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EdSA’s visit to the State Library of South Australia

By Jo Vabolis AE, Vice President and Secretary, EdSA

On Wednesday 20 July, a small group of Editors South Australia members and friends met at the State Library of South Australia (SLSA) for a private tour hosted by volunteers from the SLSA Ambassador program. Our morning began beside the Kaurna Greeting Stone as Kevin, our guide, explained the message that sits at the front entrance of the Spence Wing. The words of the welcome, written in 2003 by Adelaide Kaurna elder Lewis O’Brien, are carved in a spiral design on a slab of Kanmantoo bluestone. This was a revelation for me. I’ve crossed the threshold so many times but have never looked down!

We moved back into the library’s glass foyer for a presentation on items selected from the special collections. We followed this with a visit to the magnificent Mortlock Chamber to hear some of the history of the library, beginning with the story of the trunk full of books brought to South Australia by the first Colonial Secretary, Robert Gouger. The Mortlock’s bays are full of fascinating images and objects – it’s the perfect place to explore when you’re in the city with some time to spare.

Moving through the Spence Wing (the main part of the library), we spent time in the Ron Boland Newspaper Reading Area. Ron Boland OBE (1911–2000) was an influential figure in South Australian journalism. Memorabilia donated by Ron’s family and former colleagues is displayed here in recognition of his longstanding media career. Nearby is a typesetting machine gifted by Advertiser Newspapers Limited, alongside a timeline of local and international events that occurred during Ron’s lifetime.

Empty shelves in this wing prompted questions on the future of the library, but we were reassured that SLSA’s reference collection is currently being rearranged, not removed.

Some of us were able to stay on for a cuppa and chat at the library cafe once the tour ended – a lovely opportunity to socialise with editors outside the Zoom room! Due to the high level of interest in this event, we’ve pencilled it in for a possible rerun in 2023.

Mortlock Chamber

History of SLSA: Exhibitions

Upcoming events

We’ve got a few things coming up in SA, including our virtual book club (5 September), annual branch meeting (22 September) and a get-together with Writers SA (24 October).

EdSA Virtual Book Club
Date: Monday 5 September 2022, 6:30 to 7:30 pm ACST (Adelaide)
Cost: Free for members; non-members A$10
Venue: online via Zoom
Bookings: here

EdSA Annual Branch Meeting

Date: Thursday 22 September 2022, 6:00 to 6:30pm ACST (Adelaide)
Cost: Free for for branch members
Venue: online via Zoom
Bookings: here

In conversation with Christina Booth

Date: Thursday 22 September 2022, 6.30 to 7:30pm ACST (Adelaide)
Venue: online via Zoom meetings;
Cost:  IPEd members & reciprocal organisations A$15; non-members A$20
Bookings: here