RGSSA Library Catalogue

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rare Book Discussion Group for 2017

Meetings are held in the Society's rooms
located in the Mortlock Wing
of the State Library of South Australia

Sessions are from 10:30 am to 12 noon
usually held on the 4th Thursday in the month  
Some sessions are repeated in the afternoon

Sessions are limited and bookings are essential
through the web site 
or telephone (08) 8207 7266  
An entry fee applies to non members

Flinders, Banks & the Library at Soho Square

23rd February, 2017

Matthew Flinders’ principal task on his return from detention on Mauritius in 1810 was to write his Voyage to Terra Australis. The chief source of his background information in London was the library of Sir Joseph Banks where he was a regular visitor.  Robert Brown, who had been the naturalist on Flinders’ Investigator expedition was Banks’ librarian.  The association between the three men endured until Flinders’ death in 1814.
Dr Gillian Dooley, from Flinders University will discuss the importance of Banks and Brown, and the Library at Soho Square.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for the names of Australian explorers. See the catalogue record for Voyage to Terra Australis published in 1814. Click on the subjects shown in the record that link to similar works in the catalogue]

Shipwrecks, Lighthouses and Lifeboats

23rd March, 2017

The 'Admella', a passenger steamship on her way from Adelaide to Melbourne and Launceston, was wrecked on the reef off Carpenter Rocks on 6 August 1859. Eighty nine of the 113 on board died.
The lighthouse on Cape Northumberland was without a telegraph so the keeper had to ride to Mount Gambier to get help. Two small boats first reached the wreck a full week after the disaster.
This session will present more general material from the RGSSA collections on shipwrecks, their prevention and rescue.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for the names of ships and shipwrecked vessels. Search on 'Admella' for the related works in the catalogue]

The contribution of Germans to 19th century Australia

    27th April, 2017

While Germany was never deemed to be a major player in the age of Colonialism there were German mariners, explorers, discoverers and researchers almost everywhere in the world. Leichhardt is well known but there were other Germans in British service working as Naturalists, Astronomers, Geologists, or Missionaries. Find out what brought Johann Forster, Friedrich Gerstaecker, Christian C. Ruemker and others to these shores and how they contributed to the development of Australia.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for letters and books written by and about Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848). Also search for Explorers, German and Naturalists, German etc]

The Gills at Glen Osmond

25th May, 2017

The name Gill had a profound effect on the settlement and development of South Australia from the late 1830s up until the present time.
The RGSSA and the independent Public Service are Gill’s legacies.  Thomas Gill was Treasurer of the Society from its inception in 1885 and his extensive library was sold to the Society. 

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for letters and books written by Thomas Gill (1849-1923). See catalogue record ]

Early Settlement in Aotearoa (New Zealand)

22nd June, 2017

The June meeting will deal with the early history in New Zealand leading up to the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840.  Also featured will be a group of significant people who influenced the settlement of both South Eastern Australia and New Zealand.  These include Tasman, Cook, Light, Wakefield and Grey.
The RGSSA has a significant collection of material relating to our close neighbours.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books about the history of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi]

The 'birth' of the City of Adelaide

27th July, 2017

This session will highlight books and maps in the collection that described the concept of the city of Adelaide.  We will learn about the planning undertaken by Colonel Light to overcome the geographical challenges. The politics of the street names will also be discussed.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books written by and about the explorations of Colonel William Light (1786-1839)]

Ethiopia, the search for Prester John, and exotic Emperors

     24th August 2017

Maps from the 16th to 18th centuries suggest that to Europeans of those times Ethiopia was more of a concept than a country. The few adventurers who penetrated its formidable highlands were not permitted to leave.
Efforts by Portuguese Jesuits to convert the Ethiopians to Catholicism ignored the fact that they had been Christians since 341 AD.  Later British visitors gave accounts of their encounters with some of Ethiopia’s colourful and exotic Emperors.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books about the history of Ethiopia and the legend of Prester John. See catalogue record ]

The Chinese People and Australia

28th September, 2017

Chinese explorers, refugees, labourers, miners, traders and business people have played a part in the development of Australia.  Their presence was at first welcomed, then opposed.  From 1850, laws were passed to limit the number of Chinese in the gold fields and Federation ushered in the 'White Australia Policy'.
The RGS Library has many rare items; books, magazines, pamphlets, almanacs, manuscripts and newspapers with which you can trace the lives of the Chinese who came to Australia.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for early works about Chinese people in Australia and the 'White Australia Policy']

Europe Unfolding

26th October, 2017

The great era of European exploration that began in the 15th century arose primarily out of a need to seek out new trade routes.  Maps in some of the early books often showed amazing and sometimes imaginary lands.
Seldom seen atlases from the Rare Book Room will be discussed.  These include Abraham Ortelius 1571 copy of Theatrum orbis terrarum and RGSSA’s oldest book, the 1482 edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia.  

[See the Library's catalogue record for the Theatrum orbis terrarum
Click on the subject, Atlases--Early works to 1800, for other similar works in the catalogue
See the catalogue record for the Geographia

From the Specials Cabinet

23rd November, 2017

The Specials Cabinet – the locked display bookshelves in the RGS Library - holds books that are 'special' due to their age, value and/or rarity.

Early in 2017, six Discussion Group members will be asked to select one item from the Cabinet and demonstrate to the rest of the Group why it was chosen and what it conveys. Library and other research assistance will be provided, if needed.

More information
 about the Rare Book Discussion Group
is available on the web site
and contact details for the RGSSA

Please refer to the entire RGSSA Events Program for 2017  


posted by Sandra Thompson
RGSSA remote cataloguer

<strong>Rare Book Discussion Group for 2017</strong>
Adelaide--early maps, Explorers--Chinese, Explorers--German, Legend of Prester John, Mathew Flinders, New Zealand--Land settlement, Ptolemy's Geographica, Rare books, shipwrecks, Thomas Gill (1849-1923)
08/03/2017 16:38

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