SINCE THIS YEAR’S March issue was made up virtually entirely of material from New South Wales, I decided that this June issue should contain contributions from elsewhere, and it is in fact made up largely of contributions from Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. (Richard Blair’s article, which in my March editorial I said would be published in this issue, is being held over to the September “Bulletin issue”.)
Richard Overell has, as in previous issues, mediated much of the material from Victoria, namely contributions to the January 2008 Members’ Night and the paper on John Ferres presented by John Chapman. At first glance it would seem to some readers acquainted with his previous contributions from New South Wales that Frank Carleton’s article on General de Gaulle is out of place here, but I will explain below why that is no longer the case. Nigel Sinnott’s article on two dedicatory signatures is an expansion of his contribution to the 2008 Members’ Night.
The ACT contributions are opened by Geoffrey Burkhardt’s article on the accidental and intentional destruction of books over the last two millennia, but particularly over the last century or so. Dr Burkhardt’s article is the more timely in that I was reminded by an email message from Jürgen Wegner, which I have included in the Notes & Queries section, that 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the Nazis’ burning of books that they didn’t like in Berlin in 1933.
Many readers may have long wondered about our super-prolific reviewer, Colin Steele: Just who is he and how does he read all those books? Well, Colin has been kind enough to answer both those questions by allowing us to republish a nicely amusing autobiographical talk he gave in University House at the Australian National University on 21 November 2007. Inevitably, and thankfully, as the modern idiom has it, this item is followed up by some more of his reviews—and I still have others in the pipeline that I am holding over for later in the year. Should any reader wish to contact
Colin about his reviews or other bibliophilic matters, he can be reached as follows:
Colin Steele, Emeritus Fellow, Copland Building 24, Room G037, Division of Information, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia; Tel +61 (0)2 612 58983; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased that the Notes & Queries section has expanded this time in size and variety to play even more the role that it was meant to play when introduced into Biblionews decades ago, and I thank all those—from NSW as well as Victoria and the ACT—who sent in their notes and requests for this issue. I do, however, regret that the issue will not reach members before the function at the National Library of Australia on 25 June adverted to by Jürgen Wegner.
And now to return to Frank Carleton. Our Secretary, Mark Ferson, was not a little disturbed when the last issue of Biblionews for 2007 sent to Frank’s Sydney address that our journal had been sent to for years and years was returned as undeliverable. An attempt to ring his phone number resulted only in a message that it was disonnected. In case he had moved to another suburb, Mark decided to try ringing all the F Carletons in the Sydney phone book. Early in the piece he encountered one who proved to be Frances Carleton, so a woman and not our Frank, but who, knowing previously nothing of our society, has since joined—and offered to contribute to
Biblionews! In the meantime I received with relief a letter from Frank advising us that he had moved to Victoria and a further one saying he had now transferred his membership to the Victorian branch. That is why he has been allowed to be published in this issue.
Finally, I must apologise that there were a number of misprints in the March issue, most of them minor, but irritating nevertheless (e.g. p.4, line 2 of the John Newland piece, where “I” should have been “in”). The illustration captions put in at the very end of preparation of the copy contained errors that I missed. I try to proofread on screen so as not to waste paper, but like many other people I find proofreading on screen more difficult than proofing in hard copy. Doug Mackenzie has also pointed out that in my comment in the editorial on the geographic insularity of Flinders
Islanders I did not take any account of the indigenous origins of many of the island’s inhabitants. I apologise for these oversights and will try to do better in future.