It has been a most productive and entertaining time in the Archives.
In keeping with the Lu Rees Archives Board's vision for the Archives to achieve national recognition we have continued to build on the relationships the Archives has with authors, illustrators, publishers and others involved in producing Australian Children's Literature. And, they have actively engaged with us. Our recent triumphs include a very successful talk by Hazel Edwards, a series of talks that celebrated the works of Colin Thiele and an exhibition of materials from his titles. But more on those later, first our wonderful visitors.
We were delighted to welcome Deborah Niland when she and family members came to visit in early February. Deborah, her brother Patrick and brother in-law Rafe Champion, took a tour of the Archives and viewed holdings.
Deborah has illustrated many popular books including When the Wind Changed by her mother, Ruth Park and There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards. Her collaborative work with Tom Niland Champion and Kilmeny Niland resulted in the wonderful work that is The Tall Man & the Twelve Babies. Go to Deborah's website to see a full list of her work and awards.
Deborah donated a significant number of book illustrations that will delight and engage researchers and those wishing to take a closer look. Thank you Deborah for your continued and generous support of the Archives.
Other esteemed people who visited were Rani Davis, Laila Braithwaite, Sandra Martin (ERA), Bev Austin, Mike Botham, Richard Yaxley, Doreen Wilson, Karen Williams and Robin Watson. Jeff and Janne Minge (Colin Thiele's daughter) were accompanied by great friends Alan & Helen Bradshaw. Heather Monro-Allison is our current student intern.
(Left) Belle Alderman, Rafe Champion, Patrick and Deborah Niland drove from Sydney to visit. (Right) Max Brown holding Jean Chapman's Tell Me a Tale illustrated by Deborah Niland. Max will be conserving and describing works donated by Deborah for the artwork collection.
‘Hippopotomusing’ with Hazel Edwards On May 22, Hazel Edwards OAM, author of many greatly loved books, came to Canberra to talk to a packed audience about her memoir. This joyous event was to support the work of the Archives and was held at ALIA House in Deakin. Hazel delighted the audience with her love of writing and her enthusiasm for sharing. A display of items from the Archives' research collection drew much admiring comment and also showcased Ann James' wonderful illustrations.
(Top Left) Hazel Edwards with Molly Marsham who has been working towards a community service certificate, assisted Hazel with her visual presentation.
(Top Right) Two hippos, one with cake, and a small display of materials about There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.
(Bottom Left) Browsers enjoying Harry Hartog's collection of Hazel's titles.
(Bottom Right) Ann James (and Ann Haddon not pictured) from Books Illustrated dropped in to share her collaboration with Hazel's book Sportsmad. .
The Colin Thiele Festival
The Archives presented "Colin Thiele: His Work and Legacy" at the Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra on 2 June. Janne Minge, Colin’s daughter and the family spokesperson for his legacy, Walter McVitty publisher of 14 of Colin’s books and Margaret Carmody, researcher who studied Colin Thiele’s life and work for her thesis provided the large audience with wonderful insights into the man and his deep love of language. John Sheedy, the Director of the Storm Boy production spoke of the challenges and triumphs of undertaking this world premier event very generously supported by Gretel Packer. To see more photographs go to our Facebook page. To see the video created by the University of Canberra click on this link.
Major Exhibition An exhibition, featuring items from the Archives’ research collection relating to Colin Thiele’s books, as well as items from the Thiele family is now on view at the Canberra Civic Library from 2 to 28 June during normal library hours. A sincere thank you to Dr Margaret Bromley, who curated the exhibition, ably assisted at the installation by Belinda Gamlen and Max Brown. We appreciated their creating this fabulous treat for us all to enjoy. We would also like to tank Helen Modrak who created guides to the exhibition for teachers and children.
(Top Left) Janne Minge gave insights into her father Colin Thiele, his love of language and writing. (Top Right) Belle Alderman AM and Storm Boy Director, John Sheedy in the foyer of the Ann Harding Building at the University of Canberra.
(Bottom Left) Rose Howes and Lynn Fletcher welcomed guests and participants.
(Bottom Right) Professor Nick Klomp Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) University of Canberra and Lu Rees Archives Board Member spoke about the treasure that is the Lu Rees Archives and its magnificent Thiele collection.
We are extremely pleased to announce that within two months we have reached our goal to raise $8,500 to create a guide to the Omnibus Books Publisher Archive. We are overwhelmed by your support. Thank you for ensuring that this important part of our literary heritage is documented for posterity.
‘Omnithon’ is not a proper word, but it fits our project! Over three years, volunteers spent 950 hours sorting, labeling and placing material into 103 boxes and 30 plan cabinet drawers. This became the Omnibus Books Publishing Archive. We did not have the time to create a guide to this collection. Now, through your generous donations, we can produce this guide. There are additional Omnibus records which we will work on after we complete this current project. If you would like to add your support to continue this project, you can find our donor form here. All donations to the Archives are tax deductible.
(Below) Volunteers working on the Omnibus Book Publisher Archives.