Have just completed another visit to the newly named National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature at the University of Canberra.
The centre is located on the 4th floor of the Library and is open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm.
Together with Ian, Mia, brother Paul and sister-in-law Sue we had a comprehensive guided tour by Dr Belle Alderman AM, who is the Director of the collection.
If you are a fan of Australian children’s literature I urge you to make some time to visit it when next in Canberra. It would make a brilliant addition to a school trip itinerary!
The collection is continually being added to, and just recently Peter Gouldthorpe donated his original sketches and artwork for his shortlisted children’s non-fiction book The White Mouse: Nancy Wake.
One of the biggest collections is of the work of Bob Graham, one of my favourite author/illustrators.
The collection began back in 1974 after a Commonwealth Grant to the CBCA, which was followed by Lu Rees, the then ACT President of the Canberra CBCA, donating over 500 books from her own personal collection.
The collection is now worth over $8million.
It aims to collect every published edition of every Australian Children’s author! There is even a wish list of WANTED books on their website for eagle eyed collectors to look for.
Have you noticed I am using a lot of exclamation marks? That’s because I am so excited about this collection.
When I get home I will be forwarding a copy of Tea and Sugar Christmas, Glass Tears ( edition published by Rainbow Dragon) and even my little book Ami Has Aspergers.
It was exciting to see One Step at a Time on display in a glass case at the entrance to the collection as part of this year’s CBCA Shortlisted books.
After a glorious lunch at Semesters Restaurant ( I had the barramundi) we went to view the Seeing Stories Exhibition, which was put together by the volunteer staff, (assisted by 12 Cultural Studies students), from the John Barrow Collection. It is a wonderful exhibition, with original artwork by Ann James, Bob Graham, Alison Lester, Peter Gouldthorpe, Leigh Hobbs, Elizabeth Honey, Julie Vivas, Terry Denton, Patricia Mullins and Andrew McLean. A lot of it is of their very early work, which is fascinating. The Exhibition is on from 29 April-26 August Mon-Fri 10:30am-2:30pm (closed Wed and Sat) and on Sunday 1pm-4pm. You can even book in to a special session for teachers/ students.
I can’t wait to go back and have a good fossick!