Friday, December 02, 2011

Discovering a New England treasure trove

One of the reasons why I have been so slow in posting here is the neIMG_0001ed to sort some of my possessions for discard, retention, storage or sale. As part of this, I found three book boxes full of New England books, most no longer available: biographies, autobiographies, local histories, property histories, novels, poems and photographic albums from across the North.  

I knew I had had them, but thought them lost: from North Star to Lake Macquarie, from the Upper Clarence to Scone, from Page to Wright, from McBryde on New England prehistory to two copies of my original honours thesis, a first edition of Baal Belbora and so it goes on.

It's not a complete collection. I used to try to buy every book published in or about or written by someone from the broader New England. Sadly, I ran out of money and space. Still, at a rough count I have more than four hundred publications.

There are other collections, but its a fairly unusual resource. I have also managed to preserve a lot of my original source material on my PhD thesis, including copies of key new state correspondence and, in some cases, the originals because they are family papers.

I have to go on sorting, but you can expect more explorations through the life and history of the North that so many of us love.

As I have said before, and really as Australia Subdivided inferred in 1921, we have lost so much of our history and culture because it was just not seen as relevant by the gatekeepers who control so much of what Australians read or see. 

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