Copies of the catalogue (with
illustrations) are available from the Rare Books Department
An Exhibition of Material from the
Monash University Rare Book Collection
14 June - 12 October 2001
The exhibition and catalogue were prepared by
Richard Overell, Rare Books Librarian, Monash University Library.
Twentieth Century Australia in
text and printed image
This exhibition demonstrates the richness of Australian
popular print culture over the twentieth century, from federation programmes in
1901 to Liberal party election pamphlets of the l940s to posters advertising the
recent S11 protests. This rich culture, in text and printed image, has been
assiduously collected by the Rare Books' section of the Monash University
Library over the last decade.
Recorded knowledge about twentieth century Australia comes in
a variety of forms, but students of the period continue to rely heavily on print
sources, from parliamentary debates and newspaper reports to all manner of books
and articles published in a wide variety of magazines and even newsletters. Over
the past three decades other sources, especially film (including television),
photographs and oral recordings, whether broadcast or merely for family
purposes, have found their champions.1
Nonetheless print sources continue to have a level of
reliability, importance and often immediacy that other sources do not. Film and
tape can be edited and photographs can be doctored. The text and images to be
found in this exhibition may well have been edited or had their ideological
slant censored but once they reach the date of printing and publication, they
find their way to readers and eventually to collectors and libraries and become,
in a very real sense, documentary sources.
The production, the meaning, the impact, the influence of all
the items in this exhibition can be and should be debated. The sources are used
by historians, political scientists, popular writers and speech-writers in
different ways but the sources themselves have a longevity and a utility as
historical documents to be used for a wide variety of purposes.
Until the l970s Australian libraries, especially university
libraries, did not take popular culture sources very seriously. They collected
parliamentary materials, non fiction books, novels, the better class of
newspapers, medieval manuscripts (when they could get their hands on them) and
even some radical magazines. But the Fisher Library, at the University of
Sydney, for instance, found that most of its issues of Man magazine
(1936-1974 ), a girly mag with an early history of carrying radical articles,
had been stolen. Such magazines, the stock in trade of male barbers, had large
print runs but often a short shelf-life.2
Many popular culture sources have only survived because
collectors, not libraries, have taken a fancy to them. Collectors have many
motivations, from hoarding and investment to personal satisfaction or
fascination. They may collect by genre, such as crime fiction, or by youthful
enthusiasms, including comics. Some collectors are aesthetically driven to
concentrate on dust-wrappers almost irrespective of the contents of the book,
while others collect political pamphlets about causes that interest or sometimes
even appall them.3
Since his appointment as Rare Books' Librarian in 1988 Richard
Overell has been strengthening Monash's holdings in 20th century
Australian print culture. Like all good rare books librarians he ranges in his
acquisition strategies from antiquarian book-dealers and auctions to the nether
regions inhabited by collectors of all shapes and sizes. Some hoard tramways
maps, others secretly covet travel brochures of the l930s. Political scientists
who still can't explain Menzies victory in l949 collect election propaganda of
the period, much like the Whitlam sacking generation hold onto their books, ‘for
democracy's sake vote Whitlam' badges and T-Shirts. Students of feminism in
Australia in the l970s and l980s will find both typical and rare items of the
era in this exhibition. The history of race relations in Australia can be seen
in a number of items.
Some of the results of Richard Overell's efforts over the last
decade are on display in this exhibition. The items on display and the
accompanying catalogue show both the breadth and depth of the Library's
collection. There are items here which will help students understand why the
Liberal Party won the l949 election, why Whitlam lost the l975 election and even
why Australia girlie mags could no longer compete with American imports, in an
era before the internet began to cater for any and every fetish, from match book
collecting to science fiction kick-boxers.
Few of the items on display in this exhibition have been
digitally altered. The text is the result of musings and research by writers and
propagandists, journalists and hired hands. The images have been created by
graphic artists, using freehand skills. Much of the text until the l970s was set
in hot metal. While some of the pamphlets and magazines were not specifically
made to last, unlike the hardcover books, all are useful documentary sources
about the people, ideas and images that went to create successive decades of
Australian life in the 20th Century.
The material in this exhibition is regularly but not
sufficiently used by staff and students at Monash and scholars from elsewhere in
Australia and overseas. Australian studies - across all disciplines - remains a
relatively untilled field. The resources are rich, the material can be
informative and fun, sometimes disconcerting but above all it is there to be
Head of Monash University School of Political & Social
1. See D. Borchardt
and V. Crittenden eds., Australians: a guide to sources, Fairfax, Syme and
Weldon, Sydney, 1987.
2. See Richard White 'The Importance of Being Man' in
P. Spearritt and D. Walker eds., Australian Popular Culture, Allen and Unwin,
3. The world and range of comics is well captured in
Annette Shiell ed., Bonzer: Australian Comics 1900s-1990s, Eluga Media,
Melbourne, 1998. On collectors and collecting see J. Elser and R. Cardinal eds.,
The Cultures of Collecting, Melbourne University Press, 1994.
Illustration from Atkinson's souvenir bridge book (Sydney, 1932)
This is an attempt to illustrate various aspects of life in
twentieth century Australia and to show the range of primary source material we
hold in the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection to support teaching
and research in the field. The material on display represents only a small
fraction of our holdings. We collect exhaustively in the area, and our
collection is particularly rich in pamphlets and ephemera. Our collection of
early Australian comics is one of the best in the country. We have large
holdings in the field of popular culture and make a special effort to collect
contemporary material of this type.
The federation of the Australian colonies had been discussed
at Intercolonial Conferences from the 1860s to the 1880s when a Federal Council
was set up (August 1885). This body met first in Hobart in January and February
1886 and continued to meet until 1899. A Federal Convention was established
which met first in 1891 and elected Sir Henry Parkes as President. The issue of
federation was hotly debated throughout the 1890s, and finally, after two
referendums (1898, and 1899), it was agreed that a Commonwealth of Australia be
formed. On 17th September 1900 Queen Victoria signed a Proclamation
to this effect. The Earl of Hopetoun was nominated as the first Governor-General
and in 1901 he arrived in Australia to open the first Federal Parliament.
- 1. Illustrated official programme and memento
of the Commonwealth festivities, January, 1901. (Sydney : Federal
Programme and Badge Co., 1901)
- The swearing-in ceremony for the Governor-General was held
in Centennial Park on Tuesday 1st January 1901. This programme
gives the details of the official celebrations which took place in Sydney at
the beginning of the new century. Most of the festivities were sporting events
but among the cultural activities listed was a "pantomime extravaganza
entitled Australis or the city of zero," at her Majesty's Theatre.
- 2. Programme of celebrations
during the visit of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall
and York for the opening of the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of
Australia from the 6th to the 16th of May 1901. ([Melbourne? : s.n.],
Click to view
- 3. Our invited guests : an official directory
of the guests invited to Melbourne for the opening of the first Commonwealth
Parliament of Australia, May 9th, 1901. (Melbourne : Leslie W. Craw,
- 4. The opening of the first Parliament of the
Commonwealth of Australia: photogravure after the original painting by Tom
Roberts. (Melbourne : Australian Art Association, )
- The inaugural Commonwealth Parliament sat in the Exhibition
building in Melbourne. Sir Edmund Barton was the first Prime Minister. The
official opening took place on Thursday 9th May 1901.
- 5. Australian Exhibition of Women's Work (1st : 1907
: Melbourne, Vic.)
Official souvenir catalogue : first Australian Exhibition of Women's Work,
1907. (Melbourne : [s.n.], 1907)
- The great exhibitions of the nineteenth century continued
in the new century, but in more specialised events such as this, the first
Australian Exhibition of Women's Work. It was held in the Melbourne Exhibition
Building from October 23rd to November 30th 1907.
Click to view
- 6. The Sunrise : the souvenir of the Labour
Fair / edited by E. Findley. ([Melbourne?] : E. Findley, 1912)
- Edmund Barton resigned as Prime Minister in 1903,
disappointed at the rancorous factionalism in the Federal Parliament. The
Australian Labor party, formed in 1891, held the balance of power. In 1908-09
they were able to form government, and Andrew Fisher became the first Labor
Prime Minister in Australia. However, the ALP lost power in 1909, and was not
able to govern in its own right until it won a majority in both houses in
1910. Andrew Fisher again became Prime Minister. The Labor party held power
The Labour Fair was held in Melbourne in 1912 and this
issue of The Sunrise was devoted to articles on issues canvassed at
this gathering. Billy Hughes, who was then Federal Attorney-General, wrote
on "Immigration and the Labour Party", W. G. Spence wrote on "The Industrial
Unrest". There were also articles on child endowment, "the farmer and the
foreigner" and a visionary piece on "Cities of the future".
Among the advertisements we find one with the heading, "Is
your furniture built by white or yellow labour?" The White Australia Policy
was an original plank of the ALP platform, and was in fact policy with all
Australian political parties of the time . It had been passed into law by
Barton during the first Federal Parliament.
- 7. Melba's gift book of Australian art and
literature / [editor: Franklin Peterson ; foreword by Nellie Melba]
(Melbourne : George Robertson, )
- Australia followed Britain into the First World War on 4
August 1914. The Germans almost immediately began their invasion of Belgium.
This involved many civilian casualties, which incensed the general public. In
Australia the opera singer, Nellie Melba was one of those to voice the
widespread feeling of outrage. She arranged publication of this book, with the
entire profits to go to the Belgian Relief Fund. It has as its introduction "A
word of explanation" from Madame Melba, which begins,
There is a personal reason for the appearance of this
book. I was born in Australia and I glory in the land of my birth. But as an
artist I was born in Belgium. I made my debut there; my first appearance in
opera was at Brussels, and I can still hear the cheers of my first audience,
the kindly, warm-hearted Belgians whose generous recognition of the unknown
artist from distant Australia gave me hope and courage to persevere.
The copy on display is open at one of Norman Lindsay's
propaganda cartoons. "Liberty" is confronting the German ogre with his
pickelhaube, or pointed helmet, and saying, "Fool, it is through crimes
such as yours that strength is given me to defeat you in the end."
- 8. Great Britain. War Office. General Staff.
- Turkey. Gallipoli [map] ([London] : War Office,
- 9. The Anzac book / written and
illustrated in Gallipoli by the men of Anzac.
- (London ; New York ; Toronto ; Melbourne : Cassell,
Click to view
- 10. Gallipoli : the heroic story of the
Australasians at Anzac : complete official & other accounts illustrated.
([Sydney : S. Bennett, Evening News Office, 1916])
- On 25th April 1915 the Australian and New
Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli. This campaign was a bloodbath
and although there were great acts of heroism, the troops were withdrawn to
Egypt in December of the same year. The English and Australian press seized
upon the campaign and promoted it as the coming of age of Australia and New
Zealand. It boosted recruiting, and the landing has passed into Australian
folk-lore, with Anzac Day still celebrated on 25th April every
- 11. Australia in Palestine / H.S. Gullett,
Chas. Barrett, editors ; David Barker, art editor.
(Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1919)
- After the retreat from Gallipoli the Australian Light Horse
spent the rest of the war fighting the Turks in Palestine. Their most notable
success was at Beersheba (October 1917). The Turkish forces surrendered in
- 12. Monash, John, 1865-1931.
The Australian victories in France in 1918 / by Sir John Monash.
(New York : E. P. Dutton, [1920?])
- The AIF (Australian Imperial Forces) served on the Western
Front, in the trench warfare of France and Belgium. They suffered heavy
casualties; of the 331,000 Australian to serve overseas, about 60,000 died.
However, under the generalship of Sir John Monash they achieved some notable
victories, particularly at the 1918 Battle of the Somme, and at Hamel on 8
August shortly before the Armistice.
- 13. Conscription, what for? : press extracts tell the
story so that he who runs may read. (Melbourne : [Australian Peace
- The heavy losses suffered by the Australian army in 1916,
particularly at Pozieres where 23,000 men were killed, prompted the Prime
Minister, Billy Hughes, to call for conscription. However, the first
conscription referendum (28 October) was lost after a bitter campaign which
split the Labor Party. Hughes remained Prime Minister only after he and some
of his allies, left the Labor Party and joined with the Liberals to form the
Heavy losses continued in 1917 at Bullecourt and
Passchendaele, and Hughes tried again to introduce conscription. Once again
he was defeated at a referendum (20 December 1917). Apart from pacifists and
other idealists, the Conscription issue split the Australian people along
sectarian lines. The Irish Catholic element led by Archbishop Mannix
objected on principle to sending men to fight alongside the British. The
quelling of the Easter uprising in Ireland in 1916 added to the strength of
- 14. Lindsay, Daryl, 1889-1976.
Daryl Lindsay's "Digger" book. (Melbourne [Vic.] : Sun Art
- During "The Great War" the image of the Australian "digger"
was created. Essentially he was a knockabout bushman with his own views on
discipline and standards of dress, but he could be depended upon to fight
The image was promoted through books such as these. Daryl
Lindsay was the younger brother of Lionel and Norman Lindsay. He served on
the Western Front and published this collection of his sketches after the
war, with an introduction by the official war historian, C. E. W. Bean.
- 15. Australian chivalry : reproductions in
colour and duo-tone of official war paintings / edited by J.L. Treloar.
([Canberra] : Published under the auspices of the Board of Management of the
Australian War Memorial, 1933) 52 p. of plates.
[copy donated by Lindsay Shaw]
- The collection of material for an Australian War Memorial
began officially in 1917. This included the paintings done by the official war
artists. Many of these works are reproduced here. Among the artists were
Arthur Streeton, Sir John Longstaff, George Lambert, Septimus Power and Will
- 16. Herald, "Extraordinary edition",11 November
1918 (Melbourne, Herald Office, 1918)
- Germany surrendered on 11 November 1918 and the Armistice
was signed at 11 o'clock. This "extraordinary edition" of the Melbourne Herald
tells of "Red Guard" revolutionaries taking over in Berlin.
Ominously for the future stability of Europe, one of the
headlines reads "Drastic terms imposed".
- 17. [Treaty of Versailles]
The treaty of peace between the allied and associated powers and
Germany ; the protocol annexed thereto ; the agreement respecting the military
occupation of the territories of the Rhine ; and the treaty between France and
Great Britain respecting assistance to France in the event of unprovoked
aggression by Germany, signed at Versailles, June 28th, 1919. (London :
[Prime Minister Billy Hughes's copy, with his signature.]
- The Treaty of Versailles was the document which enshrined
the terms of the peace.
Billy Hughes represented Australia at the negotiations and secured for us
control of German New Guinea, as well as a share of the financial reparations
Germany was forced to pay.
- 18. Canberra, federal capital, 1927.
(Sydney : J. A. Luscombe., 1927)
- 19. We dooks the - Dook : an unofficial, unauthentic,
and totally unreliable account of the opening of Canberra. [Sydney :
Sydney University Undergraduates' Association, 1927]
- The site of the Federal capital was hotly disputed. Forty
proposals were submitted to a Royal Commission set up in 1899. Ultimately the
choice fell upon a proposal made by the people of Queanbeyan that the capital
be built on land between their town and Yass.
A competition was held for the town plan. This was won by
Walter Burley Griffin of Chicago. Work began in 1911 but because of the war
little progress was made until 1921 when the Hughes government made a
determined effort to accelerate proceedings. On 9 May 1927 Canberra became
the official seat of government for the Australian Commonwealth. The Duke
and Duchess of York presided over the ceremony.
Click to view
- 20. Gilchrist, Archibald.
Outback homes : and how to build them / by Archibald Gilchrist.
(Melbourne : New Settlers League of Australia, 1926)
- 21. Makeshifts and other home-made furniture
and utensils. 3rd ed. (Melbourne : Issued for the New Settlers League of
Australia (Victorian Div.) by A. Gilchrist, 1927)
- Immigration was seen as one of the main priorities in the
1920s. More than 300,000 migrants came to Australia from Britain. The
Australian government gave considerable assistance to the new settlers and
encouraged them to take up land made available through the closer settlement
schemes which sub-divided some of the large rural properties.
Click to view
- 22. Australia. Committee on Economic Effects of
The Australian tariff : an economic enquiry / [Committee on Economic
Effects of the Tariff]. 2nd ed. (Melbourne : Melbourne University Press in
association with Macmillan, 1929)
Donor: Mrs. E. M. Durre
- [This work is the report of an informal committee set up by
the Rt. Hon. S.M. Bruce, Prime Minister of Australia, in the spring of 1927.
Sir John Monash's copy, with autograph notes from all members of the committee
(J. B. Brigden, D. B. Copland, E. C. Dyason, L. F. Giblin and C. H. Wickens)
pasted to front endpaper and flyleaf.]
After the war the Australian economy seemed prosperous.
The industrial sector flourished, although the pastoral and agricultural
industries produced smaller profits than previously. Australia became more
reliant on tariff barriers partly to maintain prosperity among the
industries set up during the war when imports from overseas were severely
The Prime Minister Stanley Bruce set up a Committee to
investigate the viability of the tariff situation. Although they showed that
tariffs were not an unmitigated blessing to the economy, they concluded that
Australia could not have maintained its present population at a higher
standard of living under free trade. Their advice was clear,
Given the basic Australian objective of seeking the largest
white population at the highest standard of living, we consider that the
protective tariff has been an effective means of securing it. The practical
conclusion is that, having established this population, it would be
disastrous to abandon the policy which has made it possible. (p. 140)
- 23. Hughes, Billy, 1862-1952.
Bond or free : Sir Otto Niemeyers' report : reply / by W.M. Hughes.
[Sydney : W.M. Hughes, 1930]
- 24. Paddison, A. C. (Alfred Cornwallis)
The Lang plan : the case for Australia / A. C. Paddison. (Sydney : A.
C. Paddison, 1931)
- Despite reports as to the essential soundness of the
Australian economy by such bodies as the Prime Minister's Committee on
Tariffs, when the Great Depression hit in late 1929, Australia was one of the
countries which suffered badly.
This was partly because the severe drop in world prices
affected the export markets for our primary industries, but perhaps the
worst effects were caused by the fact that the Australian government was no
longer able to secure overseas loans.
The Bank of England, concerned as to Australia's ability
to service its debts, sent Sir Otto Niemeyer to advise on financial policy.
He delivered his proposals to a Premiers' Conference in August 1930.
Essentially they involved deflationary measures such as wage cuts.
The Labor Prime Minister, James Scullin, who had
inopportunely come to power in October 1929, the same month as the Wall
Street Crash, saw obvious problems here. Unemployment was rising (it peaked
at 32% in 1932) and people were loudly critical of the necessity in keeping
up the interest payments on foreign loans.
Jack Lang the Labor Premier of New South Wales proposed
the "Lang Plan" which put forward a nationalist stance of refusal to pay the
interest on overseas loans. Unfortunately when NSW adopted this plan in
1931, the federal government had to cover the shortfall which they then
passed back to NSW as a debt. In 1932 Lang was sacked by Governor Game over
perceived financial improprieties.
The Premiers' Plan which was adopted in May 1931 was
promoted as a compromise but was still severely deflationary, cutting
interest rates, and government spending, devaluing the pound by 20% and
The ALP split again with Joe Lyons leaving to form the
United Australia Party. Scullin lost to Lyons in a landslide in December
1931. The UAP later became the Liberal Party.
- 25. Sydney bridge celebrations, 1932 /
[edited by Sydney Ure Smith and Leon Gellert].(Sydney : Art in Australia Ltd.,
- 26. The rotary key to the Sydney Harbour Bridge,
opened March 1932 [game] (Sydney : Oyston & Riley, 1932)
- One of the bright spots in the depression years for
Sydney-siders was the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Work began on it
on 28 July 1923. The two sides met in August 1930 and the bridge was
officially opened by Premier Jack Lang on 19 March 1932.
was one of the many souvenir artifacts published
to coincide with the opening celebrations. It features a rotating pointer
which can be used to answer such questions as "headway for shipping", (172
ft. 6 ins.), or "contract price" (£4,217,721/11/10)
- 27. Australasian centenary number
(Melbourne, 1934) Special number of the Australasian, 18 October, 1934 to
commemorate the centenary of Batman's foundation of Melbourne.
- In 1934 Melbourne celebrated the centenary of its
foundation by John Batman. The celebrations lasted for several months and
included most notably, the MacRobertson Centenary Air Race. This began at
Mildenhall airport near London on 20 October 1934 and was won by Scott and
Campbell Black. They arrived in Melbourne on 23 October after a flight of 70
hours and 18 seconds.
On 15 October 1934 Captain Cook's Cottage was presented to
Victoria by Russell Grimwade. The philanthropist had purchased it in
Yorkshire, had it dismantled and re-assembled in the Fitzroy Gardens.
- 28. The Australian Abo call : the voice of the
Aborigines. [Sydney?: ca. 1990] 6 v. in 1 Facsimile, first published by
the Aborigines Progressive Association in 1938.
- In 1938 Sydney celebrated the sesqui-centenary of the
foundation of Australia, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the
landing of Governor Phillip and the First Fleet at Botany Bay. As with
Melbourne in 1934, the people of Sydney organised widespread celebrations. Not
everyone, however, saw the occasion as a cause for pride. The Aborigines
Progressive Association, a body made up of Australian Aborigines, organised a
"Day of Mourning" to be held in the Australian Hall in Sydney on 26 January
1938. This of course was Australia Day, the day on which the Sydney
celebrations were at their height.
The "Day of Mourning" took the form of a conference at
which the following resolution was passed:
We, representing the Aborigines of Australia, assembled in
conference at the Australian Hall, Sydney on the 26th day of
January. 1938, this being the 150th Anniversary of the Whiteman's
seizure of our country, hereby make protest against the callous treatment of
our people by the whiteman during the past 150 years, and we appeal to the
Australian nation of today to make new laws for the education and care of
Aborigines, we ask for a new policy which will raise our people to full
citizen status and equality within the community. (p. 2, April 1938)
- 29. Bailey, Kenneth, 1898-1972.
Why did we go to war? What do we hope to achieve? What sort of peace do
we want? : a discussion of these pertinent questions / by K.H. Bailey and
W. MacMahon Ball. (Melbourne : Victorian Branch of the League of Nations
- When Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939,
Australia followed suit. Public opinion was that we, as part of the Empire,
must help defeat Hitler and the Axis powers. This pamphlet by two academics
from Melbourne University details a public meeting held on 19 October 1939
organised by the Victorian Branch of the Australian League of Nations Union.
Both speakers and apparently the audience were in agreement as to the
necessity of fighting against aggressive dictatorships.
- 30. Webb, John E. (John Edward)
Menzies goes to war / John E. Webb. (Brookvale : Printcraft Press,
- Menzies was the Prime Minister when war was declared. He
saw himself as a statesman in the Churchill mould. After an unsuccessful
attempt to involve the Labor Party in a national alliance government, Menzies
and the United Australia Party lost ground at the 1940 elections. When the
Prime Minister was overseas in 1941 having high-level discussions concerning
the war, the two independents upon whom his majority rested began to intrigue
with the ALP. Upon his return he resigned the prime ministership in favour of
Artie Fadden the leader of the Country Party, but the ALP was asked to form
government when the UAP lost its budget debate. John Curtin became Prime
Minister and Billy Hughes replaced Menzies as leader of the opposition.
- 31. Devine, John.
The Rats of Tobruk / by John Devine. Sydney : Angus and Robertson,
- Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour (8 December
1941), Australian troops fought mainly in the Mediterranean, seeing action in
Greece, Syria and most notably in North Africa at Tobruk and El Alamein.
- 32. Thomas, W. J. (William J.)
Death comes to the Fuehrer / by W.J. Thomas ; illustrations by Stan
Clements. (Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1941)
- Apart from the government propaganda against the Axis
powers, Australians produced books of satirical cartoons and comics, and,
here, a science-fiction novel. Death comes to the Fuehrer begins by
satirizing Hitler's vegetarianism, then introduces a "scientific-astrologer"
who devises a screen which will show Hitler the future. In fact it shows him
the past and we see a parade of victims of the Nazi terror. When it is
repaired and finally shows the future, Hitler sees Goering and his cronies
plotting his demise. Overcome with remorse and fear he falls from a window and
dies. When Mussolini finds the body, it is unclear whether Hitler had
committed suicide or was murdered by his guards.
- 33. Life in prisoner of war camps in Germany
is described by two delegates of the International Red Cross in reports which
have reached the Australian Red Cross Society. (Melbourne : Victorian
Division, of the Australian Red Cross Society, [ca. 1941])
- 34. Australian Red Cross Society. Victorian
Full details of how the Red Cross helps prisoners of war. (Melbourne :
Victorian Division, Australian Red Cross Society, [between 1940 and 1945])
- These Red Cross documents give details of life in POW camps
early in the war. Most of the Australian POWs at this stage were air crew who
had been shot down on raids over Germany. The Red Cross inspectors were
Italian and French. They found the conditions relatively acceptable.
The pamphlet, which describes the role of the Red Cross in
helping prisoners, serves to increase our knowledge of what conditions must
have been like. Of particular interest are the documents relating to
correspondence with POWs. The duplicated sheet from the District Censor in
Victoria originally accompanied a letter returned to the sender because it
breached the guidelines for correspondence. According to the red pencil
markings on the document, the letter in question contravened the clauses
which stipulate that,
Letters or postcards shall relate only to personal matters
Reference to the movements of the …military …should not be
- 35. Second front. [Melbourne :
Australia-Soviet Friendship League, 1941]
- While Russia and Germany were in alliance, the Communists
agitated for peace, but after Hitler invaded Russia in 1941, Communist
organisations such as the Australia-Soviet Friendship League began a
propaganda campaign to encourage the Allies to open a "second front". They
wanted the Allies to invade Europe to take some of the pressure off the
Russian forces fighting on the Eastern Front.
Click to view
- 36. Marks, E. George (Ernest George)
Watch the Pacific! : defenceless Australia / by E. George Marks.
(Sydney : Coles Book Arcade, 1924)
Click to view
- 37. Thomas, W. J. (William J.)
Japan strikes : Nippon's record of aggression and brutality / by W.J.
Thomas. (Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall, 1941)
Click to view
- 38. Idriess, Ion L. (Ion Llewellyn), 1890-1979.
Trapping the Jap / by Ion L. Idriess. (Sydney : Angus and Robertson,
- Australia, as a European country in the Asian region, with
its allies on the other side of the world, has long been aware of its
vulnerability to attack from the north. After Pearl Harbour, the Japanese
quickly conquered Malaya, Singapore and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), and
attacked New Guinea, seizing Rabaul.
Darwin, and Townsville were bombed, and Australia was
threatened with imminent invasion. The Australians who had been fighting in
Europe and Africa now had to adjust to tropical warfare. The Ion Idriess
book, Trapping the Jap was part of a series, all by Idriess, called,
The Australian Guerrilla. These were written for the armed services and
also for civilians who feared that Australia would soon be overrun and we
would be forced to fight the enemy on our own soil. They may appear extreme
to us now, but Australia's situation was desperate and even chapters with
headings such as "putting the shoot into parachute" were no doubt considered
- 39. Hanna, Pat.
Grenade training simplified : with instructions on the new recreational
methods / devised and illustrated by Pat Hanna. 2nd.ed., rev. (Melbourne :
Robertson & Mullens, 1942)
- As with the Idriess item, this was meant for servicemen and
the general public. Perhaps the most notable innovation put forward here is
the game of "Bombgolf", described by the author as "a fascinating game based
upon golf and which is possibly the only recreation with a real defence
value." This involved pitching grenades at a series of "nine or more
consecutive holes which are target objectives" playing "as competitive pairs
- 40. Commentator
The ethics of bombing / by "Commentator." (Moonee Ponds [Vic.] :
Federal Pacifist Council, )
- This pamphlet was written by a moderate pacifist who could
understand the necessity for war, but was concerned at the blanket bombing of
cities by the Allies and the use of rocket bombs by Germany. It foresees a
third world war which will be waged entirely by remote controlled bombs or
- 41. Mackie, Bob.
Doughboys and Diggers : a saga / [by Bob Mackie]. (Sydney : N.S.W.
- 42. Yanks and Aussies in battle : official
pictures of Pacific war from Pearl Harbour to Timor / text, pictorial
design and production by W.J. Thomas. (Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall Co., )
Click to view
- 43. Meadows, Maureen C. (Maureen Clare)
I loved those Yanks / by Maureen C. Meadows ; cover design by
Winifred Towers. (Sydney, N.S.W. : George M. Dash, )
- When invasion appeared imminent the Prime Minister, John
Curtin called upon America to help. America sent reinforcements and General
Douglas Macarthur took control of all Allied forces in the Pacific. Gradually,
with US assistance, the Japanese were defeated in New Guinea, and most
significantly for Australia, at the naval Battle of the Coral Sea.
The presence of American soldiers in Australia presented
some problems. It led to the famous saying, in response to the popularity of
American service-men with Australian women, that, "There are only three
things wrong with the Yanks, they're over-sexed, over-paid, and over here."
- 44. Elliott, Madge.
My life as a W.A.A.A.F. / by Madge Elliott ; as told to Aura Jackson.
[Sydney? : s.n., 1944?]
Click to view
- 45. Knitting for the soldiers. (Sydney :
Australian Home Journal, [194-?])
- During the war, women were encouraged to join one of the
women's branches of the armed services, take a job in a factory to fill the
gaps left by the men enlisting, or help the war effort on the home front.
- 46. The black market is the traitor's market.
(Adelaide : K.M. Stevenson, Govt. Printer, [between 1942 and 1945]) 1 sheet,
perforated across middle ( p.)
- This was part of the campaign to make rationing acceptable
to the public. The bottom half of the sheet is a leaflet entitled "Coupons or
chaos". It reads in part,
Never before did the Home Front mean so much and never
before have you-- the women in the house-- had to shoulder such
responsibility. Rationing is a Home Front job. The boys in uniform can fight
and die for you, but they can't make rationing work.
It exhorts women to "make the darning needle a real weapon
The top half of the sheet warns people not to buy clothes
offered for sale without coupons.
If you know Black Marketing exists don't say it is none of
your business. It IS your business. It is your DUTY to report these
traitorous offences to the Rationing Commission with the same readiness as
you would report the activities of a spy in our midst. Black marketing often
is the work of Fifth Columnists. Don't fall for it. Strangle Black Markets.
Click to view
- 47. The changing of the guard : graphic
incidents of the two world wars reproduced from official and other
photographs. 5th ed. (Canberra : Australian War Memorial, 1944)
- This is a publication uniform with Australian chivalry
(1933) which dealt with World War I. This volume aims at showing the
continuity between the courage and resourcefulness of the Diggers of the First
World War with the Australian servicemen and women of the second. The
paintings are by the official war artists, and although they are essentially
realistic, they infuse an almost mythic element of heroism into their
subjects. Photography also pays an important part in this later publication.
- 48. Allied Forces.
Nihongun sh¯ohei shokun. Kaki no Eibun ni wa "Honhy¯o jisansha wa sudeni
teki ni arazu. Kokusaih¯o ni shitagatte konsetsu ni atsukahi, saiki shikikan
no shita ni renk¯o seyo. Reng¯ogun Saik¯o Shikikan" to kaite aru. = The bearer
has ceased resistance. Treat him well in accordance with international law.
Take him to the nearest commanding officer / C. in C. Allied Forces.
[Australia : s.n., 1945]. 1 fold. sheet ( p.)
- This is an example of leaflets which were dropped from
aeroplanes over Japanese-held areas during the campaigns in the islands north
of Australia in 1945. Their intention was to encourage the Japanese to
- 49. Edwards, Cecil, 1903-1978.
You and the bomb / Cecil Edwards. (Melbourne : F.W. Cheshire Pty
- 50. Duguid, Charles, (1884-1986)
The rocket range, aborigines and war / by Charles Duguid. (Melbourne
: Rocket Range Protest Committee, 1947)
- The war in the Pacific ended after two atomic bombs were
dropped on Japan, one on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, the second on Nagasaki,
on 9 August. Cecil Edwards' pamphlet, published in November 1945, is
significant because it outlines the terms of popular debate on the issue at
the time soon after the events.
Do you remember how you felt when the news first broke
that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan?
Perhaps you don't recall it very clearly now-- that
feeling of awe, as if you were peering over the edge of a vast and terrible
abyss. Perhaps you don't remember how, deep inside, you prayed that there
should be an end of war if this were what war was to be.
So much has happened since to push it into the
background-- the collapse of Japan, the frightful revelations of prison camp
atrocities, the argument over whether Hirohito should go, the squabbles
between the Big Five, the uprisings in Java, Indo-China and Siam. But the
atomic bomb is still there, even if later events have submerged it in your
mind. Its power and its possibilities are no less great. The abyss is no
less deep. (p. 2)
Dr. Duguid's pamphlet is the text of an address he gave in
the Melbourne Town Hall 31 March 1947. Charles Duguid was a medical doctor,
Presbyterian Moderator and campaigner for Aboriginal rights. He was one of
the founders of Aborigines Advancement League in South Australia in 1938,
and spent much time with the aborigines of the interior. In The rocket
range, aborigines and war he protests at the intention of the Australian
government to allow Britain to use land around Woomera in the northern
section of South Australia for a rocket-testing facility. From 1953 to 1963,
Maralinga, also in this area, was used by Britain as the site for atom bomb
This was done, as Dr. Duguid pointed out, with little or
no regard for the aboriginal inhabitants.
- 51. Liberal Party of Australia.
Road back : a story of Australia today. [Sydney : Liberal Party of
Australia, 1949]. (From W. H. Tregear Collection.)
Click to view
- 52. Liberal Party of Australia.
Road ahead. [Sydney : Liberal Party of Australia, 1949]
- These comics were circulated as part of the Liberal Party
Federal election campaign in 1949. The Road Back sets out to discredit
the Labor government under "Chif", i.e. Ben Chifley, emphasising the
high-taxes, and stressing that this makes it harder for wage-earners to save
for homes. When "Blue", a returned serviceman, complains to his boss about the
high level of income tax taken from his pay, he is told, "You're working for
Chif now old man."
The ALP countered with a comic entitled, The way ahead,
to which the Liberals replied with The road ahead. This paints a grim
picture of life in Australia if Labor was to win the election and give full
rein to its socialist tendencies. Among other details, it asserts that
rationing would be re-introduced.
Petrol rationing was still in effect and this, together
with fears of a labor/communist agenda inflamed by the controversy over
nationalisation of the banks, contributed to Labor's downfall. Menzies led
the Liberal Party to government in December 1949.
- 53. 20,000,000 Australians in our time! :
statement of immigration policy by the Minister for Immigration, the Hon.
Arthur A. Calwell, to the House of Representatives, September 8, 1949.
(Melbourne : [Dept. of Immigration, 1949])
- Arthur Calwell was Chifley's Minister for Immigration. He
presided over an aggressive immigration policy meant to stimulate Australia's
economy. He was a firm believer in the White Australia Policy and encouraged
migrants from Britain and especially Europe.
- 54. "Australia's own car. Holden is worth
waiting for", advertisement in Australia to-day, 1951, (Melbourne :
United Commercial Travellers' Association of Australia, 1950) p. 34.
- General Motors had launched the Australian-made Holden in
1949, but as they explained in this advertisement, supplies were still not
equal to the demand. In this same issue of Australia to-day, there is
an advertisement by the Ford Motor Co. stressing that "Ford is increasing
Australian content of cars, trucks, and utilities that are right for this
country." However, it was not until the 1960s that Ford brought out an
Australian car, the Falcon, which could successfully compete with GMH's
- 55. [Original water-colour sketches of the
Bain family life at 69 Windella Street, Kew between 1952 and 1958.]
- These water-colours were sent back to England in letters to
relatives . One of the sketches on display shows the famous Australian
invention, the Hills Hoist.
The rotary clothes line-- a wonderful idea.
Used everywhere here. They are of metal galvanised. Sunk well into the
ground. You can heighten them & they whirl round in the wind. The makers fit
them in situ, embedding them in a concrete foundation. This is the
The sketch shows children swinging on the hoist while they
are hanging out the clothes. It also shows a plan and elevation of the
hoist, giving the measurements.
Click to view
- 56. "Spies: Russians in Australia. Vol. 1, 14-27
April 1954." Volume of press-cuttings from the Herald library.
- When the Herald closed, Monash acquired the volumes
of 1940s and 1950s press-cuttings from their library, relating to the
Communist Party Dissolution Bill and the Petrov affair. The volume on display
is open at one of the famous press-photographs from the time, Evdokia Petrov
being "assisted" onto a plane at Mascot by two members of the Russian embassy
staff. Mrs. Petrov applied for, and was granted, asylum when the plane stopped
in Darwin. This photo later appeared in a Polish weekly, Swait, (2 May,
1954) with the caption, "The gangster methods of Australian fascists". The
story read in part, "A group of Australian fascists, with the active
participation of police, abducted Mrs. Petrov from the airfield."
Click to view
- 57. Brown, W. J. (Wilton John), 1917-
The Petrov conspiracy unmasked / edited and compiled by W.J. Brown.
(Sydney : Current Book Distributors, )
- 58. Sharkey, L. L. (Lawrence Louis), 1898-1967.
Petrov's 25,000 dollar story exploded : the devastating answer to
Petrov's "Moscow gold" story as presented to the Petrov Commission
/ by L. L. Sharkey, E. F. Hill. (Newtown : R. S. Thompson, [1955?])
- 59. Thomas, Pete, 1914-1988.
Petrov stunt back-fires / by Pete Thomas. (Sydney : Current Book
- 60. Lockwood, Rupert, 1908-1997.
What is in Document "J" / [by Rupert Lockwood]. ("The Everglades",
Canberra : Freedom Press, )
- In April 1954, on the eve of the federal elections,
Vladimir Petrov, the third Secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Canberra,
defected. He was granted political asylum and handed over many top-secret
documents. The documents referred to Soviet espionage activities around the
world, including information on Burgess and Philby. The details regarding
Australian contacts included two members of Dr. H. V. Evatt's secretariat.
"Doc" Evatt was the leader of the ALP and was confident of gaining power in
the forthcoming election.
Petrov's defection was very inopportune for the Labor
Party, re-igniting the public fear of a Communist threat. Menzies won the
election and instituted a Royal Commission into Soviet Espionage in
Evatt defended his staff at the Royal Commission, but it
was impossible to contain the damaging evidence which emerged. Evatt became
obsessed with the belief that Menzies had engineered the affair to defeat
the ALP in the election. Many of his Labor Party colleagues became
increasingly dissatisfied with Evatt's handling of the affair. This
eventually led to the split in the Labor Party and the formation of the DLP.
Menzies continued in power until 1966 and the ALP did not form government
again until Gough Whitlam won in 1972.
"Document J" was the piece of evidence in which the Soviet
contacts among Evatt's staff were named. According to Petrov, it was written
by the communist journalist Rupert Lockwood on one of his visits to the
Soviet Embassy in Canberra. Lockwood claimed that it was a forgery concocted
from publicly available information he had supplied to the TASS journalist,
- 61. This man … (Melbourne, National Civic
- The National Civic Council grew from the "Movement", a
Catholic action group dedicated to countering the influence of the Communists
in Australian life.
This was a fund-raising pamphlet distributed by the NCC to
help them in their anti-Communist crusade.
The NCC was formed in 1957. The ALP had split in 1955 and
many of the Catholic Labor supporters, particularly in Victoria had broken
away to form the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). Archbishop Mannix and B. A.
Santamaria were the main personalities involved.
- 62. Defence against radioactive fallout on the
farm. (Sydney : [s.n., 195-?])
- Throughout the 1950s there was a deep-seated fear of the
Third World War breaking-out. This fear was the more acute for its focus on
"the bomb". Various civil defence publications attempted to allay these fears
by setting-out clear steps to be taken in the event of the bomb being dropped
Click to view
- 63. The Olympic games, Melbourne 1956.
(Melbourne, Australia : Colorgravure Publication, 1956)
- The Games of the XVIth Olympiad were held in Melbourne from
22 November to 8 December. Australia won thirteen gold medals. Among the gold
medal winners were the athletes, Betty Cuthbert, Shirley Strickland, and the
swimmers, Murray Rose, Lorraine Crapp, Dawn Fraser David Theile and Jon
This book was published as a souvenir of the games. It
gives day-by-day details of every event held, with a comprehensive range of
black and white and colour photographs taken by the photographers working
for the Herald and Weekly Times.
- 64. Duek-Cohen, Elias.
Utzon and the Sydney Opera House; statement in the public interest.
[Sydney, Morgan Publications, 1967]
- Throughout the 1960s the long-running saga of the building
of the Sydney Opera House captured the public's attention. The idea was first
put forward by Eugene Goossens in 1947. Ten years later an architectural
competition was held and the prize-winning design was that submitted by Danish
architect, Joern Utzon.
The architect came to believe that the integrity of his
design was being compromised by Governmental interference and cost-cutting
and he resigned in 1966. Utzon's grievances and the controversies leading up
to his resignation are outlined by his Australian supporters in the
"statement in the public interest" on display.
The construction was funded by the Opera House Lotteries,
and the landmark building on Bennelong Point was finally opened by the Queen
on 20 October 1973.
- 65. Oz. (Sydney, N.S.W. : Oz Publications
Ink Ltd., 1963-1969)
[Continued by: Oz magazine]
- Oz was a satirical Sydney magazine run by Richard Walsh,
Richard Neville and the artist Martin Sharp. The three men were prosecuted for
obscenity for an article by Sharp in issue no. 6 They were convicted and
sentenced to jail, but this was quashed on appeal.
In 1966 Neville left for England where he established
also satirical, but much more colourful and more lavishly produced than its
- 66. "Harold Holt: the world shares a family's grief", in
Life Australia, vol. 44, no. 1 (8 January, 1968)
- 67. Commonwealth Police (Australia).
Report by the Commonwealth and Victoria Police on the disappearance of
the Prime Minister the Right Honourable Harold Holt, Cheviot Beach, Portsea,
Victoria, Sunday, 17 December 1967. (Canberra )
- Harold Holt had succeeded Menzies as Prime Minister in
1966. However, his term of office was cut short when he disappeared on 17
December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach, on Bass Strait, south of
Despite extensive searches, the body was never found and
he was presumed to have been accidentally drowned. The verdict was "death by
Various conspiracy theories circulated, linked to Holt's
difficulties with his colleagues at the time. It was even suggested that he
had been picked up by a Chinese submarine. His widow Zara refused to believe
that, commenting that "Harry didn't even like Chinese food!"
- 68. "Holden lets loose a new power in the land"
[advertisement to launch the Holden sports sedan, the "Monaro"] in
Life Australia, 19 August 1968.
- Every year the pattern of Australian life was marked by
recurrent events such as the release of the new model Holden. This is an
advertisement for the first sports version of the family sedan, the "Monaro".
As can be seen by the silver "sci-fi" suits of the man and woman, the motif is
"space and speed". This was at the time of the Apollo space missions which
culminated in 1969 with the moon-landing.
The "Monaro" soon became every young Australian boy's
- 69. [Transcripts of interviews etc. with captives or
defectors from the North Vietnamese Army]
- The war in Vietnam was perhaps the major political issue
under public debate in the second half of the 1960s.
These documents form part of the material donated to the
Monash University Library's Rare Book Collection by Australian journalist
and war correspondent, Denis Warner. Of particular interest is a transcript
of an interview with a Viet Cong defector Bui Cong Tuong, which describes in
detail the role of Wilfred Burchett in the North Vietnamese propaganda
- 70. Burchett, Wilfred, 1911-1983.
Passport : an autobiography / Wilfred Burchett. (Melbourne : Thomas
Nelson (Australia), 1969)
- This shows a photograph of "The author at a meeting with
the late Ho Chi Minh in the garden of the Presidential Palace, Hanoi, in
March, 1964." This was the photograph referred to by the Viet Cong defector in
the interview transcript on display (see item 69)
- 71. Vietnam -- and this in the name of freedom! :
Vietnam Moratorium, May 8, 9, 10. (Sydney : K.J. McLeod, National
Co-ordinating Committee, )
- Australia became involved in the Vietnam War when Menzies
announced, on 29 April 1965 that one thousand Australian troops would be sent
to aid the American and South Vietnamese soldiers in the fight against the
Viet Cong. By October 1967 Australia's commitment had increased to eight
thousand, but these numbers began to be scaled down in 1969/70, and by the end
of 1971 all Australian troops had been withdrawn. Five hundred had died and
two thousand five hundred had been wounded.
The Vietnam War was a deeply divisive issue in Australia,
especially after the introduction of conscription for National Service in
1965. There were major demonstrations, "Moratoriums", in the capital cities
and massive disruptions to Universities. Monash was one of the main centres
of conflict, with student activists such as Albert Langer leading various
actions against the University administration.
As well as having large holdings of the pamphlets
published on this subject at the time, we have a special collection of the
material circulated at Monash.
- 72. Neville, Richard, 1941-
Play power / Richard Neville. (London : Cape, 1970)
["Headopoly, an underground almanac poster-game" in pocket.]
- Richard Neville's career in London was as controversial as
his earlier career in Sydney. Oz Magazine was prosecuted after the publication
of the "schoolkids issue" in 1971. Neville was found guilty of attempting to
"corrupt public morals" and was sentenced to fifteen months jail. As with the
earlier case the sentence was overturned on appeal.
Play Power quickly became a counter-cultural
guidebook. It was widely-read partly because of the appendices which listed
addresses and contacts for "Travelling-- transport, grass, crash-pads", and
"Free London", giving details of where to go in London for "free
accommodation", "free false-identities" and even "free money". Its
psychedelic cover-art by Martin Sharp added to the book's appeal.
The Headopoly game was banned in Australia, so the copies
on sale here lacked this feature.
- 73. The Living daylights. [Absorbed by:
Nation review] (West Melbourne, Vic. : Incorporated Newsagencies Company Pty
- Neville returned to Australia in 1973 to edit Living
Daylights. This was a counter-cultural paper which he used to promote his
philosophy of enjoying life, an enjoyment aided partly by the liberating
effects of marihuana. The slogan was "Plough in the crap and plant out the
seeds", and the spectacular rainbow graphic in the first issue showed a man
breaking through to another dimension.
In 1974 the paper was absorbed into the satirical, but
rather more soberly political journal, the Nation Review, edited by
- 74. Australian Labor Party.
Labor Party policy speech, 1972. [Canberra] : [Australian Labor Party
Federal Secretariat], 1972.
- Gough Whitlam's policy speech was given at the Blacktown
Civic Centre in Sydney on 13th November 1972 to launch the
successful "It's time" campaign. The ALP were elected to federal government
for the first time since 1949, defeating the Liberals under Billy McMahon.
Among the many initiatives of the Whitlam government was the ending of
conscription and the establishment of Medibank.
- 75. [Collection of election ephemera associated
with the Federal election in 1975]
- The 1975 election was held after the Governor-General Sir
John Kerr had dismissed the Whitlam government on 11th November
1975. The dismissal has passed into Labor folk-lore, after Gough exhorted the
faithful to "Maintain your rage!"
The sacking came about after the leader of the Opposition,
Malcolm Fraser, had used the Senate to block supply in the wake of the
Khemlani Loans Affair.
The election was bitterly fought, but Fraser had several
advantages. He had been appointed by Kerr as the caretaker Prime Minister,
and Whitlam's social reforms, popular as they had been at first, could be
seen as increasingly extravagant when, in 1975, economic growth slowed in
the shadow of a global recession. The Liberals defeated the ALP in a
landslide and Malcolm Fraser retained power until defeated by the ALP under
Bob Hawke in 1983.
The election ephemera on display includes such oddities as
a Moses David, Children of God pamphlet, Richman, poorman, "special
election edition". The Children of God were a fundamentalist Christian group
which originated in California, and were active in Australia in the 1970s.
They espoused free love and practised recruitment through "flirty fishing",
but were not usually involved politically. This pamphlet encouraged people
to vote against Fraser.
Click to view
- 76. Clyne, Peter, 1927-1987.
New adventures in tax avoidance / Peter Clyne. (Sydney : Rydge
Publications Pty Ltd, 1980)
- Peter Clyne was a lawyer who specialised in the Taxation
Act. While writing a monthly column on legal developments for Rydges
magazine, he became interested in tax minimisation and produced his first
book, Adventures in tax avoidance (with 120 practical tax hints),
published by Rydges in 1969.
He was notorious for sending the Commissioner of Taxation
a red rose each year, claiming it was all he owed the tax man and boasting
that he could do the same on behalf of his clients.
He became increasingly outrageous, publishing How to
use tax havens
in 1973 and Peter Clyne's Tax dodgers' dictionary in 1980.
The 1970s and early 1980s were the heyday of such ploys as
the "Bottom of the Harbour Scheme".
- 77. Ward, Phil.
Azaria! What the jury were not told / Phil Ward. [Epping, N.S.W.] :
Click to view
- 78. Chamberlain Innocence Committee.
New forensic evidence in support of an inquiry into the convictions of M.
and L. Chamberlain / Chamberlain Innocence Committee. ([Sydney] :
Chamberlain Innocence Committee, )
- The issue which engrossed the public's attention throughout
the 1980s was the Lindy Chamberlain case. On the evening of 17 August 1980
nine-week old Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from her parent's tent while the
family were on a camping holiday at Ayer's Rock. Azaria's mother Lindy claimed
a dingo had taken the baby. Extensive searches failed to locate the body.
A Coroner's inquest on 20 February 1981 found that a dingo
was most likely to blame. However, a further inquest was held in September
which looked at new forensic evidence. Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were
committed for trial. On 29 October 1982 the jury found Lindy guilty of
murder and she was sentenced to life imprisonment. Michael was found guilty
as an accessory but was released on a bond.
The Australian public was split on the issue. Theories
abounded as to what had really happened. The Chamberlain case the talk of
every dinner party and every work place. It was the "Tichborne Affair" of
the twentieth century.
The fact that they were Seventh Day Adventists and that
they had showed no excessive emotion influenced the general public against
them. People had theories as to the significance of the name, "Azaria". It
was from the Bible, and, it was said, meant "sacrifice in the
desert". Witchcraft was suspected; Lindy always wore black. She was
suffering from post-natal depression. One of Azaria's brothers did it and
the parents were covering-up. The Aborigines were involved. They had buried
the body to conceal the fact that a dingo had done it. All these rumours,
and many others, circulated at the time.
Azaria's matinee jacket was discovered at the base of
Ayer's Rock in 1985. The case was re-opened. Lindy was pardoned and
released. In 1987, a movie, Evil Angels, was made from the
best-selling book by John Bryson, starring Meryl Streep as Lindy.
The two items on display were written by people convinced
of Lindy's innocence. Phil Ward gives details of the movements of two
dingoes which were at the camp-site on the fatal night, and makes a
compelling case that one of them had in fact taken the baby. The book
features a fold-out map of the dingoes' tracks on the night of 17 August
The publication by the Chamberlain Innocence Committee has
detailed information calling into question the forensic evidence presented
at the murder trial. The colour photographs set out to show that the tears
in the jacket could indeed have been made by a dingo's teeth, and that the
evidence of blood on the floor of the car was mistaken. In fact, this last
point proved crucial when the case was re-opened. What had been sworn to
earlier as blood in the base of the car was proved to have been
fire-retardant present from the factory in all similar model Toranas.
- 79. Liberal Party of Australia.
How the GST will benefit you and your family / [authorised by A.Robb,
Liberal Party.] (Alexandria, N.S.W. : Champion Communications, )
- 80. He's come to suck your blood : John Hewson's
Fightbacula. (Alexandria, [N.S.W.] : Diamond Press, )
- These are examples of ephemera circulated during the March
1993 election campaign. Paul Keating had replaced Bob Hawke as Prime Minister
and leader of the ALP in December 1991, and was not expected to be able to
retain office against John Hewson and the Liberals. However, when Hewson
unveiled his plans to impose a GST, Keating was able to play upon the public's
fear of a new tax and the ALP was re-elected.
Hewson was replaced as Leader of the Opposition by John
Howard. On 2 March 1996 the ALP was defeated at the polls and Howard became
Prime Minister. One of the initiatives he undertook was to introduce a GST.
- 81. Reconciliation / [Streetwize Comics ;
commissioned and funded by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation]
(Leichhardt, N.S.W. : Streetwize Comics, c1997)
- Paul Keating was credited with introducing Federal Native
Title legislation, in response to the "Mabo" land claims, so named after Land
Rights activist, Eddie Mabo, who had campaigned against the doctrine of
John Howard has taken a more intractable line on
Most notoriously, Howard refuses to apologise to the
Aborigines for their treatment at the hands of white Australian for the past
two hundred years. Activists for the Aboriginal cause organised a "National
Sorry Day" on 25 March 1998, but the Prime Minister still refuses to say,
The issue of "Reconciliation" has gathered pace and has
there is a groundswell of support among Australians. However, there is still
a fear, particularly in the rural electorates, of widespread land rights
claims if the Government makes "reconciliation" an official policy, because
this may be seen as acknowledging guilt at having unlawfully occupied
- 82. Dogs and docks : the real story on
Australia's waterfront. [Melbourne : s.n., 1998]
- Although with enterprise bargaining agreements, the Trade
Unions no longer have the power they previously enjoyed, there are still
examples of bitter labour disputes which take place in heavily unionised
workplaces such as building sites and the waterfront.
This pamphlet was issued as part of the dispute between
the Maritime Union of Australia with Patrick Stevedoring. A lock-out took
place on 7 April 1998. Patrick's sent in security guards accompanied by
savage dogs to ensure the workers could not re-enter the sites. Ports around
Australia were affected.
On 8 April the Federal Court ruled that the Company could
not terminate their workers employment. This ruling was contested but was
upheld and on 7 May, the workers were allowed to resume work.
- 83. Yes/No Referendum '99 : your official
Referendum pamphlet. ([Canberra] : Australian Electoral Commission,
- On 6 November 1999 a referendum was held as to whether or
not Australia should become a republic. The pro-republican forces lost partly
because they were divided over the exact form they felt such a republic should
While it was, and is, a divisive issue, with the
Catholic/Protestant sectarian divide very much in evidence, public opinion
appears strong enough to indicate that Australia will become a republic
early in the new century.
- 84. [Collection of posters and ephemera circulated to
promote various political causes such as the Republican movement, S11, and
events such as dance parties.]
- We collect contemporary fliers, posters and pamphlets on
all topics. Although there is an emphasis on political affairs, this
collection also includes material on all aspects of popular culture.
- 85. Smith, Henry B.
The sheep and wool industry of Australasia : a practical handbook for
sheep farmers and wool-classers, with chapters on wool-buying and selling,
sheep skins and kindred products / by Henry B. Smith. 2nd ed. (Melbourne :
Whitcombe and Tombs, [1917?])
- 86. O'Callaghan, M. A. (Michael Angelo), b. 1868.
Dairying in Australasia : farm and factory / by M.A. O'Callaghan. ;
with contributions by specialists (Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1912)
- 87. The Farmers' handbook / compiled by P.G.
Gilder. 3rd ed. (Sydney : Dept. of Agriculture, 1918)
- For much of the twentieth century the Australian economy
relied heavily on its primary produce, beef and diary cattle, sheep, and crops
such as wheat. The three books on display are representative of the standard
reference books for farmers of the early twentieth century.
- 88. Matthams, James.
The rabbit pest in Australia : with chapters on foxes, dingoes, wombats,
the Fences Act of Victoria and noxious weeds / by James Matthams.
(Melbourne : Speciality Press, 1921)
- 89. Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board (Australia)
The prickly pears acclimatised in Australia / published under the
authority of the Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board. (Sydney : Alfred James Kent,
Government Printer, 1925)
- Apart from the recurrent problems of flood, fire and
drought, the Australian farmer has had to contend with introduced animal and
Despite the success of the viral disease myxomatosis,
introduced in the 1950s and "1080", a poison used from the 1960s, rabbits
are still a significant pest. Another virus was released in the 1990s which
has had a noticeable effect on the reducing the rabbit population.
The Prickly Pear was eradicated as a pest by the
cactoblasits moth, introduced from South America in 1926.
- 90. Timbury, F. R. V.
The battle for the inland : the case for the Bradfield and Idriess plans
/ by F.R.V. Timbury ; with a foreword by Ion L. Idriess. (Sydney : Angus and
- Australia is an arid land and there have been many schemes
proposed to irrigate the interior, and claim a greater proportion of the land
for pastoral and agricultural pursuits.
John Job Crew Bradfield (1867-1943) was a civil engineer,
best-known as the designer and supervising engineer on the Sydney Harbour
Bridge. He was also involved in the construction of the Storey Bridge in
Brisbane, and the planning of Sydney's electric railway system. His
irrigation scheme involved damming the Burdekin River in Queensland, and
causing the water to be diverted through a tunnel to the land behind the
Great Dividing Range.
Ion Idriess (1889-1979) is best-known as a popular author
who wrote about country Australia. His irrigation scheme also proposed that
water from the Queensland coastal rivers be diverted to the rivers which
flowed inland; the intention being to make Lake Eyre a year-round source of
Neither scheme was ever acted upon, although the Snowy
Mountains Scheme in south-eastern Australia involved water-diversion on an
equally grand scale. This was begun after the war, by Prime Minister Ben
Chifley in 1949 and was completed in 1972. It greatly increased Australia's
potential for power generation and increased the irrigation capacity of
lands in the Riverina and northern Victoria.
- 91. Victoria police gazette monthly photo
supplement. (Melbourne : Government Printer, 1939-1941)
Continues: Photo supplement to the Victorian police gazette
Continued by: Victoria police gazette photo supplement
- We hold a set of this publication from 1940 to 1941 and a
set of its successor, Victoria police gazette photo supplement, from
1941 to December 1944. We also hold a run of the Western Australian
An in-house publication to be circulated to Police
Stations throughout Victoria, it included the official police photographs of
offenders, their identifying characteristics, the crimes they had committed
and their "modus operandi", and a list of known associates.
- 92. Brennan, T. C. (Thomas
Cornelius), b. 1871.
The Gun Alley tragedy : record of the trial of Colin Campbell Ross,
including a critical examination of the Crown case with a summary of the new
evidence / by T.C. Brennan. (Melbourne : Gordon & Gotch, 1922)
- 93. Ghurka, Madame.
The murder of Alma Tirtschke : a challenge to T.C. Brennan: with a reply
to his book "The Gun Alley tragedy" / by Madame Ghurka. 2nd ed. (Melbourne
: Fraser & Jenkinson, 1923)
- On the morning of 31 December 1921, the body of a 12
year-old girl, Alma Tirtschke, was found off Gun Alley, near the Eastern
Market, Bourke Street, Melbourne (where the Southern Cross Hotel now stands).
Colin Ross, the licensee of the Australian Wine Shop in the Markets was
charged, convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed in Old Melbourne
Jail on 24 April 1922, having protested his innocence to the last.
Brennan was the defence lawyer, and wrote his book to
demonstrate that there had been a miscarriage of justice. Madame Ghurka was
a fortune teller in the Market. Her evidence and that of her friend Olly
Maddox, were crucial in the conviction.
Forensic evidence was produced to show that blond hair on
a blanket in the wine shop at the time was identical with the hair of the
dead girl. This has recently been contradicted by Kevin Morgan in research
for his forthcoming book, Gun Alley. He is seeking to re-open the
case in hopes that a "Petition of mercy" to the Governor will result in
Ross's name being cleared.
- 94. Archibald, Bill.
The Bradley case / Bill Archibald. 2nd ed. (Sydney : Horwitz, 1962.)
- On 7 July 1960, 8 year-old schoolboy, Graeme Thorne, went
missing on the way from his home in Bondi to school at Scots College, Sydney.
On 1 June, Graeme's father, Bazil had won £100,000 in the Opera House Lottery.
The kidnapper rang on the afternoon of the 7th July and demanded
£25,000 ransom. The ransom was not paid. The kidnapper did not ring back, and
the boy's body was found on 16 August at Seaforth.
Stephen Leslie Bradley, born Istvan Baranyay in Budapest,
Hungary, was arrested at Colombo, en route for England. He was tried and
found guilty. Forensic evidence had linked him to the blanket in which the
body was found wrapped. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he died in jail in
- 95. Chandler, Geoffrey Arnold, 1930-
So you think I did it / [by] Geoffrey Chandler. (Melbourne, Sun Books
- The Bogle/Chandler case has intrigued Australian ever since
New Year's Day 1963 when the bodies of Gilbert Bogle and Margaret Chandler
were found on the banks of the Lane Cove River after a New Years Eve party.
They had been violently ill, but there was no obvious cause of death.
Bogle was a research scientist, a colleague of Geoffrey
Chandler, Margaret's husband. Popular wisdom was that Chandler had killed
the couple using some undetectable poison, hence the title of his book
written to clear his name, So you think I did it.
As with the Gun Alley murder, there have been recent
developments in the case. Bill Jenkings, the Police roundsman who covered
the story for the Sydney Daily Mirror, argued that one of the other
men at the party, knowing that the two people were leaving to engage in an
illicit liaison, spiked their drinks with Hydarex, a brand of dog-worming
tablets, as a practical joke, to spoil their romantic tryst. Unfortunately
he gave them too high a dose and it proved fatal.
Another explanation has been put forward as a result of
forensic tests by American toxicologist, Fredric Rieders, who discovered
traces of LSD in tissue samples from the victims provided by the NSW
Institute of Forensic Medicine.
- 96. Sparkle. (Melbourne : W.J. Carroll,
Continued by: Pep (Melbourne, Vic.)
Library has: no. 5-12 (Apr.-Nov. 1923)
- 97. Pep. (Melbourne : W.J. Carroll,
- Continues: Sparkle (Melbourne, Vic.)
Library has: no. 13, 24-40 (Dec. 1923, Nov. 1924-Mar. 1926)
W. J. Carroll wrote humorous works under the pseudonym "Ame Perdue".
Sparkle, and its successor, Pep are typical of the light, risqué
style of sex publications. One of the issues of Sparkle
on display even dabbles in experimental science, with an article of "Mental
telepathy in the nude". Later Australian titles in this tradition were the
Man stable of Man, Pocket Man, and Man Junior as well as
Gals and Gags: a portfolio of laughs and lovelies.
- 98. Squire. (Sydney : Squire Magazines,
- This was an Australian magazine based on the Playboy
formula of nudes, lifestyle articles, fiction and cartoons. It died when
and Penthouse became more readily available locally.
- 99. King's Cross whisper. (Sydney : South Pacific
Press Services, 1965-)
- This was the stereotypical pornographic paper, purchased
surreptitiously, and passed from hand to hand in pubs, factories and on
building sites. Its attraction was based unashamedly on nude photographs.
There was no attempt made to deliver a glossy product with serious articles of
the type that civil libertarians could publicly support.
Click to view
- 100. Young, gay, and proud. (Melbourne :
Gay Teachers' and Students' Group, 1978)
- Young, gay, and proud encouraged homosexual
high-school students to "come out" and accept their sexual orientation.
The circulation of this book to Victorian school students
in 1978 caused a public outcry similar to that caused in the early 1970s
when The Little Red School Book was widely distributed.
- 101. Hamilton, J. L.
The Torture of a lover: an illustration ([Brisbane, 1998])
Copy no. 1 of 3.
- This is an example of a livre d'artiste. We have a
large collection of such works. They use the general format of the book as a
medium to express an artistic concept. In this case the artist is conveying
the emotional pain involved in a sexual relationship.
- 102. Kippax, Alan.
Anti body-line / by Alan Kippax in collaboration with Eric P.
Barbour. (Sydney : Sydney & Melbourne Publishing Co., 1933)
- "Bodyline" was the term used to describe the style of fast
bowling employed by the English cricket team during their 1932/33 tour of
Australia. Don Bradman had scored over 900 runs against them during the
Australian tour of England in 1930 and they felt they had to use extreme "leg
theory" tactics in an attempt to neutralise the Australian batsmen. The
intention was to bowl at the batsman to hamper the run-scoring strokes, and to
pack the leg-side field, in hopes of picking up catches when the batsmen
The English won the series four games to one, but several
Australian were injured and the issue created a great deal of tension
between the two countries. Bodyline added to the resentment Australians felt
towards England at the time, as a result of the adverse publicity given to
the Bank of England representative, Sir Otto Niemeyer, who was then visiting
Australia trying to impose a plan to secure overseas loans despite
Australia's sufferings in the Depression.
Click to view
- 103. Solar Plexus.
The Darcy story : from blacksmith's apprentice to world's champion boxer
/ by Solar Plexus. (Sydney : New Century Press, [1919?])
- The boxer Les Darcy rivals Phar Lap in the pantheon of
tragic Australian heroes. After winning the Australian heavyweight title in
1916, he planned a tour of America. However, he was afraid conscription was
about to be introduced. Branded by his detractors as a shirker because he had
not already enlisted, he fled the country on the eve of the 1916 conscription
referendum. Unfortunately, he was prevented from fighting in the United States
because of a dispute with a promoter, who, when Darcy refused to fight on his
terms, began a smear campaign branding him a deserter. He died in Memphis on
24 May 1917 from blood poisoning, the result of dental work.
Darcy was of Irish descent, and a devout Catholic. This
added sectarian fuel to the public controversy surrounding his flight to
America and his death.
- 104. The Arcadia fine cut book of wrestling.
[Melbourne : Carreras, 194-?]
- Wrestling has always had a relatively small but devoted
following. The appeal of the local product was probably at its peak in the
late 1960s and early 1970s when Jack Little's television shows, "Ringside with
the Wrestlers" and "World Championship Wrestling" were being shown.
- 105. Spinty, Jack.
Phar Lap : world's greatest race horse / by Jack Spinty. (Randwick,
N.S.W. : Telvent, 1987)
- This is a facsimile reprint of a booklet released a few
days after the death of Phar Lap in 1932.
Phar Lap was a legendary Australian race-horse. Trained by
Harry Telford, he won 37 races from 51 starts, including fourteen wins in a
row. His successes included the 1930 Melbourne Cup in which he carried 9
stone 12 lbs.
He went to America in 1932, won one race but then died,
apparently of poisoning. Conspiracy theories abounded, the most popular
being that he had been "got-at" by American gangsters who stood to lose
money if he won. Tommy Woodcock, who was training the horse at the time,
admitted on his death bed that he thought Phar Lap died as a result of being
given too much of a particular tonic which included arsenic.
- 106. Sports novels. (Sydney : Thorn Publications,
- Absorbed by: Racetrack
This magazine gives us an idea of the range of sports
popular in Australia in the period after World War II. Football, boxing,
cycling, speedway driving, as well as trotting, greyhounds and horse-racing
all featured in its pages. The title is something of a misnomer as the
articles are fact, rather than fiction.
We have a large and growing collection of material in this
field. Initially we were fortunate to be presented with a donation of a large
collection form Melbourne food expert, Alexandra Michell. Her collection was
especially strong in 18th and 19th century French cookery
books, but she also donated many English and Australian works. Sandy now runs a
restaurant in Noosa, but has maintained her commitment to donating books and
funds to continue building this collection.
A study of cook-books and books on household management gives
an important view of the social life of each period.
- 107. Wilkinson, W. Percy (William Percy)
European regional appellations considered in the light of international
conventions and treaties as improper descriptions for Australian wines /
by W. Percy Wilkinson. (Melbourne : J. L. Anderson and Sons, )
- Wilkinson was the Director of the Commonwealth Laboratory.
He delivered several papers on the subject of the appellation of Australian
wines. He pointed out that European wine producing regions had stringent
regulations forbidding the use of names such as "champagne", "burgundy" and
even "port", yet Australian wineries continued to use them. He argued that the
continuation of this practice was undermining Australia's credibility in
international wine markets. He believed that we should adopt the practice of
using grape varieties or local geographical names. It was not until the 1980s
that Wilkinson's advice was acted upon.
- 108. The Wine and food cookery book, embodying
recipes for lovers of good dishes / [introduction by Eric J. Mish].
[Melbourne? : s.n., 193-]
- With its cover-title, An unusual cookery book, this
was produced by one of the groups opposed to Prohibition in Australia.
Advertisements exhorting housewives to vote against prohibition adorn the
end-papers. The intention was to promote in Australians the appreciation of
fine wines with a meal, so the recipes are grouped according to the wine or
other liquor to be used; the final section gives us recipes with beer,
including a recipe for "Christmas pudding, using carrots and old ale".
- 109. Everylady's cook-book : containing over
1000 recipes tested and proved good, with many splendid lessons on every sort
of cookery / edited and compiled by Lucy Drake. 5th ed. (Melbourne :
Fitchett Bros., [193-?])
- Lucy Drake described herself on the title-page as "Late
Cookery Expert Swinburne Technical College". The book is described as "a guide
for all young brides. A friend to all housekeepers". Miss Drake died before
publication of the first edition.
Click to view
- 110. Vegemite : pure vegetable extract.
(Melbourne : Kraft Walker Cheese Co., [195-?])
- Vegemite was developed in Australia. It was first marketed
in 1923 as "Parwill", being in direct competition with the English product,
"Marmite". This did not "take" with the public and the name was changed after
a national competition, to "Vegemite". It is a yeast extract, and, being
peculiar to Australia, has achieved a national cult status.
This die-cut recipe book features pages of recipes using
Vegemite, and encomiums extolling the virtues of the spread under headings
such as "Vegemite for a clear skin".
- 111. Clarke, Donovan, 1904-1987.
Cookery for occasions / by Donovan Clarke ; decorations by William
Constable. (Sydney : Sydney Ure Smith, [1949?])
- This cook-book was marketed for young singles. The first
chapter is entitled, "The bachelor entertains". Other chapter headings include
"Dinner party to impress" and "Dinner party for economy". There are also
separate chapters on Chinese, Spanish, Indian, French and Greek meals.
- 112. Geechoun, Roy
Cooking the Chinese way / by Roy Geechoun ; illustrated by Ruth
Shackel. (Melbourne : W.D. Joynt, 1948)
- The introduction to this work begins,
There was a time when it could be said, I think with a
good deal of justification, that Australians produced the best food in the
world, but as cooks they were hopeless. But this is certainly not true
today. (p. 7)
This was the first Chinese cookery book written in
Australia by a Chinese. Roy Geechoun was involved in the restaurant trade in
Little Bourke Street and was able to guarantee the authenticity of the
recipes he published.
The most skilled Chinese chefs are not unnaturally
reluctant to reveal their secrets with the result that most of the recipes
which are occasionally made available invariably have their shortcomings. In
the compilation of the recipes in this book I have been fortunate to have
the complete co-operation of an expert Chinese chef who has freely made
available his wide experience. (p. 8)
- 113. Cobb, Dita.
Dahlings it's delicious: an uninhibited cook book / by Dita Cobb.
Illustrated by Graeme Cohen. [Gladesville, Sydney: Gareth Powell, 1967].
- Dita Cobb was a Sydney socialite and media personality in
the Lillian Frank mould. Through her book we can recreate the dinner parties
of the bohemian set in Sydney in the 1960s.
- 114. Mietta's twentieth anniversary
celebrations : winter 1994. ([Melbourne : Mietta's] 1994)
- Mietta O'Donnell was a Melbourne restaurateur and food
Mietta's, her establishment at 7 Alfred Place, was the venue for
concerts and comedies, as well as being a popular place to eat.
Mietta was preparing a guide to restaurants in Tasmania
when she died in a car crash near Burnie on 4 January 2001.
- 115. Wirth, Philip, 1864-1937.
The life of Philip Wirth : a lifetime with an Australian circus / by
Philip Wirth. [Coogee, N.S.W. : P. Wirth, 1935?]
- Philip Wirth and his brother George were born into a family
of travelling musicians. They joined Ashton's Circus in 1881, and formed their
own, Wirth Bros. Circus, in the late 1880s. This became the largest in
Australia and was the only circus allowed to continue touring when petrol
rationing was introduced during World War II.
Wirth's, Bullen's and Ashton's circuses have long been
part of the Australian entertainment scene. They are traditional circuses
with animal acts, trapeze artists and clowns. Nowadays, with the rise in
animal rights activists, troupes such as the Fruit Fly Circus place their
emphasis more on trapeze and gymnastic acts, and leave out the animal acts
altogether, thereby lessening their appeal and diminishing the spectacle.
- 116. Rene, Roy, 1892-1954.
Mo's memoirs / Roy Rene. (Melbourne : Reed and Harris, 1945)
- Roy Rene was born Henry van der Sluys in Adelaide. He
adopted his stage name, "Roy Rene" in 1910 and in 1916 teamed with
straight-man, Nat Phillips to form Stiffy and Mo, a comedy duet on the
then-lucrative vaudeville circuit. The duet broke up in 1925 but Rene's
popularity continued to grow. In 1934 he made a movie, its title taken from
his most famous catch-phrase, Strike me Lucky. In the 1940s he turned
to radio with his successful show, McCackie Mansions. With his wife
Sadie he performed sketches with a Jewish flavour, but he was best-known for
his bawdiness and double-entendres.
His Memoirs were ghosted by Max Harris and Elizabeth
- 117. Eve in ebony : the story of "Jedda" / by
Charles Chauvel [et al.]. [Sydney : Columbia Pictures Proprietary Ltd., c1954]
- Charles Chauvel was an actor turned director. His movie
career began when he directed silent features in the 1920s. In 1933 he made
In the Wake of the Bounty, with Errol Flynn as Fletcher Christian, Flynn's
first starring role.
Jedda (1955) was the first Australian colour
feature film. It is a story of race relations filmed on location in the
Northern Territory. The Aboriginal girl, Jedda, is an orphan brought up in a
white homestead. She is attracted to Marbuck, one of the tribal Aborigines
and they run away together. However, they are the wrong caste for each
other, and under Aboriginal law are unable to marry. Pursued by the whites
and sung to death by the tribal elders, Marbuck jumps from a cliff holding
Jedda in his arms.
Click to view
- 118. Lee Gordon presents "All American rock
spectacular" : with Crash Craddock, Johnny Restivo, The Diamonds, Duane Eddy,
Eddie Cochran, Santo & Johnny. (Sydney : Publicity Press, [1963?])
- Legendary Rock promoter, Lee Gordon was an American who
came to Sydney in 1953. He was the first to introduce Rock ‘n' Roll into
Australia, bringing out Bill Haley and the Comets in January 1957.
By 1962, Gordon estimated he had imported 470 American
performers, ranging from strippers and rollerskaters to Louis Armstrong and
In 1998 an Australian tele-movie, The Singer and
Swinger about Johnny O'Keefe and Lee Gordon, was released starring Ben
Mendelsohn as Lee Gordon. Gordon had given JOK his first big break allowing
him to perform on his touring line-ups, beginning late in 1957 when he was
given a slot on a bill with Little Richard, Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps,
Gordon lived fast, partied hard, and took a lot of drugs.
He died from heart failure, alone and broke, in a London hotel in 1963, aged
- 119. Electric : Juan Atkins, Detroit USA,
Friday Oct 17. [Melbourne : Electric, 1997]
- A booklet distributed to promote a dance party. This is an
example of the use of Che Guevara as a pop culture icon. There are signs that
he is about to be replaced by another charismatic, but dead, left-winger, the
Mexican revolutionary, "Zap", Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919).
The most popular forms of entertainment among young people
throughout the 1980s, ‘90s and today are discos and dance parties.
- 120. The New idea : a women's home journal for
Australasia. (Melbourne : T.S. Fitchett, 1902-1911) Continued by:
- The original New Idea appears rather more serious
than its modern name-sake. However, it was fairly typical of women's magazines
of the late 19th, early 20th century. It included advice
to readers, fiction, competitions, beauty hints, and articles on handicrafts
and cookery. As well as this, the issue on display (1 October 1902) includes,
"A chat with Miss Vida Goldstein, Australasian delegate to Women's Suffrage
Congress recently held in America".
Vida Goldstein (1869-1949) was one of the foremost
Australian suffragettes, campaigning vigorously for female suffrage. In 1911
she went to England to work with the Pankhursts on their campaigns. She ran
for Federal Parliament unsuccessfully, five times. In 1903 she ran for the
Senate and polled over 50,000 votes.
She was also a journalist, being the editor of the Womens
Sphere (1900-05) and the Woman Voter (1909-19). One of the Melbourne
federal electorates is named after her.
- 121. Woman: incorporating the Woman's Budget
(Sydney: Sungravure, 1934-1956)
- During the war the women's magazines did their bit to keep
up spirits. The cover illustration of the issue on display (24 May 1943) is a
reproduction of an oil painting of Princess Elizabeth in uniform, by Frank
Johnson. Also included in the exhibition is a reproduction of a colour
advertisement from this issue, "Patsy was a WOW on the assembly line, but
after work …" (p. 10) It is an ad. for Lifebouy soap. With all that work in
the munitions factory Patsy had developed a case of B. O.
Click to view
- 122. Women in the engineering industry :
special report, May 31st, 1943. (Sydney : Amalgamated Engineering Union,
- During World War II women were encouraged to work in
factories, replacing the men on active duty, in order to maintain levels of
production. This pamphlet, with a "Foreword" by Muriel Heagney, welcomes
female members to the Amalgamated Engineering Union and puts the case for
equal pay. It also addresses the issue of what will happen after the war.
Click to view
- 123. Harland, Margaret.
Woman's place in society / by Margaret Harland. (Melbourne :
- This booklet was written by a woman from the Commonwealth
Reconstruction Training Scheme involved in the re-entry of service-women into
civilian life. It is a quietly reasoned argument in favour of encouraging
women in the work place, giving them equal pay and allowing them equal
opportunities for promotion.
- 124. Women in our new world. ([Sydney] : Current
Book Distributors, 1947)
- This is the Communist Party of Australia's view of the
It is written in an attractive style, as Utopian fiction,
with descriptions of life in old, or "capitalist" Australia contrasted with
the new "socialist" Australia.
Margaret works in a machine-building factory. In the
capitalist days she stayed at home and tried to raise three children on the
basic wage. They lived in a two-roomed, condemned cottage, with leaky
ceilings, one gas-ring, no sink, no bath, and a mud floor in the laundry.
Alec was a labourer, in a soap factory. He worked back
four nights a week and slept most of the weekends.
When Socialism began to get under way, Margaret went to
work. She didn't need to. By then Alec had got himself trained as a
carpenter, and had become such a good tradesman that he was earning several
times his old wage; and prices had fallen by half, so there was plenty for
They had moved into a self-contained flat in a converted
mansion. The old house-- in fact he whole street, - was being pulled down in
a huge slum-clearance scheme. Not before it was time, Margaret said! (p. 7)
She begins work in the Eureka Machine Building plant, and
when she falls pregnant does not lose her job.
She was put onto lighter work, and six weeks before the
baby was due she went on leave, on full pay.
The doctor at the pre-natal clinic in her suburb said that
all was going well.
Don't worry about the birth Mrs. Morris," she encouraged.
"You'll have no hospital expenses, of course, and there's the new painless
birth treatment for everyone now. I felt nothing at all when I had my last
baby, and he was born in two hours." (p. 8-9)
Seen from the viewpoint of modern Australia, we notice
that many of the aspects of the Socialist Utopia have now been introduced by
successive Australian governments, (except the "painless child birth").
Progress in housing and working conditions, and medical benefits have all
contributed to lessening the attractiveness of the Communist Party with its
promise of better times after the revolution.
- 125. National Women's Conference on Feminism and
Socialism (1974 : Melbourne)
Papers from the National Women's Conference on Feminism and Socialism,
Melbourne, October 1974. (Melbourne : Women's Conference Committee, 1974)
- This conference was held at Melbourne University on 5 & 6
October 1974. It was part of the wave of feminist action which swept Australia
during the early 1970s. Germaine Greer, who was educated at Star of the Sea
convent in Melbourne had published The Female Eunuch in 1970.
Over 700 women attended the conference, many more than
were anticipated, and it was considered a resounding success. The papers
were on subjects such as "Sexism and the left", "Nobody lives happily ever
after", "Feminist workers and Unions"; as well as papers on lesbianism, and
wages for housewives. There was also a supplementary volume which published
five extra papers.
- 126. City Newsboys' Society (Melbourne, Vic.)
Annual report of the committee of the ... City Newsboys' Society.
(Melbourne City Newsboys' Society. Annual report... (Melbourne, Vic. : The
Society) 1914/15 issue on display.
- The City Newsboys' Society began in the 1890s and ran until
1940. It was a charitable association with headquarters in Newsboys Hall,
Coromandel Place in the City where boys could come for meals and classes. The
intention was to help "Melbourne street boys".
- 127. Empire annual for Australian boys (London
:Religious Tract Society, [191-])
- 128. Empire annual for Australian girls
(London :Religious Tract Society, [191-])
- These children's annuals were marketed in the countries of
the Commonwealth, or British Empire. There were stories from each country,
including Australia. In the particular issues on display, both published
during World War I, we find the Boys' annual includes "Some Australian bush
yarns" by Edward Roper, described as "touching the uses of a revolver and
other colonial topics", and the Girls' Annual includes, "The Bush-fire bride",
by B. H. Righton. In addition to the usual adventure and mystery stories, the
Girls' volume includes an article, "Why not business careers for girls?"
- 129. Trencho [game] : the new war game.
Melbourne, (Vic.) : Climax print., [ca. 1915]
- Both of the Empire Annuals carry stories and
articles on the Great War. Trencho was an Australian board-game from
the same period, which encouraged children's interest in the battles on the
Click to view
- 130. Bancks, J. C. (James Charles), 1889-1952.
More adventures of Ginger Meggs. (Sydney : Sun Newspapers, 1928-)
- Ginger Meggs, a cartoon character created by the Sydney
artist J. C. Bancks, first appeared in the Sydney Sunday Sun in
November 1921. With his pet monkey and pet dog, Ginger was a knockabout
Australian lad, mischievous, but good-hearted. The comic strips reflect
Australian childhood and family life of the time. The volume of Sunbeams,
the annual cumulation of Ginger Meggs strips, which is on display dates from
1943. It includes storylines relating to World War II. In one adventure Ginger
and his mates bring down a Japanese Zero fighter with a skyrocket on Guy
- 131. Manning, Arthur Edward.
The bodgie : a study in psychological abnormality / by A.E. Manning ;
illustrated by Dennis Turner. (Sydney ; London : Angus & Robertson, 1958)
- One of the regular characters in Ginger Meggs was Tiger
Kelly, an older boy, a larrikin, semi-criminal type who specialised in
bullying the younger boys. By the late 1950s, early 1960s, this type was
widely observed in Australia, congregating in gangs around milk bars and
motor-bike shops. They were dubbed, "Bodgies" and their girlfriends were
"Widgies". The psychologists and sociologists studied them as "juvenile
- 132. Nestlé Company (Australia)
A book for mothers / issued by Nestles Foods. (Sydney : Nestles
- 133. Our babies : incorporating pre-natal care, baby
welfare, the pre-school child, the older child, simple infant ailments, food
recipes, woollen clothes for baby / [New South Wales, Department of Public
Health, Division of Maternal and Public Welfare] 8th Victorian ed. (Melbourne
: Davis, 1949)
- We have a large collection of mothercraft books. The Nestle
publication here on display, includes a chapter advising the mother to use
Nestles baby formula instead of cow's milk It also includes the charts of the
baby's progress filled in by the original owner.
Our babies which went through many editions from
the 1940s to the 1960s has a May Gibbs illustrated cover. The illustration
features a stork, pausing en route while taking two babies to their
mothers, remarking to a kookaburra, "I hardly like delivering the goods Mrs.
Kookaburra them humans is so gum careless of ‘em."
- 134. Bamford, E. Josephine (Emma Josephine)
Growing and knowing : a simple story of life for girls and boys / by
E. Josephine Bamford. 4th ed. (Melbourne : S. John Bacon, 1943)
- We also have extensive holdings of sex education books.
Mrs. Bamford wrote several of these works. She specialised in "sex education
from the Christian viewpoint". Perhaps typical of her approach is the chapter
Growing and knowing entitled, "Thinking clean-- talking clean--
- 135. Cole's Book Arcade weekly rent book.
([Melbourne?] : Cole's Book Arcade, )
- This is a rent book recording payments by Mrs. Pearl Kino
at no. 2 Flower St., Essendon during 1922, and 1923. The rent was £1/8/- per
As well as publishing and selling books, Cole's Book
Arcade had an extensive trade in stationery items such as rent books. This
has the distinctive Cole's rainbow colours on the cover.
- 136. Reeves, John H.
Housing the forgotten tenth : an investigation of the problem tenant
/ John H. Reeves. (Melbourne : Church of England Men's Society and the
Brotherhood of St. Laurence, 1944)
- This study looked at one aspect of the Housing Commission's
slum clearance scheme. Tenants from condemned housing, usually from the
inner-city areas, were being re-located into new houses in the suburbs. Most
had responded well and maintained their new homes with pride, but there were
4% of tenants who were still unsatisfactory. This study commissioned by the
social welfare arms of the Anglican Church in Melbourne provides us with case
studies, and photographs of the housing conditions. It recommends an approach
to rehabilitating anti-social tenants with the emphasis placed on spiritual as
well as material factors.
The front cover illustration shows the rear of a slum
residence with the woman cooking in an outdoor lean-to, against a
corrugated-iron fence, while her son plays with his billy-cart.
- 137. Health Commission of New South Wales. Division of
The great Australian drinking problem / Division of Health Education,
Health Commission of New South Wales. ([Sydney] : Health Commission of N.S.W.,
- The powerful image used for the cover of this booklet is a
modern photographic version of the Victorian painting genre, "narrative
pictures". It shows a white-collar worker, obviously the worse for liquor,
coming home from an afternoon spent drinking at the pub. He is silhouetted in
the background, leaning in the doorway of a genteel, inner-city terrace,
carrying a bottle of red wine. His child clings to the leg of the mother
standing awkwardly, back to the viewer, in the foreground.
It is part of a large collection of 19th and 20th
century temperance material held in Rare Books.
Click to view
- 138. Maddocks, Cheryl.
Renovations and home maintenance for the handywoman / by Cheryl
Maddocks and Mary Moody. (Cammeray, N.S.W. : Horwitz Grahame, 1982)
- This is an example of a book marketed for women who were,
in the early 1980s, becoming seriously interested in DIY renovation of the
family home. This period saw the proliferation of such TV shows as Better
Homes and Gardens, with Noni Hazlehurst, Changing rooms, and Backyard blitz.
A marked trend in family life in the late 20th
century has been the increased emphasis on spending time renovating your
house and garden, often as a means of selling the house at a profit then
- 139. Barrett, Charles, 1879-1959.
Blackfellows of Australia / by Charles Barrett and A.S. Kenyon.
(Melbourne : Lawrence Kay for Pictorial Newspapers, [1936?])
- Charles Barrett was a naturalist and journalist. He wrote
widely on natural history topics and worked for the Melbourne Herald.
He also edited the magazines, Pals, Emu and the Victorian Naturalist.
A. S. Kenyon was a civil engineer with the State Rivers,
but also held posts as Numismatist, and Keeper of Aboriginal Artefacts for
the Victorian Museum. He was President of the Anthropological Society.
Blackfellows of Australia is a comprehensive look
at Aboriginal Society written in a popular style and extensively
- 140. Chums (London: Amlgamated Press, 1892-1940)
- On display is the issue for January 1925. The cover shows
two men on a motor cycle shooting a band of aborigines. It is an illustration
to a boy's adventure story, "Through hidden perils of the bush", by Capt.
Frank H. Shaw. It is essentially a Cowboys and Indians tale set in Queensland,
using the aborigines as "Indians". The depiction of aborigines as expendable
savages in juvenile fiction is likely to have had a deleterious, if
sub-conscious, effect on the attitudes of the young to the Australian natives.
- 141. Schenk, R. S. (Rodolphe Samuel)
The educability of the native / by R.S. Schenk. [Melbourne : U.A.M.,
- This publication by the United Australia Mission, promotes
their school at Mt. Margaret Mission in Western Australia. It gives details of
the lessons given to the Aboriginal children and examples of their work.
- 142. Grayden, William, 1920-
Adam and atoms / William Grayden (Perth : F. Daniels, 1957)
- William Grayden was the member for South Perth in the
Western Australian Legislative Assembly. In his book he is protesting at the
treatment of the Aborigines from the Warburton Reserve in the east of the
state, just over the border from South Australia. They were in line for the
fall-out from the Maralinga atomic bomb tests.
- 143. Attention tourists : if you frequent a hotel
devoid of Aboriginal people, you may be supporting oppression and racism in
the N.T. [Northern Territory] : P.A.R.I.A.H., [2000?]
- This flier being handed-out in Central Australia in 2000
was published by PARIAH, People Against Racism In Australian Hotels. It states
that "racism is the major cause of imprisonment in the Northern Territory."
PARIAH has a website
which gives more details on their activities. These are much broader than the
single issue of racism in hotels. In fact their full title is People Against
Racism In Aboriginal Homelands.
Click to view
- 144. Cumpston, J. H. L. (John Howard Lidgett),
The history of plague in Australia, 1900-1925 / by J.H.L. Cumpston
and F. McCallum. (Melbourne : Dept. of Health, 1926)
- Bubonic plague was unknown in Australia until 1900. There
had been outbreaks in ports with which Australia had constant contact from
1894 when the plague was officially declared an epidemic in Hong Kong. From
1896 a plague pandemic spread around the world. The declaration of Noumea as
plague-infected in December 1899 prompted port authorities in Sydney to adopt
intensive rat destruction measures. The research which pointed to the rat and
its fleas as being the main carrier of infection was published by Ogata of
Japan in 1897, and Simond of France in 1898. Ashburton Thompson used this
information as the basis of his Plague Report in Sydney in 1900, and the
Australian response to the local outbreak at that time was made in full
knowledge of this information, although certain members of the Australian
medical fraternity still disputed the significance of this finding.
The first occurrence was on 19th January 1900
when a carman who worked on the Sydney wharves became ill with the plague.
During the first wave of the epidemic, from January to August 1900, 303
people were infected of whom 103 died. An epidemic developed in Australia,
mostly centring on coastal ports from Port Douglas in Queensland around the
country to Geraldton in Western Australia. After 1909 the epidemic abated,
but cases were still being reported in 1925.
- 145. Dew, Harold R. (Harold Robert)
Hydatid disease, its pathology, diagnosis and treatment / by Harold
R. Dew. (Sydney : Australasian Medical Pub., 1928)
- Hydatid disease was a major problem in country areas of
Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is caused
by humans ingesting hydatid tapeworm cysts. These occur in the intestines of
sheep and are transferred to humans usually via dogs who have eaten the raw
offal of sheep. In many cases the offal was fed to the dogs after the sheep
had been slaughtered on the property. Handling the dogs, or eating vegetables
from garden plots fouled by the dogs, could transfer the hydatid eggs.
Australia became a centre of world research into the
disease. Hydatids now occurs only rarely.
- 146. Mollison, C. H. (Crawford Henry)
Mollison's forensic medicine lectures. 5th ed. / rev., enl. and ill.
by Keith Macrae Bowden. (Melbourne : W. Ramsay (Surgical), 1949)
- Mollison was a pathologist and coroner's surgeon at three
Melbourne hospitals, the Children's, the Women's, and the Royal Melbourne. He
also lectured in forensic medicine at Melbourne University. He was an expert
witness in several murder cases, including that of the "Pyjama girl", Linda
Agostini. The edition of his Lectures on display was the first to
include details of that particular case.
The details of the Pyjama-girl case are as follows:- A
woman's partly-burned body was found in a culvert near Albury in 1934. The
identity of the body, preserved in formalin, was for a long time a mystery.
It was eventually identified through dental records. Death was by blows from
a blunt instrument, but it was not until X-rays were taken for the coronial
inquest, in 1944 to help in matching the dental records, that a bullet was
found in the woman's skull.
The victim's husband was a waiter in a Sydney restaurant
who regularly served the Commissioner of Police. He was arrested and found
guilty of manslaughter.
- 147. Wood, Carl, 1929-
Test-tube conception / by Carl Wood & Ann Westmore. (Melbourne : Hill
of Content, 1983)
- Professor E. Carl Wood was appointed foundation Professor
in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University in 1965, a post he held
until 1990. He pioneered in-vitro fertilisation and was Chairman of the
medical team responsible for the first test-tube baby, Candice Reed, in 1980.
Since 1990 he has been working on the practice of embryo freezing. He was
appointed Deputy Chair of Monash Medical Centre in 1993 where he still runs
the IVF Clinic.
Ann Westmore is a Melbourne science journalist and the
author of the birth-control book, The Billings Method.
- 148. What is AIDS? (Canberra, AGPS for the
National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS), 1987)
- The first cases of AIDS in Australia were reported in
In 1984 the Federal Health Minister, Dr. Neal Blewett, set
up the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS) with Ita Buttrose as
chairperson. Its role was to advise the government on all aspects of AIDS,
and to help promote community education on the issue.
Among their first initiatives was to distribute a million
copies of a pamphlet through the Readers Digest.
The pamphlet on display was distributed as a supplement to
TV Week on 17 October, 1987.