Description : The Mitchell Library, Sydney, was established as a result of the magnificent obsession of one man David Scott Mitchell who assembled the premier collection of books, manuscripts, maps and pictures relating to Australia and the Pacific. Mitchell bequeathed his collection to the State Library of New South Wales on his death in July 1907 with an endowment of 70,000 to fund additions. The library that emerged as a result was shaped in part by the richness of its continually expanding collections, the beauty of its buildings and its relationship with the rest of what is now the State Library. Brian Fletcher's engaging narrative has a strong focus on the people who, for over a century, have nurtured and developed the Library, often with an obsession the equal of Mitchell's. HCL Anderson put his career on the line in order to secure the initial bequest and the redoubtable Ida Leeson's appointment as the first female Mitchell Librarian became a cause c l bre. We learn also of the readers, the benefactors, and the behind-the-scenes dramas which inevitably occur between passionate and committed people. Magnificent Obsession: the story of the Mitchell Library, Sydney describes the riveting stories and the thrill of the chase as the accumulation of these world-renowned collections continued. Mitchell's original gift of 40,000 books has now increased to almost 600,000. Not held by the Mitchell Library' is bookseller's code around the world for of the utmost rarity'. Fletcher brings to life not only an invaluable Australian institution but one of the great research libraries of the world in this social and cultural history that all readers interested in Australia's past will find fascinating.
Description : John Alexander Ferguston, compiled, almost single-handedly, the Bibliography of Australia. This work is an attempt to identify the man behind the scholar, to consider the influences on him and the motivations that drove him. - Forward.
Description : Biography of a Book traces the life of an iconic Australian literary work in the lead-up to, and for a century after, its initial publication: Henry Lawson's 1896 collection While the Billy Boils. Paul Eggert follows Lawson's gradual development of a pared-back bush realism in the early 1890s, as he struggled to forge a career, writing short stories and sketches for the newspapers. Lawson's famous collection came out at a decisive moment for the development of a fully professional Australian literary publishing industry, then in its infancy in Sydney. The volume's editing, design and production were collaborative events that changed the feel and nature of Lawson's writing. He had to give ground on his texts and their sequencing. The collection went on to be reprinted and repackaged countless times. Its production and reception histories act like a geological cross-section, revealing the contours of successive cultural formations in Australia. In unravelling the life of Lawson's classic work Eggert's book-historical approach challenges and clarifies established understandings of crucial moments in Australian literary history and of Lawson himself
Description : There is a tradition of “participant history” among historians of the Pacific Islands, unafraid to show their hands on issues of public importance and risking controversy to make their voices heard. This book explores the theme of the participant historian by delving into the lives of J.C. Beaglehole, J.W. Davidson, Richard Gilson, Harry Maude and Brij V. Lal. They lived at the interface of scholarship and practical engagement in such capacities as constitutional advisers, defenders of civil liberties, or upholders of the principles of academic freedom. As well as writing history, they “made” history, and their excursions beyond the ivory tower informed their scholarship. Doug Munro’s sympathetic engagement with these five historians is likewise informed by his own long-term involvement with the sub-discipline of Pacific History.
Description : In Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics, author Anthony Slide looks at the way film has dominated the minds and lives of film buffs, film collectors, film academics, and just plain fans of past movies. Based on the author's more than fifty years in the field and his personal, up-front knowledge of the subject, chapters provide unique documentation on film buffs who once created a livelihood from their hobby, including long-forgotten Chaw Mank and the vast array of film clubs that he headed and New York radio and television sensation Joe Franklin. The history of fans and their fan clubs are discussed, as well as the first and only periodical, Films in Review, which catered both to film scholars and film buffs. The histories of several legendary film collectors such as David Bradley and Herb Graff are featured, as is Hollywood's Silent Movie Theatre, where film buffs found a home from the 1940s onwards, sharing it with drug dealers, male prostitutes, fantasists, and hit men. Magnificent Obsession is vast in its approach, discussing the entire history of the phenomenon of the film buff from the early 1910s through the present and documenting the manner in which film buffs have changed--thanks to the internet--from relatively gentle and kind individuals to the obsessive, sometimes overbearing, and often self-important film buffs of today.