Review – One hundred: a tribute to the Mitchell Library

Title: One hundred: a tribute to the Mitchell Library

Author: with an essay written by David Marr

Sarah’s pick 

This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Mitchell library. The Mitchell library began in 1910 with a bequest of David Scott Mitchell’s collection of 40,000 printed books and now has over 800,000 items in a variety of formats. 

This book features one hundred items from the Mitchell’s vast collection. It includes some first editions and manuscripts; photographs and artworks; letters and diaries and more. 

Some of the items featured that appealed to me were old books. There is the journal kept by Joseph Banks onboard the HMS Endeavour; a late 15th century illuminated Book of Hours and a copy of the New South Wales General Standing Orders- the first book published in Australia- a compilation of Government orders. I also liked some of the ephemera- a sample of the Holey dollar and the dump used as currency in the colony under Governor Macquarie. There is a trolley of neatly boxed items of unsolicited mail collected from one household over the course of a year. I also liked the Berlei figure type indicator from the 1950s and  a beautiful wooden chest filled with specimens such as birds, insects and spiders collected in the Newcastle region over 190 years ago. 

As well as the pictures of items in the exhibiton there are a few paragraphs of information about each one. There is an introduction by the Mitchell librarian and an essay by author and journalist David Marr. 

There is a website relating to this exhibition at http://www.onehundred.sl.nsw.gov.au/                        

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