A long, long time ago, I posted elsewhere about the launch of the online edition of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. I’ve used it little since but have been reminded of late, just what a wonderful resource it is to have freely available online. There are entries for example, on Ida Leeson, the first female Mitchell Librarian. I nearly bought her biography this evening and may acquire it yet. Then of course, there’s David Mitchell himself, William Ifould, and a whole batch of other librarians. I admit, as a New South Welshman, that I do seem to have a bit of bias toward my home state. I daresay I’ll need to rectify this in order to write a paper of national interest. The question I am currently exploring, though not restricting myself to, is the nature of libraries in our recent history, why do they exist and for what benefit were they created ? There is much to be gleaned from the work of others, with several Australian Library History forums, full of interesting papers and various other publications. The bigger question of course, is whether I can find my niche, so to speak, and not simply repeat, or even regurgitate. Even if I can’t find my own patch, it is proving a treat to read the history of my profession. That alone is sufficient grounds for continuing. Reading here and reading there, who knows what paths my mind might follow or what papers will result.
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