Ex Libris Fisherarium: Persons of Interest


PhD candidate Glenn Wallace and UNSWAD academic Dr Katherine Moline give us an intriguing insight into the machinations of ASIO and the Cold War era, writes Dr Michael Goldberg.

When: 2 November 2015 – 2 December 2015

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

Personsofinterest_pic1For over 40 years, Australia’s Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) seized books that were deemed subversive in raids on the homes of people suspected of conspiracy. In recent years ASIO files documenting the activities of certain ‘Persons of Interest’ have been released.

For this iteration of Ex Libris Fisherarium, ‘Era of Surveillance’ maps where confiscated texts are located in Fisher Library. Viewers are invited to explore the Library as a space where art, architecture, politics, knowledge and power converge.

Era of surveillance: Persons of interest / Family
Artists: Katherine Moline and Glenn Wallace




#Sydney_library #ExLibrisFisherarium

ANZAC centenary: Stories of War

Categories: Exhibitions
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Published on: 11 November 2015


When: 24 April 2015 – 1 February 2016

Where: Fisher Library F03, Exhibition Space Level 2


During World War I the University of Sydney played a unique role in the War effort, with the expertise of its academic staff and students in high demand. The members of the University responded with enthusiasm and bravery, with 200 students and 36 staff on active service overseas by the end of 1915.

As the war progressed, so too did the need for qualified doctors, engineers, scientists and veterinarians. As early as 1916, the University recognised the importance of honouring and memorialising the efforts of its community and the lives lost, and began to collect letters, photographs, records, stories and publications.

Drawn primarily from the University Archives and Rare Books and Special Collections, with contributions from the Macleay Museum and the Faculties of Medicine and Education and Social Work, this exhibition explores the nuanced and varied ways in which the University, and its men and women, experienced, understood and responded to World War I.

#LestWeForget #Sydney_library

Ex Libris Fisherarium: Ontologías y Códices

Sydney College of the Arts proudly presents:

Ontologías y Códices

Artist: David Corbet

Curated by: Dr. Michael Goldberg


When: 22 Sep – 29 Oct 2015Entre irse y quedarse

Where: Fisher Library F03, Levels 1,2 and 3

“This exhibition is inspired by my adventures in the worlds of hispanic literature, poetry, song and art-making. Drawing from diverse sources, it is a personal homage to the vitality and richness of the worldwide cultures expressed and celebrated predominantly in the Spanish language – la lengua española. Such an assemblage constitutes, in a sense, a series of indices or, in a library context, codices. Among the random we seek order and likeness, we may find seriality and continuity of meaning. My studio practice and research into language systems has pursued this notion of seriality, subtitling an earlier exhibition ‘Ontologies for a small planet’. Among these disparate references my own studio work is interspersed, largely on paper, ranging from etchings and drawings to notebooks and notations.” – David Corbet


Las vidas de otrosThe exhibition is made up of three parts:

Level 1
“Entre irse y quedarse”
(English: “Between going and staying”)This display is inspired by the text of a poem by the late Mexican Nobel Laureate Ocavio Paz, and the late Catalan printmaker Antoni Tàpies.

Level 2
“Las vidas de otros”
(English: “The lives of others”)This display is a collection of works, books and objects obliquely exploring our human power relationship with animals, through ontologies of classification, patterning and adornment.

Level 3
“La lotería de la existencia”
(English: “The lottery of existence”)This display celebrates ontologies of chance, of religion and mysticism, and of altar-making. It explores how objects can become imbued with ritualised power through their organisation, and transformations of meaning brought about by context.


Rare Books Exhibition: Circumstances of Interest



Travel diaries, journals and logs from Fisher Rare Books and Special Collections


When: 2 October – 31 December 2015

Where: Fisher Library F03; Level 3 Corridor


For long-distance travelers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, keeping a journal was a popular method of keeping oneself gainfully occupied during long months spent at sea.

Through a selection of manuscript travel diaries, journals and logs from Fisher Rare Books and Special Collections, this new exhibition provides a window (or, a porthole) into the 19th century shipboard experience.



Read more on the Rare Books blog

#RareBooks #Sydney_library


Exhibition: Kimnara records: a collaboration in Art and Music


The exhibition will display artworks by Fusae Ikeda that were created for Kimnara Records CD covers.Fusae Ikeda

Curated by Marie Chellos, Glen Smyth and Dr Simon Baker


When: 1 October – 30 November 2015

Where: Conservatorium Library. Level 2, Macquarie Street C41. Sydney NSW 2000

Developed by Simon Barker in 2005, Kimnara Records is an independent label offering music by a core group of Australian musicians, University of Sydney lecturers, including Phil Slater, Matt McMahon, Carl Dewhurst, and Scott Tinkler.

Dr Simon Barker (PhD Jazz Performance) is a lecturer in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In addition to his solo performances and recordings, Simon co-leads several internationally recognized collaborative ensembles.
This is an example of non-traditional research output (NTRO) exemplifies creative work as research.

The exhibition will feature 4 framed posters and 12 CDs (some listed here).

“From Devil to Human Being: celebrating postwar reconciliation”

23 September 2015

An exhibition to commemorate 70 years since the end of the Asia-Pacific war.

When: 23 Sep – 31 November 2015

Where: Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library, New Sydney Law School Building F10

Curator: Susannah Smith curating the research of Yasuko Claremont, Japanese Studies, University of Sydney

Exhibition photo 2_180X267


The Asia-Pacific war was viciously fought on both sides and finally, ended 70 years ago.

This exhibition re-examines the legacy of the war and all efforts made to build peace and reconciliation. It highlights the efforts of individuals and groups to achieve peace and friendship between those who were once enemies. Their stories are told in these photographs.

Themes depicted in the exhibition range from meetings between former enemies, to group peace activities and sites of remembering. The exhibition also explores how the next generation comes to terms with the legacy of conflict.

Painting by HIDEICHI KAIHO, 1999

The exhibition is part of a conference project entitled Wounds, Scars and Healing: Civil Society and Postwar Pacific basin Reconciliation. Its ultimate theme is reconnecting through friendship and brotherhood which takes place from 30 September – 2 October 2015 at the University of Sydney.


For updates on social media:

#70yson #AsiaPacificWar #Sydney_library

Exhibition: Ex Libris Fisherarium (14 Aug – 17 Sep)

Ex Libris Fisherarium

Curated by Michael Goldberg

When: 14 August to 17 September; during Library opening hours

Where: Fisher Library, Levels 2,3 and 4


The fool dʌθ bounce, the speculator dʌθ fall and the esopterodactyl?


ExLibrisFishDorey 3_72dpi
Nicholas Dorey


Nicholas Dorey: Poisons on the people’s path (PPP)

Shane Haseman: CALL 688.7 3

Richard Kean: Dimensional Poetics

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you knew what they were saying was objectively interesting but you couldn’t for the life of you figure out what on earth they were talking about? Art often creates languages which preclude the uninitiated. This could be called Art for it’s own sake or even intellectual terrorism if you’re prone to hyperbole. But Art’s role is not to polish society’s low hanging fruit. It is to cut down the fruit forest to build a synthetic fruit scent mausoleum for the fruit, which was once everyone’s, and now belongs to a rich old white man in order for him to prove how rich he is through the acquisition of something inherently worthless. Makes sense? No? Good!

All three artists have a tendency to confound, not through their disregard or contempt for a populist audience but simply by the fact that they have very particular interests. This befuddlement will no doubt continue in these small glass cabinets. Richard is matter doodling like Pythagoras with the intersections of Fibonacci number theory through the design process of electro magnetic coils and energy recycling gliders. Nick will cobble together something which seems vaguely mystical if not a little smug and overly esoteric, and Shane will round it out with something equally perplexing and erudite but in a cheeky and delightful suede patches on the elbows kind of way.

Shane, Richard and Nick are all bona fide artist with real university degrees who do real Art things all the time but more importantly they are good people and isn’t that what really matters?


Enquiries: Michael Goldberg 0416 287 283

Exhibition: Bookish II – 1 July to 5 August

Categories: Exhibitions, Library
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Published on: 26 July 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

E: Michael.Goldberg@sydney.edu.au


For updates on social media: #Sydney_Library #RareBooks

Special Exhibition: Magna Carta: 1215 – 2015

When: 15 June – 22 June 2015; 9:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Fisher Library F03, Level 3


It is 800 years ago that the Magna Carta, the “Great Charta” originally drafted by the Magna Carta working copy from the 14th centuryArchbishop of Canterbury has been accepted by King John of England.

Come and see a selection of Magna Carta copies held by the Rare Books and Special Collections at Fisher Library, including a 14th century working copy.

Julie Price, Liaison Librarian of the Rare Books and Special Collections, points out the 14th century copy in the centre of the display as her favourite: “I imagine it being carried on horseback through the English countryside, used to dispense law.”

Now – for one week only– you have the great opportunity to see these old working copies displayed in the Fisher Library.


Contact: Julie.Price@sydney.edu.au

T: 2 9351 2992

E: rarebook.library@sydney.edu.au

For updates on social media: #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


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