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The National Library hosts a program of events that highlight aspects of our collections. If you missed a talk or conference, you can listen to and read highlights here.

The National Library hosts a program of events that highlight aspects of our collections. If you missed a talk or conference, you can listen to and read highlights here.
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The National Library hosts a program of events that highlight aspects of our collections. If you missed a talk or conference, you can listen to and read highlights here.




Hal Missingham's Fully Bound

On retiring from the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1971, Director Hal Missingham received an extraordinary gift: a bound volume containing contributions from over 200 Australian artists and cultural figures. Join Treasures Curator Nat Williams, Hal’s son Peter Missingham and publisher and curator Lou Klepac to explore this fascinating volume and celebrate the production of the new Beagle Press book Hal Missingham: Artist Author Photographer. A Treasures Gallery Access Program,...

Duration: 01:23:27

Author Talk with Alex Miller

For lovers of Australian fiction, Alex Miller’s novels are essential reading, with writing that reveals his wit, wisdom and keen observations of life’s complexities. In conversation with author and poet Adrian Caesar, Alex Miller will reflect on how love, and the struggle to live a creative life, inspired his exquisitely personal new novel, The Passage of Love. Alex has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and is a two-time winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. In association with...

Duration: 01:03:48

Author Talk with Michelle deKretser

In her new novel, Michelle de Kretser explores the art of fiction and how art can transform and sustain, as well as belittle and betray. Her meditations on time and loss make us laugh and also feel a little paranoid!

Duration: 00:48:15

Dombrovskis: Journeys into the Wild

Former Australian Greens leader Dr Bob Brown and curator Matthew Jones offer an introduction to the Library's exhibition Dombrovskis: Journeys into the Wild. Peter Dombrovskis was one of the world’s foremost wilderness photographers. His powerful, reflective and deeply personal images of the unique Tasmania wilderness had a lasting impact, changing the way Australians think about their environment. The National Library has over 3,000 Dombrovskis transparencies in its collection, and has...

Duration: 00:45:10

Seymour Lecture 2017

Hear from Raimond Gaita, author of Romulus, My Father as he tackles the big concepts of truth, truthfulness, self and voice in his writing. What do they mean when one is writing portraits that express gratitude to people one loves, unapologetically in a personally inflected voice? Raimond explains further: I’m writing a book of essays that express gratitude to, often love of, people I have known who have mattered deeply to me, some of whom have inspired me. I’ll include part of one of...

Duration: 01:13:50

The Odd Couple

The alliance between Axis Powers during World War II brought together an unexpected coalition between Italy and Japan. Reversing decades of racist assumptions, orientalist views and diverging politics, this partnership sought to cross boundaries in order to cast the two countries as similar and united by common goals. Was this just an illusion created by war propaganda? Or did the encounter between these two countries in fact generate, at times, a sense of mutual understanding and...

Duration: 00:47:23

NAIDOC Collection Talk: Our Voice

The National Library has been collecting oral histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure their life stories, and personal insights are recorded for future generations. Ryan Stoker highlights a variety of interviews, social histories and folklore recordings.

Duration: 00:48:55

The Unmourned

The Unmourned, a murder mystery set in convict Australia, is a brilliant collaboration by Australian author Tom Keneally and his eldest daughter Meg. Hear more about their creative partnership and the gripping historical crime series, Monsarrat. In association with Penguin Random House

Duration: 00:46:09

Sport, Tobacco, and Advertising

On a late winter’s day in August 1963, two opposing rugby league captains embraced after a close fought grand final on the Sydney Cricket Ground. This fleeting moment became the inspiration for the Winfield Cup. Dr Guy Hansen, Exhibitions Director, explores how professional sport has been used by advertisers.

Duration: 00:31:10

Rediscovering Hans Heysen

What happens to an artist's legacy, home and archive after their death? Explore the life and work of Hans Heysen, his legacy and the role of families and estates in managing the artistic afterlife. Speakers include art historian and publisher Lou Klepac, Treasures Curator Nat Williams and members of the Heysen family. A Treasures Gallery Access Program supported by the Nora Heysen Bequest. The Treasures Curatorship has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of...

Duration: 01:17:51

Utopia 500

Thomas More wrote a book that coined a word and changed the world—Utopia. After 500 years, it seems as far off as ever. What is the world coming to and what can we do about it? The discussion is led by Miles Franklin award-winning author Alexis Wright, renowned philosopher Peter Singer, and leading scholars Russell Jacoby and Jacqueline Dutton. Together with Paul Barclay from ABC’s Big Ideas, they explore the role—or absence—of imagination and aspiration in how we address the vital issues...

Duration: 01:32:52

Canberra: A Grand Social Experiment

Virginia Haussegger AM, Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra presents the 2017 Canberra Day Oration.

Duration: 00:32:00

The Sell Dinner

Old friends Harold Mitchell AC and Alex Sloan share stories of their careers in advertising and the media, reflecting on the history of Australian advertising and how it has shaped Australian society.

Duration: 01:07:31

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien in conversation with Professor Paul Hetherington, exploring this epic and resonant novel about the far-reaching effects of China's revolutionary history, told through the stories of two interlinked musical families, from the 1940s to the present day.

Duration: 00:59:10

State of Hope

Explore the economic, social, environmental and cultural challenges facing South Australia with Dr Chris Wallace, Angela Woollacott, Peter Stanley and Amrita Malhi. Chaired by Griffith Review editor Julianne Schultz.

Duration: 01:01:47

The Case Against Fragrance

Award-winning writer Kate Grenville discusses her latest book The Case Against Fragrance with Gia Metherell, Former Literary Editor, The Canberra Times.

Duration: 00:56:08

Fight Like A Girl

Clementine Ford, columnist for Fairfax’s popular website Daily Life, has a reputation for fearlessly addressing issues of gender inequality in a modern world. Fight Like a Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women.

Duration: 01:02:20

The Story of Australia's People

As one of the country’s most significant and popular historians, Geoffrey Blainey’s traces our story from the gold rush to the present day.

Duration: 00:54:23

Pinafores, Prodigies & Precocities

Cultural historian Gillian Arrighi reveals how the ephemera, manuscript, music and pictures collections are enabling her to piece together this fascinating history, providing new insights into childhood, and Australia’s theatre industry.

Duration: 00:54:50

Shooting the Picture

Researchers Sally Young and Fay Anderson pose the question: will changes in technology spell the end of traditional press photography? With Andrew Meares, Chief Photographer, Fairfax Media.

Duration: 01:12:45

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