26 September 2023

Library marks 50 years of publishing

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The National Library of Australia (NLA) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its publishing imprint this year with special events and publications.

Director-General of NLA, Marie-Louise Ayres said the Library’s Publishing goal was unchanged from when it launched in 1971 – to share with readers across the country the magnificent collections of the National Library.

“We’re excited to celebrate this anniversary,” Dr Ayres said.

“It’s thanks to the authors and illustrators, editors, publishers and designers who have created our books, and the booksellers, librarians and readers who have embraced them that we have reached this milestone,” she said.

“We hope our books continue to educate and delight generations of readers for centuries to come.”

Dr Ayres said the anniversary celebrations would include the publication of a biography of the first NLA Publisher, Alec Bolton.

NLA Publisher, Lauren Smith said Australians who might never get the opportunity to visit the National Library in Canberra could hold in their hands the artwork of William T. Cooper, Peter Dombrovskis, Ellis Rowan, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, May Gibbs, Harold Cazneaux, Frank Hurley, Olive Cotton and Joseph Lycett.

“They can read about cartoons and cartography; see the handwritten journal entries of explorers, mutineers and convicts; share children’s books focusing on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience and language; and explore documents and images on topics as diverse as Antarctica, the 1960s, fashion, the First World War, knitting, fishing, budgerigars and shipwrecks,” Ms Smith said.

“I am so proud to be part of the NLA Publishing story,” she said.

“NLA Publishing has had so many wonderful authors and illustrators who have worked with editors and designers to create books inspired by the National Library’s amazing collection.”

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