Archive for

Book Review- Doing Something for Australia: George Robertson and the early years of Angus and Robertson

IN THE INTRODUCTORY chapter of this important and often fascinating work Dr Jennifer Alison observes that “the story of Australian publishing cannot be told without the story of Angus and Robertson”. True, and the story of Angus and Robertson (A&R) cannot be told without the story of its dynamic leader and inspirational genius, George Robertson (1860–1933). Continue reading



Trams were very much a part of the first two decades of my life here in Sydney. I was born in 1937 in the Sydney suburb of Annandale, through which the Lilyfield tram passed. I was taken home a few days later to a house in Birchgrove, which had had its own tram service since the 1917, and in later years to a series of houses in the adjacent suburb of Balmain, which had had its own tram service for much longer, starting with steam trams in the 1890s and changing to electric trams in the first decade of the 20th century. Continue reading

The Libraries of Schools of Arts and Mechanics’ Institutes: Time Capsules of Australian Book Collections.

BOOK COLLECTORS IN AUSTRALIA, during their book hunting endeavours, will no doubt have encountered books bearing the bookplate or book stamp of a School of Arts or Mechanics’ Institute. These institutions were, during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century, a most important feature of Australian social and local history. Continue reading