Another week done, so it’s time for another Collections Under COVID.
Although the book budget is still frozen, we’ve been lucky enough to receive some brand new books as donations in the last week or so, and I wanted to highlight them and discuss how they fit into the collection.
I’m going to start with In The Name of Theatre: The history, culture and voices of amateur theatre in Victoria by Cheryl Threadgold.
This book came out of Cheryl’s PhD thesis and she actually did quite a bit of research for the book at the PMI. It’s always wonderful to see the outcome when PMI resources have been used, it reinforces for us why the collection is so important to so many people.
In The Name of the Theatre covers the full gamut of amateur theatre in Victoria, from the goldfields right through to COVID-19, so in itself it is a valuable addition to the PMI’s collection. This is the small scale of history and I love some of the stories, like Lola Montez being so well received for her spider dance in 1856 in Ballarat that gold nuggets were thrown onto the stage. The book covers amateur theatre from all over Victoria and with its excellent index will be a vital resource for anyone researching theatre history at the PMI in the future. We also really appreciate Cheryl’s inscription in the front of the book.
Books like In The Name of the Theatre are important to the collection because resources about entertainment are part of the cultural touchstones that make up our society. You can read more about the entertainment resources at the PMI in the Collection Corner in our February 2019 newsletter https://www.pmi.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2018-02-February-Vol-107-Newsletter-web.pdf
The other two books I wanted to discuss are Bundjil and Barraeemal which you can see below.
These two books are both stories by Boonwurrung elder Carolyn Briggs, told with the Balnarring Bubups, the children of Balnarring Preschool.
They’re both gorgeous publications in their own right, with photos of the kids interwoven through the story, but the PMI collects this sort of material for another reason. Books telling Indigenous stories, especially including Indigenous language in Victoria are rare, and many of them are now being produced with or for children as part of teaching the new generations. This makes them vitally important parts of the PMI’s Indigenous collection, as we move to expand it and ensure that the Indigenous history of Victoria is at the heart of the PMI’s collection.
In this case the stories of the children as also valuable, as they are exactly the small scale of history we want to preserve at the PMI.
All three of these books will be for loan, when we are open again.
See you all in the library in the not too distant future (hopefully)