning titles?
Click the links below to browse our catalogue, and use your library card to place a hold:

All shortlisted titles

Shortlisted titles for older readers

Shortlisted titles for younger readers

Shortlisted titles for early childhood

Shortlisted picture books

Shortlisted titles for Eve Pownall Award

Shortlisted titled for New Illustrator Award

What’s happening for CBCA Book Week at Libraries Tasmania?

To see what’s happening at your local library, go to www.eventbrite.com.au and search ‘Libraries Tasmania’, or simply call your local library.

You can also watch authors and actors read some of the CBCA Book Week shortlisted titles on Story Box. All you need to do is log in to Story Box using your library card details and choose your title.

Celebrate NAIDOC Week with a story

NAIDOC Week celebrations are being held across the state from 4 to 11 July. This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country!’, and the Libraries Tasmania collections team has put together their recommendations for your reading list.

We have a range of titles for both adult readers and younger readers and they can be accessed as an eBook on Libby or OverDrive, or borrowed from one of our libraries across the state.

Adult titles

Truth-telling: history, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement by Henry Reynolds.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1354051
OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/6158412

Welcome to country: a travel guide to Indigenous Australia by Marcia Langton.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1262233
OverDrive/Libby. https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/4003261

For the full list of OverDrive/Libby adult titles visit:
https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/collection/1224966

Junior titles

Welcome to country: an introduction to our first people for young Australians by Marcia Langton.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1320979; OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/5030863

Young dark emu: a truer history by Bruce Pascoe.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1309282; OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/library/kids/media/5638238

For the full list of OverDrive/Libby junior titles visit: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/library/kids/collection/1224736

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

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.