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Australia

Library and Information Science

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Full-Text Articles in History

'A Blood-Stained Corpse In The Butler's Pantry’: The Queensland Bush Book Club, Robin Wagner Jan 2011

'A Blood-Stained Corpse In The Butler's Pantry’: The Queensland Bush Book Club, Robin Wagner

Musselman Library Staff Publications

Lending libraries were not the norm in 1934 when the Carnegie Corporation of New York sent American librarian, Ralph Munn, to conduct a study of the condition of Australian libraries. In his initial survey Munn learned of the Queensland Bush Book Club, an organization of well-to-do, philanthropic women from Brisbane who had established a book lending service for settlers in the Outback. They hoped to ease the drudgery and lighten the burden faced by isolated women and their families in the rural areas. The antidote was a regular parcel of “proper” reading matter which included books, newspapers and magazines. They ...


'Not Yet Ready': Australian University Libraries And Carnegie Corporation Philanthropy, 1935-1945, Michael J. Birkner Jan 2010

'Not Yet Ready': Australian University Libraries And Carnegie Corporation Philanthropy, 1935-1945, Michael J. Birkner

History Faculty Publications

In recent years the Carnegie Corporation's influence on Australian library development has been fruitfully examined from many angles, among them its role in promoting free-library movements in the various states. One piece of the story, however, remains mostly in the shadows: the Corporation's initiatives pointing towards modernizing and professionalizing Australian university libraries. Although the Corporation's philanthropic enterprise at the university level yielded mixed results at best, it was not inconsequential. It provided a blueprint for future university-library development in Australia. In one instance, at the University of Melbourne, it inspired a vice-chancellor to articulate a vision of ...


'A Little Bit Of Love For Me And A Murder For My Old Man': The Queensland Bush Book Club, Robin Wagner Jan 2010

'A Little Bit Of Love For Me And A Murder For My Old Man': The Queensland Bush Book Club, Robin Wagner

Musselman Library Staff Publications

This paper addresses rural book distribution in an era before free public libraries came to Australia. Well-to-do, city women established clubs, which solicited donations of “proper reading matter” and raised funds for the purchase of books for their “deprived sisters” in the Outback. They took advantage of a well-developed rail system to deliver book parcels to rural families. In New South Wales and Queensland they were known as Bush Book Clubs.

Testimonials found in the Clubs’ annual reports provide a snapshot of the hard scrabble frontier life and the gratitude with which these parcels were received. This paper looks at ...