Contact Us / Find Us University of Sydney Library RSS feeds Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

What's new at the University of Sydney LibraryRSS feed Icon

[Note: This is the Library's old news home page; you will be redirected to the new site shortly]


December 2011

  • 05 December: The Library has a new Librarian
    Anne Bell

    We are delighted to announce that Ms Anne Bell has formally accepted the University’s offer of appointment as the new University Librarian. She plans to commence duty on 20 February.
    She is currently the University Librarian at the University of Warwick in the UK and prior to that was the Deputy Director of Information Services and Systems at King’s College London for eight years.  She has over fifteen years senior management experience in University libraries and brings with her a wealth of knowledge of the complex issues affecting multi-faculty, multi-site, research-intensive institutions.

November 2011

  • 25 November: MyLoans replaces MyLibrary

    The Library has listened to feedback from clients and decided to change its MyLibrary service to MyLoans. It is a new name but with the same functionality.
    The new name will make it clearer what the service provides to our clients and remove any possible confusion to new clients.

    If you have any questions or comments please contact the Web Services Developing Manager

  • 21 November: Camouflaging Australia (New title from SUP)
    Camouflaging Australia book cover

    In the West cloister of the Quadrangle, behind the Great Hall, there is a bronze plaque with 1939-1945 Roll of Honour, listing members of the staff, graduates and undergraduates of the University of Sydney who gave their lives during the Second World War.
    While those that died at the front are fittingly remembered and recognised, others who contributed to the war effort away from the front lines are often forgotten. Such has been the fate of the camoufleurs who worked together to camouflage Australia during the Second World War. In a new book from Sydney University Press, Camouflage Australia: art, nature, science and war, Ann Elias tells the story of camouflage artists and explores the reasons for their invisibility in the historical record.
    Through the involvement of two staff: William Dakin and Leslie Wilkinson, Sydney University played a significant role in the efforts to camouflage Australia - the grounds of the Camperdown Campus were used to test concealment and deception methods, while the Zoology Department housed a camouflage laboratory. 
    William Dakin, a professor of zoology at the University of Sydney, was the most prominent figure in the development of camouflage at the beginning of the Second World War. Using his research into the behaviours and colours of animals, he developed a theoretical basis for his camouflage work. During the war, he waged a campaign in Australia to protect the nation and empire through advancements in camouflage defence.
    Dakin was instrumental in starting the Sydney Camouflage Group on 3 September 1939. Apart from Dakin and Wilkinson (an architect), the group included other outstanding individuals from the arts and sciences such as Frank Hinder (an artist), Max Dupain (a photographer), Sydney Ure Smith (an art patron) and many others.
    After July 1941, the majority of the Sydney Camouflage Group’s members became official camoufleurs with the Department of Home Security. But their position remained tenuous. The artists and designers deployed by the DHS to work in camouflage - a list comprising just over one hundred men and one woman - were not enlisted soldiers. As civilians working for the armed forces but not part of them, camoufleurs spent the first years of the war looking highly conspicuous in civilian clothes. It was not until May 1943 that the camoufleurs were given uniforms and received accreditation with the airforce, which allowed them to blend in with military life, though they never received the respect and recognition they deserved.
    Professor William Dakin died in 1955. Unfortunately, he never in his lifetime received proper recognition for his work as Technical Director of Camouflage for Australia in the Second World War. As Ann Elias wrote, it is time to commemorate ‘a group of people and an episode in Australia’s past that have gone unnoticed among the otherwise heroic histories of the war’.
    Camouflage Australia: art, nature, science and war will be launched byProfessor Stephen Garton, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the University of Sydney on 22 November 2011 at 5:30 for 6 PM.

    You can borrow Camouflage Australia: art, nature, science and war via the University sydney Library.
    You can buy Camouflage Australia: art, nature, science and war via Sydney University Press.


  • 7 November: Recognising a Nobel Laureate: Sir Robert Robinson

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1947, awarded to Sir Robert Robinson, "for his work on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids" is on display in Rare Books and Special Collections, Fisher Library.

    Find out more at our current exhibitions


  • 5 November: Fisher Library Saturday late opening

    Apologies to Fisher Library visitors for the late opening of the Library on Saturday 5 November. There was an unfortunate delay in getting services back online after construction works earlier in the morning. Work methods have been reviewed so delays do not occur in the future.

  • 2 November: Medical Library closed

    The Medical Library is closed until Thursday 3 November due to smoke entering through air-conditioning vents.

October 2011


September 2011

  • 23 September: Sydney Research Online. An "internal access only" repository of research material
    The University Library and the Research Portfolio have collaborated to establish a new service for staff and students of the University of Sydney - Sydney Research Online

    Sydney Research Online provides a repository of research material (articles; book chapters; conference papers) by University of Sydney researchers that have been reported for HERDC and ERA purposes. It represents 62,000 + research outputs produced by the staff at University from 2002 to the present.

    Access to Sydney Research Online is restricted to the University of Sydney domain and is for use by staff and students for research and teaching purposes only.   Sydney Research Online was developed as a result of a VC work-slate project to enable internal access to University research activity.

    The service will progressively be built up over time and will be  updated monthly. If you have any questions please contact Sten Christensen, Sydney eScholarship Repository Coordinator –

  • 21 September: Visit the Library's exhibition
    Isaac Newton and the Temple of Solomon

    21 September to 14 December 2011
    On display at two locations: The SciTech Library and Law Library

    Find out more at our current exhibitions

  • 13 September: Learning Centre drop-in sessions - Camperdown Campus
    From 14-16th September, The sessions will allow students to get immediate advice from Learning Centre staff on academic literacy and learning issues such as critical thinking, essay writing, reading effectively, and preparing for exams in a convenient 10 minute consultation session.

    The drop-in sessions will take place in the foyer of Fisher Library from 12 - 2pm.

    More about the Learning Centre and their programs.


August 2011


July 2011

  • 25 July: Visit the Library's new exhibition

    Focus on Marine Science
    25 July to 6 September 2011, SciTech Library

    Marine science can take you to wild, sometimes remote and special places. From the tropics to Antarctica, in estuaries, on the coast and in the open ocean the University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science (USIMS) shows the diversity of their current research with contributions from geosciences, biosciences, law and engineering.

    Find out more at our current exhibitions

  • 15 July: Charles Dickens and Australia - news from home

    As editor-in-chief of Household Words, Charles Dickens was able to bring his ideas on social issues of the day to middle-class households all over England. In a new anthology from the Sydney University Press, Charles Dickens' Australia: Selected Essays from Household Words 1850-1859, close to 100 essays, stories and poems relating to Australia have been collected to paint a picture of early life in the country. Between 1850 and 1859 Australia was undergoing significant social change, with the discovery of gold in Victoria and NSW bringing an influx of new migrants to the country. At the same time, convicts were still being transported to Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia to engage in indentured labour, a practice which Dickens criticised.

    With many articles from Household Words reprinted in the Australian press of the time, Dickens helped to shape the way Australians viewed themselves. While contributions to the journal came from both England and Australia, Dickens' desire for editorial control meant that all the works he published are stamped with his style and ideas.

    Charles Dickens' Australia is arranged into five books. 'Book One: Convict Stories' looks at the experiences of convicts from sentencing to transportation to pardon. 'Book Two: Immigration' talks about how to prepare for migration to Australia, while 'Book Three: Frontier Stories' focuses on the experience of farming and opening up new land, and includes accounts of encounters with bushrangers and Aborigines. 'Book Four: Mining and Gold' describes the life on the goldfields, depicting men and women from all ranks of society, all hoping to make a fortune. 'Book Five: Maritime Conditions' recounts experiences of the sea journeys and whale-hunting, the need for Panama and Suez canals, and other technical developments to improve global travel and transport.

  • 8 July: Nyonin Geijutsu (Women's Arts) 1928-32. What were they fighting for?
    8 July to 12 August 2011


    Visit our latest exhibition in the Law Library.
    See the current exhibitions page for more informaiton


  • 7 July: Catalogue scheduled outage 7.30pm, Friday 8 July to 9am, Saturday 9 July

    The scheduled outage, due to an upgrade to the Library catalogue, will take place 7.30pm, Friday until approximately 9am, Saturday. Our online catalogue will not be accessible during that period.

    You will still be able to search our holdings via Summon from the Library home page, however, if the search results are catalogue related, you will not be able to reach the catalogue when clicking on any of the results for that period of time.

    During the outage you will also be able to access online resources via the e-journal portal and our other lists of e-resources.

    Library Borrower Number login will not be available during the outage.

    We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


June 2011

  • 15 June: Australian Poetry Library opens its digital doors

    Whether you want an impressive verse for a speech, the ideal poem to declare undying love or simply to improve your knowledge and appreciation of Australian poetry, there is now the perfect website to assist you.

    The Australian Poetry Library, a joint initiative of the University of Sydney and the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), is being launched tonight at Government House by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW and Chancellor of the University.

    The online library holds more than 42,000 poems by 217 Australian poets.

    Visit the Australian Poetry Library.

  • 15 June: Joins us for this free talk.
    In the second of our 2011 lecture series, Friends of the University of Sydney Library talk about the books they especially cherish.

    The fossil record of seven decades of undisciplined reading
    Speaker: Yvonne Cossart, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University of Sydney
    When: Wednesday 15 June
    5.30pm for 6.00pm
    Where: Victoria Park Room, Lvl 5 Fisher Library Eastern Ave, Camperdown Campus
    RSVP: by Friday 10 June

    Join our Friends of the University Library today, it's free!

May 2011

April 2011

  • 15 April: Fisher level 4 reading area closure

    Please be advised that level 4 reading area in Fisher Library will be closed this afternoon 15/4/11 for a function, we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

  • 15 April: Upcoming trial of ArticleReach for all journal requests!

    The Library is planning to trial the use of Article Reach as the single form to be completed when requesting journal articles. The trial will commence on Monday 2nd May, 2011. The old intra-campus form will disappear from the catalogue on this date.

    Currently when clients go into their My Library and click on the link “request items from Document Delivery” they will be given the choice of two options:

    For articles not held in our collection – Use Article Reach Direct (they follow through instructions to do so)

    For articles HELD in our collection – for use by distance/remote staff and students (they have a form on this page to complete)

    The new format will only show the Article Reach Direct page and should be used for all articles required, whether not held or held (in the case of distance/remote requests). Clients should complete the required pages (home library and name/bar code)to come to the “Request an Article” form. Clients who are distance/remote staff or students requesting an item held by the library should indicate this information in the comments line.

  • 13 April: HELP us to help you!

    The University of Sydney Library is developing a range of multimedia elearning tools and is seeking students to appear as ‘characters’ in these online modules.

    Examples can be found at:

    If Successful, you will be required to attend a photography session (approximately 2 hours). Each session will usually include 2-3 students, hence you’ll have plenty of breaks and not be photographed constantly (very laid back)!

    Skills required: None – just your enthusiasm and willingness to be photographed! All ages welcome.

    Experience required: Some drama experience would be favourable, but not essential.

    Faculties targeted: All

    Hours offered: Approximately 2 hours (sessions will be available between 4th of May 2011 – 13th May 2011).

    Rate of pay: $75 Coop Bookshop voucher for a single session – approximately 2 hours.

    Applications to: Rebecca Goldsworthy – please send in your name, contact details and a current photo of yourself. One of the resources requires a small amount of video recording – please indicate if you would be happy to be videoed. Feel free to contact Rebecca if you have any queries.

    Phone: 9114 0816

  • 1 April: Learning Centre drop-in sessions - Camperdown Campus
    From 6-15th April, The sessions will allow students to get immediate advice from Learning Centre staff on academic literacy and learning issues such as critical thinking, essay writing, reading effectively, and preparing for exams in a convenient 10 minute consultation session.

    The drop-in sessions will take place in the foyer of Fisher Library from 12 - 2pm.

    More about the Learning Centre and their programs.

March 2011

  • 1 March: Exhibition: The love that dared speak its name: Same-sex desires in the Victorian world

    Draw back the curtains and peek at the influence of the Victorian world on modern sexuality. Trace the publication of rare and censored books. Discover how homosexual scandal and the fight for lesbian and gay rights were represented in a variety of different cultural milieus. Find out about the authors and theorists whose interest in same-sex desires contributed to our current understanding of freedom. After viewing this exhibition, you may conclude that Stonewall was the noisy grandchild of an older sexual reform.

    Please note this exhibition includes sexually explicit images and language, which may offend some people.

    Rare Books & Special Collections, level 2, Fisher Library.
    21st February – 31st July, 2011


February 2011

  • 7 February: Changes to student off-campus authentication via Unikey taking effect early February

    From early February 2011  the Library will be trialling an additional check for off-campus access to electronic resources. For students using UniKey access to these resources, the system will check that the UniKey and password is valid and also that your Library membership  record is current. This extra check is to ensure the University meets the licensing requirements for access to our subscription resources.  This change will not require you to enter more details.

    If your UniKey access to Library resources stops working please contact the Electronic Access Librarian.


January 2011

  • 21 January: New title from SUP: Reading Across the Pacific: Australia-United States Intellectual Histories

    Reading Across the Pacific: Australia-United States Intellectual Histories - a new book from Sydney University Press explores the literary and cultural engagement between the United States and Australia.

    The book examines relations of the two countries, shifting the emphasis from the broad cultural patterns that are often compared, to the specific networks, interactions, and crossings that have characterised Australian literature in the United States and American literature in Australia. Since the mid-1800s, American writers such as Herman Melville and Mark Twain have showed some interest in Australian writing and in Australia generally, even if Australian culture has rarely been for them a primary concern. Mark Twain, the first American literary celebrity to visit Australia, commented about the affinities between Australian and American character.

    Today, when relations between the United States and Australia are considered, it is more usually in the context of international affairs, the 'Americanisation' and an assumption of one-way cultural traffic towards Australia. Although the United States is Australia's most important economic partner country and a close political ally, Australian culture and literature remains comparatively invisible within the US critical discourse.

    Why has Australia received so little attention in US literary circles? What cultural factors (assumptions, fears and inhibitions) are in play here? How have they changed over time as affected by political changes, or stylistic or genre transformations?

    The essays in Reading Across the Pacific take American and Australian literatures out of the nationalist frameworks of the past, look at them in a global context, and attempts to redress the balance. In view of the continuing wave of Australian novelists publishing in the United States, and the recent visit of Oprah, there is hope for a change in the level of Australia's recognition in the US.

    Reading Across the Pacific: Australia-United States Intellectual Histories
    Edited by Robert Dixon and Nicholas Birns
    Sydney University Press
    ISBN: 9781920899660



2010 News items
2009 News items