Exhibition: The life and music of Tommy Tycho

The Conservatorium Library showcases researcher and PhD candidate Samuel Cottell’s The Life and Music of Tommy Tycho in a newly opened exhibition. View Tommy Tycho’s career, spanning radio, television and performances at the newly opened Sydney Opera House (in 1973), the opening of the Sydney Entertainment Centre (1983) and many more live concerts and performances.

Tommy Tycho
Tommy Tycho

Curated by Samuel Cottell (PhD)

When: 10 August – 10 October 2016

Where: Conservatorium of Music Library, Glass Space & Glass Case

Further features of the exhibition include key examples of Tycho’s musical output, featuring LP and 45’ recordings, samples of his handwritten sheet music (arrangements and compositions); commercial sheet music, trade journals, concert programs, photographs of Tommy Tycho as well video footage of him performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra on the ABC music program, My Music.

Gain a deeper understanding of Tycho’s musical style, output and contribution to Australian music from 1951 when he first arrived in Australia to 2007, when he received an Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Sydney.

The curator

Samuel Cottell (PhD) focuses his research on the mediation and consumption of ‘light music’ in Australia from 1951-1983. Following the life and career of Tommy Tycho his research addresses a central theme of Tycho’s life; adaptability.


Creating a 40,000-year-old bone flute using 3D printing technology

When I was travelling in 2012, I saw a fragment of a bone flute in one of the European museums. The object was old and it piqued my interest. And it changed my understanding of music history. Before this encounter, I had associated the beginning of music history with ancient Greece and Rome. The fact is that people have played music for much longer than that.

By Ludwig Sugiri

bone flute
In 2008, Professor Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist from the University of Tübingen, excavated fragments of bone flutes in Hohle Fels in Southern Germany. The stratigraphic positions and associated radiocarbon dates suggest that one of the bone flutes dates to ca. 40,000 years ago. The finding was published in Nature in 2009 and that discovery placed a new dot at the beginning of timeline of music history. I wanted to see with my own eyes the earliest musical instrument known to mankind.


A few days ago I experimented with our 3D printer and created a replica of the Hohle Fels bone flute. I love showing it to musicians, musicologists and music enthusiasts. We learn better when we have a tangible object that we can touch and feel, especially when we are telling a story of how music has existed since at least 40,000 years ago.


3D printing technology allows us to recreate objects of the past or things that are otherwise inaccessible or invisible to the naked eye. These objects can be used as effective teaching tools and can help with communicating research outcomes, leading to greater engagement.


Library 3D printers are available to all students and staff.

For more information see https://library.sydney.edu.au/research/digital-scholarship-studio/3d-printing.html


Ludwig Sugiri is an Academic Liaison Librarian, Conservatorium Library


Your chance to win $1000 – Complete our Library survey!

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Published on: 6 August 2016


Got something you want to tell us?

We’re listening!

Complete our 2016 Library client survey so we know what’s important to you and how we’re measuring up. University of Sydney students, who complete the survey, are eligible to enter the draw to win a $1000 or $50 prepaid visa card. You’ll see options to enter the draw, once you’ve completed the survey.

The survey runs from Monday 12 September until Sunday 25 September 2016 and will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Survey link:


Terms and Conditions for the Prize draw:



The survey is confidential and is managed by an independent consulting company. Please see their privacy statement for more information.


For more information, contact:

Nicola Cowley, Manager, Quality, Innovation and Planning


Stop the presses – we’ve got a new website!

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Published on: 1 July 2016

two mobile phones

After months of hard work, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of our new website.

The Library website has been evolving organically over the years with ongoing integration of new services and software. Over time the website has grown too confusing, too complex and too difficult to navigate. There was a need for a complete redesign in order to make the website simpler to use, responsive for mobile devices, and reflective of the changing role that the Library plays in the University community.

So what’s new?

The new website has been optimised for smart phones and tablets, allowing staff and students to access the Library content on the go. But that’s not all. It has a simplified navigation and clear visual hierarchy, prioritising the most frequently used features. It has consistent, intuitive and clear labelling to enable easy access to study and research materials. It highlights new library services. Finally, the new website makes it easier and quicker to find what you need wherever you are.

The new look and structure of the website is based on in-depth interviews with staff and students, and extensive user testing of the prototype. We are grateful to all involved, including Library staff who worked tirelessly to finalise the website in time for Semester 2.

We look forward to hearing any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments about the new website.

Exhibition: ‘Objects in the Mirror’

Come and check out the final 2016 installment of our Ex Libris Fisherarium Series featuring students from the Sydney College of the Arts curated by Associate Professor Michael Goldberg.

When: 20 June – 31 December 2016

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

This exhibition features Alex GAWRONSKI and Jelena TELECKI. ExLibris Fisherarium June 2016: Alex Gawronski setting up the exhibitionIt consists of a series of 10 book titles removed from their original contexts. Each title was chosen for its uncanny or humorous connotations once removed from its wider context. Considered collectively, these titles suggest a type of quasi-Dadaist poetry whose combined effect hints at alternative critical, playful and/or possibly even pataphysical, readings.

Graphically the original layout of each book title has been retained although now each has been rendered in watercolour as a ‘painting’. These works further reference the importance of text in contemporary art and artists as diverse as Ed Ruscha and Marcel Broodthaers. Accompanying these text works are figurative paintings by Jelena Telecki. These all respond to the book titles. Together the appropriated titles and their figurative interpretations, establish an open dialogue of fairly infinite suggestability.

‘Objects in the Mirror…’ (may be closer than they appear – as the warning goes) speaks of how texts and images continually interpolate one another while remaining fundamentally differentiated. The juxtaposition of text and image in this instance may be considered a type of improvisation that draws out the latent possibilities concealed behind the most ordinary words and the words that underlie the most stubbornly elusive representations.

Exhibition: From Phlogiston to Oxygen

Where: SciTech Library exhibition spaceSciTech exhibtion

When: during SciTech opening hours

Before the discovery of oxygen, a substance called phlogiston was thought to exist. As scientists experimented on the substances of air, they published their accounts and theories. Some of these publications are now on display at the SciTech Library. Works by the brilliant Robert Boyle; “Hard Luck” Scheele; the philogistically faithful Richard Kirwan; and the first to publish on oxygen, Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier. By 1789 oxygen was firmly placed on the basic table of elements.

contact: Julie Price P: +61 2 9114 2321

Lunchtime Quick Bite talks: punchy research support in a bite-sized package

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Published on: 24 June 2016


Ever heard the phrase that “good things come in small packages”? This sentiment epitomises the University Library’s new Quick Bites program, a series of short, sharp research support sessions developed by the Academic Services Division and aimed at Higher Degree Research students and Early Career researchers.

By Kate Mastersquickbites ads - screens and social media

We know that researchers are busy people, so have boiled key research topics down to their very essence. We’ve already run sessions on the following topics, both of which were very well attended in person and via video-link:

  • Open Access publishing: how to sort the predatory from the legitimate

We give you the drum on the best options for making your work open, and show how to pick the good from the very, very bad.

View presentation

  • Finding collaborators for your research

Looking for like-minded partners? Let us introduce you to the academic equivalent of

View presentation

Registrations for the following upcoming sessions are filling up:

  • Smart social media

Twitter, and LinkedIn, and ResearchGate – oh my! Are you being strategic in your use of social media to promote yourself and your research?

Monday 27 June, 1:00pm – 1:30pm


  • Ensure your audience finds your paper

Don’t scrimp on things like author supplied keywords if you want to be found in Google Scholar and other places.

Wednesday 29 June, 12:00pm – 12:30pm


All talks are being hosted in the Charles Perkins Centre, Level 6 Seminar Room. We plan to launch another series of Quick Bites talks in Semester 2 – stay tuned for details!


Fisher and Law Libraries go 24/7!

FB-banner-247v4Following the successful launch of The Quarter, Bosch and Camden Commons at the start of Semester 1, Fisher and Law libraries will be open 24/7 from the start of Semester 2. Great news for students with no hanging around at 10pm to get into the small level 3 space. Staff can also take advantage of this new service. Students and staff will have:

  • access to all collections including 2 hour loans and holds
  • 2713 study spaces
  • print/copy/scan facilities
  • bookable discussion rooms
  • kitchen facilities
  • self-issue machines to borrow books
  • self-service returns.

Both libraries are going to be staffed by security personnel only, which means that some of the library services are not available, including:

  • bonus and interlibrary loan pick-ups
  • help through staffed Information and ICT points
  • SYDPAY card encoding
  • paying fines in person.

Please remember to bring your student or staff card as you will need this to access the building. If you have any more questions, please ask a member of staff.

Seminar and hands-on workshop: Blending virtual and physical reality to engage the next generation of students

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Published on: 23 June 2016

On the 4th July, please join us to hear about and experience virtual reality (VR) technology and discuss its possibilities for teaching in the STEM lab environment.

When: 4 July 2016; 12.00pm – 1.00pmMichael_VR

Where: Exhibition Space, SciTech Library

Cost: Free;

This event is presented jointly by Educational Innovation, ICT and the Library. A seminar will run from 12-1 pm in the Exhibition Space in the SciTech Library (booking required via the ‘Registration’ button below) followed by a drop-in, hands-on workshop in the Library’s exciting new ThinkSpace directly above (no booking required). Maaroof Fakhri, from Labster will be talking about how the capability of virtual reality (VR) technology has accelerated recently with the cost of devices falling to enable most phones to be adapted for a few dollars and how VR helps immerse students in experiences too expensive, too inaccessible or simply too dangerous than would normally be possible. For more information, see details below or watch the recent TED talk.

All are welcome – please pass on to interested colleagues including undergraduate and research students.

  1. Seminar and Q&A: Extending the Laboratory – How Virtual and Physical Reality can blend to engage the next generation of STEM students

Virtual reality is poised to become part of everyday campus life. Discover the practical and pedagogical side of VR and how it can transform learning, extend the impact of the laboratory and motivate students. Includes Q&A, discussion, and the latest VR tech.

Seminar date: 4 July 2016, 12-1 pm
Venue: Exhibition Space, SciTech Library (next to the entrance to the library)

Register here. 

  1. Hands-on workshop: Implementing gamified virtual lab simulations in University of Sydney courses as pre-lab exercises

This interactive hands-on session will involve using curriculum-ready gamified virtual laboratory simulations (computer-based) to enhance biology and chemistry courses through blended learning, and will include trying latest virtual reality technology.

Workshop date: 4 July 2016, 1-2.30 pm
Venue: ThinkSpace, Level 2 JFR plaza (mezzanine area above the SciTech Library)

No booking required.



New book: Gardens of History and Imagination

Categories: Library, New releases, SUP, SUP News
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Published on: 23 June 2016


“making a garden was not only an act of settlement – it was one of hope, promising productivity and beauty and, in these creative endeavours, establishing a new life and even a new identity.” (Gretchen Poiner)

By Agata Mrva-Montoyagardens cover rgb full cover

To celebrate the bicentenary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney University Press has released the much anticipated Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales, edited by Gretchen Poiner, an honorary associate in the Department of Anthropology, and Sybil Jack, an honorary associate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.

The book features ten scholars, members of the Independent Scholars Association (Sybil Jack, Janet George, Gaynor Macdonald, Ailsa McPherson, Colleen Morris, Gretchen Poiner, John Ramsland, Stuart Read, Catherine Rogers and Sue Rosen) exploring the significance of gardens in the history of New South Wales, and is richly illustrated with rarely seen images from the State Library’s Mitchell collections.

The authors explore the role of gardens in health and wellbeing, in social and cultural life, and in attempts to exercise moral control over the state’s citizens. They consider how changing fashions in garden design have reflected shifting economic, cultural and technological conditions. And they tell the stories of individual gardens and the gardeners who made them, from suburban veggie patches to grand country estates.

The book will be launched on 23 June 2016 at the Mitchell Library, the State Library of NSW.

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