Latest News

Committee Meeting 10.00 am Saturday 2 August 2014, Room 4D, Level 4, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane.

Latest on Boston College Tapes

Police and prosecutors have been given two weeks to provide reasons why recorded interviews with a former IRA man should not be sent back to America. High Court judges sitting in Belfast set the deadline in Anthony McIntyre's legal battle against police accessing his "Boston tapes". The tapes are candid interviews with loyalist and republican paramilitaries held in a library at Boston College. For the full story on this development click here.

Royleston Home for Boys, Glebe, Sydney

FROM the outside, Royleston Home for Boys in Glebe looked like a majestic Victorian manor, with magnificent arched windows and a sweeping veranda. Yet behind the facade the secrets of hundreds of young boys were hidden for almost 60 years. With as many as a dozen different names – including Royleston Home for Wayward Boys – the home was established to provide accommodation for boys who were wards of the state waiting to be placed in foster care.  Read the full story here.


"In record-breaking heat on what became known as ‘Black Sunday’, thousands had flocked to take part in Sydney’s favourite pastime, surfing at Bondi beach. “Two hundred surfers were swept out to sea by the backwash of huge seas yesterday afternoon,” reported the newspaper. Four people drowned and scores were rescued in the last stages of exhaustion as a sandbank gave way in heavy seas. One of those rescued was Bill, an Oral History group member, who remembers when the sandbank on which he and dozens of others were standing that hot afternoon gave way."  Read the rest of Bill's story and others by clicking here.

Photos and Memories

"Memories Road Show. The event, which has now been held in eight South Shore communities, makes digital records of individual photos and videos of stories to be preserved in the Open Archives at UMass-Boston.  The instructions had said, “Bring no more than three photos,” and Bangs had chosen carefully: his parents, two older brothers and himself at his aunt’s 1964 wedding; a 1974 Marshfield High School “powder puff” football game in which the boys were cheerleaders and the girls played the game; and a 1960s childhood scene from Camp Daniel Webster."  Full story here.
This is a great idea for a community.  Bring along photos and tell the stories with an audio recorder.  The photos are scanned and the stories are with them.

PNG Women’s War Time Memories

“Kokoda” has become iconic in Australian national narratives of the war. Its commemoration most commonly invokes images of Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, local carriers who assisted Allied forces, and whose relationships with Australian soldiers are frequently described in terms of “mateship” and “brotherly bonds”.  But there is good reason to look beyond these narratives. Feminist historians and scholars of conflict have urged us to be attentive to the effects of wars on women, as well as to the roles they have played even in seemingly impossible circumstances.  Read full story here.

British Library’s Oral History Collection

The oral history collections at the British Library cover a wide range of subject areas. The interviews made available here are only a small selection from the many thousands held in the British Library. See more here.

Sculpture Features WWI Voice

Mr John Blay’s sculpture is a tin canoe that acts as a sound shell for the voice of Les St Hill, a WW1 veteran born in 1892.  The canoe is made from two sheets of used corrugated iron, symbolic of the popular make-do craft from Mr St Hill’s time. It will be featured at Bondi's Sculpture exhibition.  For full story click here.

The “Real” Secret River

UNSW's Professor Grace Karskens has won a major fellowship that will enable her to use State Library of NSW archives to research Aboriginal names and stories about the Hawkesbury River.  Read full story here.

Digital Directions Symposium

Each year the National Film and Sound Archive runs a Digital Directions Symposium to explore key issues in the preservation sector. What do we collect? How do we do it? How will it be used? Get it wrong and we have no heritage, or hide it in deep caves beneath a bureaucratic dragon.  Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this very interesting article.

The Memory Man

Rob Mitchell has made hundreds of recordings for families as part of a large scale oral history project.  The experiences provided a trigger for the Sydney-based man to develop his Memory Man show, which is aimed at seniors and combines pantomime and storytelling.  Using a ‘box of tricks’ including memorabilia such as ‘Bex’ headache powders and ‘sand soap’, Mitchell uses the props to interact with his audience and trigger memories. For full story click here.