Films At Fisher series program

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Published on: 24 April 2015

Stories of warFilms At Fisher is an occasional series of free film screenings, for University of Sydney students and staff, selected to complement the major exhibitions curated by Rare Books & Special Collections, academic and other curatorial partners.

Our current exhibition in the Exhibition Space, Level 2, Fisher Library is:

Stories of War from the University Collections – 24 April to 2 October 2015
An exhibition of materials drawn primarily from the University Archives and Rare Books & Special Collections, with contributions from the Macleay Museum and the Faculties of Medicine, Education and Social Work that reflects the nuanced and varied ways the University’s community understood and responded to the First World War. Read more >



Join us at 5.30pm on the following Tuesdays in the Exhibition Space, Level 2, Fisher Library North for these screenings

28 Apr  Shoulder Arms (US/1918) Dir. Charlie Chaplin
05 May  J-Accuse (Fr/1919) Dir. Abel Gance
12 May  All Quiet on the Western Front (US/1930) Dir. Lewis Milestone
19 May  Mata Hari (US/1931) Dir. George Fitzmaurice, starring Greta Garbo
26 May  A Farewell to Arms (US/1932) Dir. Frank Borzage
02 Jun  Les Croix de Bois, ‘Wooden Crosses’ (Fr/1932) Dir. Raymond Bernard
09 Jun  The Lost Patrol (US/1934) Dir. John Ford
16 Jun  La Grande Illusion, ‘Grand Illusion’ (Fr/1937) Dir. Jean Renoir
23 Jun  Forty Thousand Horsemen (AUS/1940) Dir. Charles Chauvel
30 Jun  Sergeant York (US/1941) Dir. Howard Hawks
 No screenings during the semester break
04 Aug  The African Queen (GB & US/1951) Dir. John Huston
11 Aug  What Price Glory? (US/1952) Dir. John Ford
18 Aug  Lawrence of Arabia (GB & US 1962) Dir. David Lean
25 Aug  Gallipoli (Aus/1981) Dir. Peter Weir
01 Sep  The Lighthorsemen (Aus/1987) Dir. Simon Wincer
08 Sep  Regeneration (UK/1997) Dir. Gillies Mackinnon
15 Sep  A Very Long Engagement (Fr/2004) Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
22 Sep  Joyeux Noël (Fr, Be, Ge, Ro, UK/2005) Dir. Christian Carion
29 Sep  Beneath Hill 60 (Aus/2010) Dir. Jeremy Sims

Exhibition: Bookish II – 1 July to 5 August

Categories: Exhibitions, Library
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Published on: 26 June 2015

Ex Libris Fisherarium:

Marrickville Garage presents: BOOKISH IIEx Libris Fisherarium: Bookish II: Jane Eyre Montage (image by ) Anne Kay

When: 1 July – 5 August 2015, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Fisher Library F03, Levels 2, 3 and 4.


In 2013 artist space Marrickville Garage organised a project based around the photo book called BOOKISH. BOOKISH II is an extension of that original concept, wherein three artists have used the book as a starting point for three different approaches to working with books as inspiration, as concept, as object and as source.

Anne Kay’s “Learning to draw from books”, is a series of photo-montages, which developed out of an enjoyment of 18th and 19th century novels, a corner of literature that is now a little dusty and arcane. Initially, the attraction was to the literary forms of the period, and the opportunity the narratives offered to peek into earlier, somewhat foreign societal customs. After accumulating an eclectic assortment of paperback reprints, the attraction extended to the cover illustrations, which hinted at the stylistic variation over the decades in illustration and book cover design. In this series of artworks, the cover illustrations are the subjects for learning to draw.

Jane Polkinghorne has organised “A Brief Scatological Survey” of books and objects scatological in nature. Dominique Laporte’s 1978 book Histoire de la merde (Prologue)published by MIT in 2000 as History of Shit, is used for this project as a foundation text. Laporte’s analysis of shit links the development of Paris to control of the French language, and can be more broadly read as a critique of the increasing control governments wield over every aspect of our lives, literally controlling us from the toilet to the grave.

A Brief Scatological Survey” brings together the works of Trevor Fry, Sally Clarke, and Margaret Mayhew, as well as objects from Polkinghorne’s collection of scatological objects alongside various publications on the scatological.

Sarah Newall has researched the documentation of Australian Aboriginal “bush tucker” and this includes the European botanical drawings of Sydney Parkinson who was on the Endeavour in 1770 with Captain Cook, through to modern publications. This is an extension of her ongoing interest in flora and its representation within the domestic sphere. Recently this has expanded into gardening projects and sustainable materials and practices.

'A History of Shit' in Ex Libris Fisherarium: Bookish II (image: Jane Polkinghorne)Collective title for the project and/or individual titles.


“Learning to draw from books” Anne Kay

“A Brief Scatological Survey”, curated by Jane Polkinghorne. Works by Sally Clarke, Trevor Fry, Margaret Mayhew and Jane Polkinghorne. Includes various books and publications

“wild food project” Sarah Newall


Associate Professor Michael Goldberg

T: +61 2 9351 1082



For updates on social media: #Sydney_Library #RareBooks

Exhibition: Highlights and Lowlifes – 29 June to 31 August

An exhibition on the Australian Holdings in the Detective Fiction Collection

Rare Books and Special Collections will be hosting a display of some of the Australian works held in the Detective Fiction Collection.

When: Monday 29 June to 31 August 2015, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Rare Books Reading Room, Fisher Library F03, Level 1Covers from the books: ‘Cocaine Blues (Kerry Greenwood, 2012), ‘Death Wears a Lady’s Smile’ (Don Haring), ‘The Dying Trade’ (Peter Corris, 1980), ‘Still Murder’ (Finola Moorhead, 1991),’ Grim Pickings’ (Jennifer Rowe, 1987)

The Detective Fiction Collection began informally in the 1960’s following a donation to the Library, which contained a large number of Penguin crime paperbacks. More titles were extracted from later donations until, in 1974, the Library bought a major American collection of detective fiction (3,500 titles), many of them valuable first editions. This purchase so pleased Frederick May (then the University of Sydney’s Professor of Italian) that he donated 1,200 of his own crime fiction books, with the Library purchasing another 800 titles from his estate in 1978. At this time, the collection grows by donation, a little purchasing, and by the addition of NSW titles received on legal deposit.

The Detective Fiction Collection began informally in the 1960’s following a donation to the Library, which contained a large number of Penguin crime paperbacks. More titles were extracted from later donations until, in 1974, the Library bought a major American collection of detective fiction (3,500 titles), many of them valuable first editions. This purchase so pleased Frederick May (then the University of Sydney’s Professor of Italian) that he donated 1,200 of his own crime fiction books, with the Library purchasing another 800 titles from his estate in 1978. At this time, the collection grows by donation, a little purchasing, and by the addition of NSW titles received on legal deposit.


Collecting Crime

The Detective Fiction Collection is the biggest of its kind in Australia and is a major research resource for students of the genre, and of Australian literature, social studies and popular culture in general. Although called “detective fiction”, crime fiction would be a more apt term to describe the works held. Holdings run the gamut of the genre, ranging over murder and detective stories, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and police procedurals. All publishing formats are included, including variant editions, covers and multi-media. True crime material is not collected.


Australian holdings on display

The Australian holdings in this collection form a major part of its strengths. Crime in all its permutations has existed in our fiction since Australia’s days as a penal colony. The display will showcase the 19th century crime stories of writers such as John Lang, Marcus Clarke and Fergus Hume (“Mystery of a Hansom Cab”); the early Boney novels of Arthur Upfield; the pulp fiction explosion of the mid-20th century; the strength of Australia’s forgotten female crime writers from the 19th century such as Ellen Davitt and Mary Fortune through to the 20th century’s now unremembered stars such as Pat Flower, Pat Carlon, Margot Neville and June Wright. Also on display are examples of the most recent flowering of Australian detective fiction, beginning with Peter Corris and including Peter Temple, Barry Maitland, Claire McNab et al.


For updates on social media: #RareBooks; #FisherLibrary


The Quarter has opened!

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Published on: 13 May 2015

QuarterNewsThe Library is pleased to announce the opening of:

“The Quarter”

It is an exciting new space dedicated exclusively to postgraduate coursework students in the Badham Building on Science Road.

Our goal is to support a holistic student experience and to develop a vibrant community that supports the teaching, learning and wellbeing needs of postgraduate coursework students. It will be a “home-away-from-home”, as well as an online community to help you anytime, anywhere.

Our Postgraduate Learning Advisor (PLA) team are all current postgraduate students at the University and are available to assist you to make the best use of the facilities, resources and services that the Library and University provides, including:

  • Library resources and services
  • Connecting you to the experts who can help
  • Peer advice and support
  • Technology (ICT)
  • eLearning (eg Blackboard)
  • Finding the best coffee on campus!
  • And much more

Postgraduate coursework students already have access to The Quarter. Please test it out by swiping your student card against the reader. Check out our Ask Us Now FAQ section on The Quarter website if there are any issues.


Got any questions or feedback? Connect with us here or via our Facebook group.

Find out more via The Quarter website

For news on social media: #TheQuarter

Scott Westerfeld foreign language editions

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Published on: 7 April 2015

Uglies seriesA recent and very welcome addition to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection held by Rare Books and Special Collections has been the donation by Scott Westerfeld of his manuscript archive and a set of the foreign language editions of his novels. This includes translations of his novels into French, German, Spanish and Japanese to name only a few of the languages in which his extremely popular and critically acclaimed novels can be read. They have all been catalogued and the details of each publication can be found on the Univeristy Library’s online catalogue.

Scott Westerfeld is the American author of eighteen novels. He is married to the Australian author Justine Larbaalstier and has joint US and Australian nationality – living part of the year in Sydney. His most recent publications are the Leviathan trilogy for young adults – a steampunk retelling of World War I; and he is famously known for his successful Uglies series set in a future where cosmetic surgery is compulsory.

> Original blog post by Jacqui Grainger, Manager, Rare Books and Special Collections

New Acquisition: Anatomia Chirurgica by Bernardino Genga

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Published on: 7 April 2015

Anatomia Chirurgica by Bernardino GengaRare Books and Special Collections in the University Library, has a rich collection of material pertinent to the history of science, and especially the history of medicine. It is a collection that is actively growing because of the significant research interest that it attracts and the most recent acquisition is a copy of Genga’s Anatomia Chirurgica.

Bernardino Genga (1620-90) was an Italian scholar of Classical medical texts and taught anatomy to artists at the French Academy in Rome. Anatomia Chirurgica was published as a textbook for surgeons in 1672.

The copy acquired by Rare Books and Special Collections is bound in contemporary limp vellum with remnants of hand-written name and title on spine. It’s details can be located on the online library catalogue and it has the call number: RB 5172.2 Deane.

> Original blog post by Jacqui Grainger, Manager Rare Books and Special Collections

Email scam targeting Library clients

Categories: Announcements, Library
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Published on: 17 March 2015

It came to the Library’s attention that there is a fraudulent email scam targeting Library clients.

Some of our clients received an email that appears to be coming from the University of Sydney Librarian “Anne Bell”.

The email informs users that their accounts have expired and provides a link to reactivate their accounts. The link redirects them to a bogus webpage that looks similar to a Library’s “Login web page.

If a client inputs their UniKey details on that page their account credentials will be compromised.

The email and web page are not affiliated with the University of Sydney. Anyone who receives the email should delete it immediately.

If anyone entered their information on the web page, they should contact ICT as soon as possible and report a possible compromise and change their UniKey password.




26 March: Library talk by Colin Steele, Emeritus Fellow, Australian National University

child on booksThe past, present and future of books, libraries and book collecting: a personal odyssey
Thursday 26 March 2015

We invite you to an illustrated lecture by Colin Steele, Emeritus Fellow, Australian National University with an introduction by John Shipp, University Librarian, University of Sydney, 1997-2011.

Colin will reflect on “The past, present and future of books, libraries and book collecting” from over 50 years of experience, both from an institutional and personal perspective, and speculate on twenty-first century trends.

Major collections that Colin has assembled have been donated to several libraries. His Latin American collection is held by La Trobe University Library, his science fiction and fantasy collections by Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library and his signed Australian literature collection is in the Australian National University Library. A small but significant collection of signed Australian political material is held in the Library of Old Parliament House, Canberra. His current personal collections include signed material covering politics, sport, film and television, and biography.

From his time in the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the ANU Library, Colin will recall some of the fascinating collectors and booksellers he has met and, from his current research on scholarly communication and publishing, will reflect on the changing nature of book collecting and libraries in a digital era.

For further reading see Colin’s article on the The Sydney Morning Herald:
Bibliographica 2014: Colin Steele presents talk on the future of books and articles on his website.

This event is brought to you with the support of the Friends of the University of Sydney Library.

Time: 5.30pm–7pm
Where: Seminar Room
Level 2, Fisher Library F03
Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus
Cost: Free with registration required. Seats are limited.
RSVP by Monday 23 March
E | T 9114 0866


Exhibition: Ex Libris Fisherarium art series

Data RetentionEx Libris Fisherarium is an ongoing series of art projects curated by Associate Professor Michael Goldberg. The projects comprising work by staff, alumni and associates of Sydney College of the Arts are themed around the idea of ‘the book’ in all its historical and contemporary manifestations.

Project: Data Retention by Gianni Wise

Artist’s Statement
With the proliferation of data networks, the human mind always find ways to ‘wire-up’ new connections between itself, objects, ideas, events and the world. I use wires and books as a form of ready-made art that work as props for memory. Objects external to the mind can trigger memory and make connections. I am interested in this interplay between mind and external world. When Umberto Ecco claimed in the Name of The Rose (1988): “Wanting connections, we found connections always, everywhere, and between everything” he refers to a world ‘exploding’ in a whirling network of interrelationships where everything (appears to) point to everything else, everything explains everything else.

Curator’s Statement
Gianni Wise’s installation has its menacing aspects. The title, ‘Data Retention’, might well refer to current government policies regarding the retention of metadata – the harvesting from telecommunications networks of personal information by law enforcement agencies – ostensibly to protect the public from acts of terrorism. Indeed, the installation itself displays a number of sinister ‘packages’. Perhaps they hold data. But they also disturbingly resemble IEDs (or ‘improvised explosive devices’). The ‘connections’ Wise refers to carry the potential to penetrate deep into our personal lives, challenging privacy and potentially violating fundamental rights. In this sense, the installation reflects on the threat of data retention exposing our personal lives ‘like an open book’. Wise’s use of ambiguously wired devices may equally suggest the mind’s desire to invent ‘paranoid’ connections where there are none.

Dates: 23 February to 26 March 2015
Levels 2, 3 and 4 exhibition cabinets, Fisher Library North
Cost: FREE and open daily to the public
Times: Opening times vary, please check the website

For details of past and current projects, connect with Ex Libris Fisherarium on Facebook.

Orientation Week – Learn, Play, Win!


We’re going back to the future for OWeek!
And we’re excited to welcome new and returning students with some fun activities and competitions. So come along and join us to Learn, Play and Win!

What’s happening

Love your Library Instagram competition: Mon 23 Feb – Sun 8 Mar
Show us the Library through your eyes to be in the running to win a prize!
Find out how to enter here.

Discover your Library sessions
Find out how we can help you save time and get the best results in your studies by using Library resources for your research:
Fisher Library, Seminar Room, Level 2
Wed 25 Feb: 12-1pm and 1-2pm

SciTech Library, Training Room 3
Thu 26 Feb: 12-1pm and 1-2pm
Fri 27 Feb: 12-1pm and 1-2pm

Trivia in the Library
Always popular! Bring a team or join one on the day for your chance to win prizes.
Wed 25 Feb: 1.30-2.30pm, SciTech Library
Thu 26 Feb: 1-2pm, Foyer, Fisher Library



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